Oatmeal Maple Scones
inspired by the Barefoot Contessa
Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones
Inspired by the Barefoot Contessa’s Maple-Oatmeal Scones, but with a whole LOT less butter, Ina also tops her scones with a maple glaze while I do not. I’m personally not a big fan of glazes as they tend to be a little too sweet for me, instead I chose to make a little maple mascarpone spread based on the idea of a traditional British scone being served with clotted cream, but totally different. If you like the idea of a glaze, you can find it here http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/maple-oatmeal-scones-recipe.html , you could also skip the mascarpone spread and just use a little butter on the warm from the oven scones or jam of your choice. This recipe bakes just as scones should (in my opinion at least), a little bit dense, a little bit moist and (preferably eaten) a little bit warm from the oven. If Goldilocks were here in the kitchen, I think she might feel compelled to utter “just right”.
1 1/2 cups Unbleached Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (regular Oatmeal not instant)
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons cold unsalted Butter (1/2 stick)
2/3 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I use non fat)
1/4 cup Maple Syrup (the real stuff)
1/4 cup Low Fat Milk (I used unsweetened Almond Milk, since that’s what I have)
1 large Egg
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 heaping cup chopped Walnuts
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly butter or spray a large baking sheet, or cover with parchment.
In a large bowl stir together dry ingredients (flours through salt). Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and cut them into the flour mixture, until the mix resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl stir together yogurt, egg, maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract. Add to the flour & butter mixture. Stir to combine. Mix in the nuts. The dough should come together to form a slightly sticky ball.
Gently roll out the dough to about 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Cut dough into whatever shape you like. I used heart shaped and round fluted cutters about 3 inches across, because when your baking assistant is a tyrannical/terribly sweet not quite 5 year old, mama does not get to choose and why use one shape when three are better (for the record I insisted on the fluted edge heart cutters).
Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and toothpick comes out clean.
Remove baking sheet from oven and allow to cool a few minutes, before transferring scones to a wire rack. Enjoy!
Makes about 12 – 15 or maybe even 18, scones depending on the size.
Recipe Notes: I served my scones with both Blueberry Mascarpone and Maple Mascarpone Spreads. For the blueberry version, I simply stirred together a few tablespoons of mascarpone with some really good blueberry preserves and then for the maple version, just a little maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon into the mascarpone, amounts to your desired taste and stirred until creamy.
A Note on Shapes: I rolled out my dough and used a combination of fluted edge round and heart shaped cutters measuring about 3 inches across and also a smaller 2 inch heart shaped cutter. If you don’t have cutters of this size on hand, you can use the open end of a juice glass or tea mug as makeshift cutters or if you like simply free cut squares out of the shaped dough with a sharp knife. I would stick to shapes that are fairly uniform across and steer clear of pointed edges such as stars or trains with their pesky smoke stacks (if you have a young boy at home you’ll know just what I’m talking about).
Additional Notes: A recipe for Baking Powder
So on my last test of this recipe, I found myself in the very unfortunate situation of reaching into my baking powder container and coming up with a Tablespoon measure only 2/3 of the way full. My baking powder was empty! Now my policy is to always stock up on sale and never ever ever not have a backup of frequently used (and some not so frequently used) items and this is especially the case in the kitchen. Plus I was so certain that I had an extra container of baking powder hidden away which is probably why I ignored the fact that it was nearing empty on my recent trips to the market. I searched and searched through my overstocked pantry, the baskets on top of the fridge and everywhere else I could think of, to only come up empty on the baking powder front. Mind you this was all taking place early on a Sunday morning when I sometimes like to spend a little alone time in the kitchen before the family chaos begins and my time before my four year old invaded my world was ticking by fast. After a bit of panic, I remembered that my brother-in-law Josh had sent me a link to an article about the difference between baking powder and baking soda a month or two ago. So I went to my computer, waited for it to wake up (this actually takes awhile, as I’m repeatedly told by my husband and daughter that it’s old and it sucks and it desperately needs to be replaced, but that’s a story for another day), and then searched through all my old emails for the one in question, the one that would hopefully save the day.
So according to the link sent by Josh, http://shine.yahoo.com/shine-food/what-s-the-difference-between-baking-soda-and-baking-powder-144950994.html,one can make baking powder using a recipe of baking soda and cream of tartar, great! One problem, I had no cream of tartar, in fact my dad had given me some not too long ago for a cake decorating class I was taking (don’t even remember what it was supposed to be used for), but then I gave it back to him, d’oh! But, then I read on and discovered that in the absence of cream of tartar, lemon juice could be used, and lemon juice is one thing I am never out of, woo hoo, my morning and my scones were saved!. I’m not going to get into the science of it all and the exact ratios, for that you can go to the link above, but long story short, for my missing 1 teaspoon of baking powder, I replaced it with ½ teaspoon of baking soda plus 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. I added the baking soda in with my dry ingredients and the lemon juice in with my wet. The recipe worked, I noted no discernible difference between this batch of scones and previously tested batches using the full Tablespoon of baking powder. So now you know, no need to panic if out of baking powder, but if you end up with an empty box of baking soda, you’re on your own. : – )