This is somewhat of an embarrassing confession. I have never eaten a scone that hasn’t originated from my kitchen. I don’t do the Starbucks thing and I don’t really frequent bakeries all that often, and when I do I’m typically more drawn to the sugary-sweet and chocolate confections, rather than breakfast-type treats. So all I know of scones I have learned from reading about them and baking them myself. Although this may seem like a narrow glipse into the world of scone goodness, I have tasted and experimented with many different types of scones – those made with cream, with butter, with buttermilk. Those that are sweet, some that are savory, some great for breakfast and some you could easily enjoy for dessert. I hadn’t made scones in a little while and after catching a glimpse of the description of Saturday’s “Barefoot Contessa” episode in my DVR and seeing Maple-Oatmeal Scones listed, I didn’t even watch the episode – I hurriedly Googled the recipe, printed it and prepared to bake!
As always, Ina did not disappoint. These scones are fabulous and walk a fine line between a scone and a biscuit (which, trust me, is NEVER a bad thing). The outside of the scone is paper-thin and crisp and opens to an incredibly light, tender, and buttery crumb. So flavorful, you won’t need to look for butter, jam or honey to slather on top; these are served perfectly as-is.
If you are planning to make these for company or house guests, you can prepare the scones up to a day in advance, through to cutting them and placing them on a baking sheet. At that point cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to bake. Once the oven is preheated, take the pan out of the fridge, remove the plastic wrap and bake as directed.
Some other scones I am planning on trying in the near future are Quiche Lorraine Scones and Honey Fig Scones. Do you have a favorite scone recipe or one you’d like to see me make?
4½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats, plus additional for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 pound (4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
½ cup cold buttermilk
½ cup pure maple syrup
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or water, for egg wash
For the Glaze:
1¼ cups confectioners' sugar
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Blend the cold butter in at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Combine the buttermilk, maple syrup, and eggs and add quickly to the flour-and-butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough may be sticky.
3. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and be sure it is combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough ¾ to 1-inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut into 3-inch rounds with a plain or fluted cutter and place on baking sheet.
4. Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are crisp and the insides are done.
5. To make the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. When the scones are done, cool for 5 minutes, and drizzle each scone with 1 tablespoon of glaze. Sprinkle some uncooked oats on the top, for garnish. The warmer the scones are when you glaze them, the thinner the glaze will be.