I have this thing about breakfast: I kind of love it. It probably helps that I’m a morning person at heart — I know, I know — but really, I love breakfast foods: not-too-sweet baked goods, a whole array of things you can toast and slather with salty butter, a hundred preparations of fried potatoes, the tang of fluffy buttermilk pancakes against the sweetness of maple syrup. But I know that for too many people, a lifetime of being admonished about the importance of eating breakfast — as a key to weight loss, productivity in the office, and no doubt other things like perfectly behaved children and straight teeth — has ruined the meal. And so I’d like to enter this plea: scones.
These scones are quick and easy to make, require only pantry-and-fridge staples, and keep well on the counter or in the freezer. They are also delicious, kind of like the result of a love affair between an oatmeal cookie and a granola bar. The oats add enough body that you don’t feel like you’re eating a mouthful of nothing, and the cinnamon balances out the sweetness. Seriously, if these don’t make you think breakfast might not be so bad, you have my permission to give up on the whole thing.
A few notes:
*For the sugar in this recipe, I prefer turbinado (also called “demerara” and sold under the brand name Sugar in the Raw), but white sugar works perfectly well if it’s what you have.
*I use the Chinese cinnamon from Penzey’s in my baking; if you’re using a mild, supermarket cinnamon, you may want to add another half-teaspoon.
*I’ve tested this recipe for vegans with Earth Balance and soymilk and it is delicious.
*You can freeze the cooled and baked scones and either thaw them on the counter or pop an individual scone in the microwave or — my favorite — the toaster to reheat it.
Cinnamon Oatmeal Scones
1 1/4 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. butter or margarine (1 stick)
1/3 c. milk or soymilk
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and oats.
Cut in the butter. To do this, start by using a knife to cut the stick into eight or ten slices and dump them all into the dry ingredients. Then use a fork — or a pastry blender if you have one — to cut it into smaller pieces. Each piece will get coated in flour so they won’t stick together. Eventually, you’ll probably need to use your hands to crumble the butter still smaller, squishing or rubbing the remaining pieces between your fingers. You want to aim for a fairly even texture, like damp sand.
Then add about half of the milk, and stir. Add the rest of the milk slowly, a tablespoon or two at a time, stopping as soon as the dough forms a ball. You may need a bit more milk if it’s very dry, or less if it’s a humid day.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a circle about seven inches across. Use a butter knife to cut the dough into eight triangles, and put them on an ungreased cookie sheet, at least an inch apart. Bake for 18-21 minutes, until the scones sound hollow when you tap on them gently. They don’t brown very much, so don’t be deceived! It’s easiest to remove them from the tray when they’re hot; cool them on a rack or towel-lined plate.
More Amateur Gourmet:
Favorite Food Sites:
- 101 Cookbooks
- Chez Pim
- Chocolate and Zucchini
- David Lebovitz
- Serious Eats
- Simply Recipes
- Slice NY
- The Food Section