The Tale of Two Scones

food-009Brunch is one of my favorite ways to entertain.  Recently,  we were trying to plan a get-together with my daugther’s Godparents and when they indicated they were free for Sunday brunch, I was all over it.   What I love about A.M. entertaining is that I have a whole bag of “do-ahead” tricks that I can prepare the night before, which makes for a stress-free morning.   

Although I’m a big fan of buying breads and other baked goods, I do love baking fresh scones.  For years I never liked scones, because they always seemed dry and too crumbly.   Then back in the mid-90s I had the priviledge of working with a woman who was a fantastic baker (yes, KJ, that’s you!).   The day she came to the office with  the Oatmeal-Raisin Scones from Nick Malgieri’s How to Bake, I was hooked (this is one of my favorite cookbooks which I would highly recommend).   I’ve tried many other scone recipes, but this is the one to which I always return.  In fact, it is a recipe I’ve passed along to many friends and is one of the highlights of the “Brunch Basics” class I teach in my cooking school

The other day I was catching up on some of my favorite blogs and I came across a recipe for Maple Syrup Scones on the Heidi Swanson’s blog, 101 Cookbooks.  The concept reminded me a lot of the Nick Malgieri recipe, so I decided to give it a whirl for my brunch.  If you have a food processor, they whip up in a flash.  Because I love nothing more than a do-ahead recipe, I made the dough the night before, pressed into two discs, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerated it.  The morning of my brunch, I needed only to bake them off so they’d be warm and fresh when our friends arrived.

I made only a few changes to the recipe, including substituting the multi-grain cereal I used in my Valentine’s cookies for the quinoa flakes.  I also decided to cut them into a more traditional triangle-shape instead of squares, but that is barely worth mentioning.  In retrospect, I should have added a bit more liquid (Heidi’s recipe says “if the batter is too dry add more cream a bit at a time”), but the dough seemed fine at the time so I did not.  This recipe calls for far less liquid than the Malgieri recipe, although it had a similar consistency prior to baking.

The results were good, but I think I overbaked them by about 5-8 minutes.  The flavor was great, but they did end up a little on the dry side.  I wondered about my substitution affecting the results, but I think what it came down to was the baking time.   Because I love the flavor-concept of these scones so much, I’ll definitely try them again with a touch more liquid and fewer minutes in the oven. 

The next time you’re entertaining for breakfast or brunch, consider baking your own scones with one of these great recipes.  They are simple to make and make a big hit at the table.

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.



2 Responses to “The Tale of Two Scones”

  1. shelly Says:

    Nick Malgieri’s Oatmeal Raisins Scones sound wonderful!
    Does he use buttermilk?
    Would you please(!) consider sharing the recipe?
    Thank you for an interesting post!

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