Sunday, December 4, 2011

Malcolm's Oatmeal Scones

Most Sunday mornings, Josh makes omelets or crepes, but this morning we had just one egg in the fridge. What to do?

Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen Almond-Apricot Oatmeal Scones.

These are Malcolm's scones because they're adapted to reflect how we dress up his oatmeal for breakfast, during the week (minus the half & half). Also because he made them! He's been WAY into cooking lately. 

Sometimes... okay, most of the time, I really have to force myself slow down and include him in my cooking. Too often, I catch myself saying, "Just let me do this real quick." 

I can remember the mother of one of my best childhood friends complimenting my mother's "from-scratch" cooking. She said that her mom was an excellent home cook, too, but that she never had the patience to teach her when she was a child. I remember she cooked with mixes a lot.

One of my New Year's resolutions is going to be to slow down and include the kids in the things I enjoy doing, like cooking. Especially while they're lining up to help, because, really -- how long is that gonna last?

1 c. rolled oats or quick oats
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1/4 c. half & half
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
10 TB cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 c. dried cherries or cranberries
1 TB sugar for sprinkling

We recently got an oven thermometer... and came to realize our oven consistently cooks about 25 degrees below it's set temperature. This recipe says to cook at 450 degrees F, but my oven was set to 475.

Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread oats and almonds out evenly on a heavy baking sheet and toast for 7-9 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned. Set sheet aside to cool on wire rack. Heat oven to 450 degrees, and line another heavy baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together egg, half & half and vanilla. Set aside 1 TB of this mixture in a small bowl (for glazing). In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside 2 TB of almond-oat mixture (for topping), and add the rest to the flour mixture. Add the cherries or cranberries to the dry mixture and toss. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir just a few times to mix, until large clumps form.

Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times. Pat into a rectangle, about 1" thick, then fold in the ends, overlapping them like an envelope. Pat and shape this into a 7 to 8' round. Press the reserved almond-oat mixture into the top. This is a good time to call in a young helper, if you've got one.

Then using a large knife or pastry bench-scraper, cut your round into triangles and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Mal did our triangle-cutting, with the scraper --not the knife. Brush the tops of the scones with the reserved liquid mixture and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, or until browned on top. Cool on wire rack. Makes 8 large scones; up to 24 mini ones; or an untold amount of oddly-shaped triangles if you've got a little helper like mine.

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