Suzi's Blog

Nut Butter Scones from Maximum Flavors

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From Maximum Flavors comes this turn-the-world-around recipe for scones. Although the recipe below calls for nut butter and some kind of fruit, in the headnotes authors Aki Kamozawa and Alexander Talbot do give away their favorite combination: peanut butter and strawberries.

I know that “peanut butter” says “butter” but I never think of it as “butter” like the yellow stuff Suzen and I bake with. Yet here it is. And the result is a light, melt-in-your-mouth texture. The peanut flavor is an undertone with the strawberry highlights punctuating palate in unexpected surprises.

These scones are rich enough that no additional butter is needed. Pairing these scones with a hot espresso is precisely the way to begin a winter morning.

Nut Butter Scones

Yield: 12 smallish scones

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups/ 225 grams all-purpose flour
  • I ½ cups / 210 grams white whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup / 100 grams granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons / 12 grams baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon / 2.5 grams baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon / 3 grams fine sea salt
  • 1 cup / 270 grams nut butter (peanut, cashew, almond, etc.), cold
  • 1 cup / 260 grams whole milk (or substitute soy, almond, or rice milk)
  • ¾ cup fruit (berries, raisins, diced bananas, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons / 25 grams raw sugar

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a food processor, combine the flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and pulse a few times to blend. Add the nut butter and pulse to blend. The mixture should look coarse and granular. Add ½ cup (195 grams) of the milk and pulse until the mixture begins to clump together. If it seems too dry, add the remaining milk, 2 tablespoons (32.5 grams) at a time, pulsing in between additions, until it begins to clump together and look like coarse streusel.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and scatter the fruit over the top. Use your hands and a bench scraper, if you have one, to gently fold the fruit into the dough, adding a bit of flour if the juices from the fruit make the dough too wet to hold together. It should just hold when you press the dough together. Form the dough into an 8-inch (20 cm) round and cut it into 12 equal wedges. Or you can shape it into two 4-inch (10 cm) rounds and cut each in to 6 pieces.

Put the scones on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with the raw sugar. Bake for 8 minutes, rotate the sheet, and bake until golden brown, 4 to 8 minutes more, checking after 4 minutes. Let the scones cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before serving.

Source: Maximum Flavor Aki Kamozawa and Alexander Talbot

Photo Information [top picture]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/100th second at ISO-1000

 

 

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Oat Scones with Cranberries and Walnuts

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“I said a bite, not half.” Sometimes my husband can be a pig.

“I, um, uh,” Brian kept chewing. “I actually like this.”

“So did I.” I turned, walked back into Amy’s Bread at Chelsea Markets at 15th Street. Before the Meat District became upscale, I worked just across the street in my family’s printing business. My family sold the building, and I went into food. Now I was happily back enjoying one of the great food districts in New York City.

In line at Amy’s, I decide that this time I would buy my own private damn scone, and I would not share it. I still can’t believe it: outside the man was eating cranberries and walnuts and rolled outs.

Scone in hand, my anger had subsided. I went back to him and checked for fever. He would not eat a healthy thing unless there was something wrong. Mild fever. I didn’t even bother with an aspirin.

There is nothing, nothing wrong with these absolutely wonderful sweet scones from Amy. I’m presenting the recipe as written in The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread. At home, I’ve baked my own and allowed my imagination to flow: instead of cranberries and walnuts I have used raisins and slivered almonds.

Amy emphasizes toasting the nuts before adding to the mix. That’s very important here. You need a strong nut flavor to compete with inherent taste of the oats.

Oat Scones with Cranberries and Walnuts

Yield: 12 large scones

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cups + 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher slat
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, cold, in ½-inch dice
  • 2 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ⅞ cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • Turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top

 

Preparation:

Position one rack in the top third of the oven, one rack in the bottom third of the oven, and preheat the oven to 400⁰F. Line the two 12 x 17 inch sheet pan with baking parchment.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the 2 flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda and process them for 5 seconds, until they are just combined. Add the butter and process again for 10 top 15 seconds, until the mixture looks like coarse meal. The largest pieces of butter should be about the size of tiny peas (if you don’t have a food processor, mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl with wire whisk and cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives). The butter should be suspended in tiny granules throughout the flour, not rubbed into it to make a doubly mass. Transfer this mixture to a large bowl and stir in the oats, cranberries, and walnuts until they are evenly distributed.

In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Remove ½ cup of this mixture and set it aside. Pour the remaining liquid over the dry ingredients and lightly and briefly stir them together, just until everything is barely moistened. It’s fine if there is a still a little bit of unmoistened flour in the bottom of the bowl. Don’t’ over mix or your scones will be heavy and doughy. This dough won’t be a single cohesive mass. It should look more like moistened clumps of flour and fruit.

Using your hands, drop free-form portions of dough about 3 ½ inches in diameter on the prepared baking sheets. Evenly space 6 scones on each sheet. Don’t try to press them down or squeeze them together — they should look like irregular mounds or clumps. Using a pastry brush, dab the reserved buttermilk/egg mixture generously all over the tops the scones and sprinkle them lightly with Turbinado sugar.

Place on pan on each oven rack and bake for 1 5minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375⁰F and rotate the pans from top to bottom. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, until the scones area deep golden brown on both the top and bottom. A toothpick inserted in the center of a scone should come out clean. Remove the scones from the pans to cool on a wire rack. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They’re best if eaten within 2 days. [That will not be a problem.]

Source: The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread by Amy Scherber and Toy Kim Dupree<