Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cinnamon Oat Scones

Is everyone having a nice weekend? Good. I can't believe Christmas is nearly here. Christmas on Tuesday works out well--four day weekend! I've already done most of the baking I planned on, and I've bought and wrapped all the presents. Nothing left to do but hang out and have fun.

So, if you're just hanging out like me, here's a great scone recipe for you. I made these a couple weeks ago right after I saw Anna's post. I think I've mentioned that I love scones, and I really love testing new recipes hoping to find that magic combination of basic scone ingredients that makes the perfect moist, buttery treat. When Anna called this the best oat scone ever and said she wouldn't be looking further for oat scone recipes, I was very excited to try it. I don't think she speaks those words lightly. If you need more convincing, it's a Cook's Illustrated recipe, so that means it was tested every which way in the pursuit of oat scone perfection.

If you like scones with oats, this is definitely the ultimate. I can't eat one of these for breakfast without getting up from my computer (I love eating and reading blogs on weekday mornings), finding Mike and exclaiming, "Best scones ever!"

I guess the picture looks pretty basic, but the scones are anything but. Without an insane amount of butter, they are incredibly buttery and moist. I'll also say they're on the sweet side, especially if you use the cinnamon chips. The toasted oats don't make them seem "healthy," but add another dimension of texture and nutty flavor. Seriously, they're melt-in-your-mouth good. The flavor of the oats is also a nice match for whole wheat pastry flour if you like making whole grain scones. I didn't use any white flour, so these awesome scones were also really nutritious.

If you don't have or don't like cinnamon chips, use any add-in you want. There are some suggestions in the recipe headnotes. My grocery store only sells cinnamon chips around the holidays with the seasonal stuff (I have no clue why they're a seasonal item), so if yours is the same way, pick some up and try them in these scones, as well as plenty of other things. King Arthur also sells mini cinnamon chips year round if you're desperate.

You can see Anna's version here. I included the recipe below for convenience, and because I tweaked a few things, like using whole wheat pastry flour. I also cut the amount of butter by a tablespoon just because I ran out of unsalted butter--for shame! I can't think of any more ways to say how yummy these scones are, so I'll just thank Anna for posting about them!

Cinnamon Oat Scones

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated and Cookie Madness
If you don’t have cinnamon chips, use another add-in like raisins, dried currants or chocolate chips. This recipe is a great base for all of them, and would also be good plain. You also might want to switch the cinnamon for ginger or 1 tablespoon of citrus zest. Note that you’ll be raising the oven temperature after toasting the oats.
Makes 8 large or 12 medium scones

1 1/2 cups "old fashioned" rolled oats (120 g)
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat or all-purpose flour (195 g)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom (optional)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks and chilled
1/2 cup half and half
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cinnamon chips (120 g)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread the oats on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once, or until fragrant and lightly browned (keep an eye on these; they can over cook quickly). Set aside to cool.

Raise oven heat to 425 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Pulse a few times to combine. Add butter chunks to flour mixture and pulse until mixture is the size of small peas.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, half and half, and vanilla.

Add the flour mixture and the oats to cream mixture and stir until almost mixed. Add the cinnamon chips and continue mixing just until mixture comes together in a ball.

On a lightly floured surface, divide ball in half and shape each half into a thick disk. Roll each half into a 6 to 7-inch circle, about 1 inch thick. With a floured knife, cut each circle into 4 or 6 wedges, and place about 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with scones with additional half and half. Bake 12 to 16 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until scones are lightly browned on the bottom and cooked through.


Emiline said...

I would love to try these scones! Oats and cinnamon sound really good together.
We don't have many ingredients, in the area I live, but we do have cinnamon chips, year round. Isn't that weird?

Lydia said...

I love anything with oats and cinnamon in the morning -- muffins, scones, cereal. Will definitely try these -- thanks for sharing the recipe.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Julie, they look so wonderful!
Anything with cinnamon has my undivided attention. :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I have an oatmeal scone recipe that I'm pretty happy with but between you & Cook's Illustrated these should probably get a trot around at least once. I kind of think it's fun when taste exceeds looks.

Dana said...

These sound awesome! I too love scones and am always happy to find a recipe that doesn't use 2 lbs. of butter! Cinnamon and oats? Count me in :).

Anonymous said...

Great recipe idea. Here's how I adapted mine, according to what I had on hand:

1 Tblsp Lemon Zest
1/2 cup Goji Berries lightly steamed to plump
1 teasp Ginger
1 Tblsp Flax Seed (ground) - in lieu of Whole Wheat Flour

Anonymous said...

I baked these tonight but used semi sweet chocolate chips instead of the cinnamon chips. They were awesome. Chewy on the outside and soft on the inside. Baking the oatmeal first makes them taste kind of nutty. I want to try them with cinnamon chips next time!

The Kitchen Kook said...

Cook's Illustrated is the best! I’m so used to rock-hard chewy, tough, dry, BLAND scones, but finally, I found a scone that’s buttery, tender, soft, and delicate. Mmm. Literally the best thing that I’ve made.

I used their original cream scone recipe and LOVED it so I'll have to give the oat one a try!