Saturday, May 7, 2011

Attack of the Scones

Scones are tricky. You can make them sweet or savory and put just about anything in them, but they need a certain consistency to be a hit. I recently made cheddar-rosemary scones and orange-ginger scones for a brunch. Both were good, though definitely not very scone-like. I cut them very small to make more of them and substituted ingredients left and right, either out of necessity or because I did not want to give any guests an instant heart attack.

Then, more recently, I made Ina Garten's maple oatmeal scones:

They were both crunchy and soft, and just sweet enough to earn non-biscuit status. They were the best I have tried to make so far. Oh, and the recipe calls for four sticks of butter and four eggs.

With scones, there is not too much you can do to make things healthier. They need butter, cold chunks of butter, and lots of it. If you're going to throw in fruit and yogurt and flaxseed instead, just go ahead and make yourself some wimpy muffins. Go on, get out. Scones don't have time for this healthy crap. They're busy getting all flaky and heavenly-like.

I'm not sure whether to hang my head in shame or pat myself on the back about this, but I've never successfully been able to follow a recipe like this completely. In the end, I used half margarine and half butter, and put in a tablespoon of corn starch and three tablespoons of water to replace one of the eggs. Of course, no one knew the difference and there were certainly no complaints. I have only my inner turmoil to remind me of how much better these scones could have been, if I could only be true to their origin. Namely, butter. So. Much. Butter.

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