To me, the next best thing after a good slice of pie would be a scone. Perhaps surprisingly, given the amount of sugar I consume as an avid baker, I’m a huge fan of scones because they are not too sweet. They have just enough sugar in them to keep them faintly dessert-like and interesting, and the combination of baking powder, baking soda, and small chunks of butter in the dough makes for a lofty, delicious treat to pair with your morning coffee. I count Gale Gand’s Chocolate Cinnamon Scones among my favorite scone recipes to make, and thanks to the Baked boys and Baked Sunday Mornings, I have a new favorite to add to my repertoire: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Scones, from Baked Elements.
To the amateur baker, a scone should not be daunting. In fact, they’re incredibly easy to put together. This particular recipe uses one bowl, and a couple times during the process, Baked advises using a cook’s best tools – one’s hands – to combine the ingredients and bring them gently together. Simply whisk the dry ingredients together, pour in your wet ingredients, including the peanut butter, and gently incorporate, without over-mixing. You want your scones to be nice and tender, not tough, so avoid working the dough too much and developing the gluten in the flour. Pat the scone dough out into an 8-inch disc on a parchment-lined baking sheet and make a preliminary score of the disc into 8 triangles. Brush with egg white, sprinkle with decorative sugar (I had to use decorating/sanding sugar as I did not have the raw sugar the recipe calls for). Bake, and cut apart. Pretty easy.
The taste is quite incredible – truly, as described in Baked Elements, a pleasant cross between a scone and a cookie. These could easily rival any scone or biscuit you might buy with your coffee at your friendly neighborhood coffee shop… and trust me, the taste of these with coffee is, indeed, out of this world! Isn’t it funny how some baked goods, washed down with a good gulp of yummy coffee, suddenly have this “eureka” moment of even more awesomeness sometimes? It’s like everything is suddenly taken to a newer taste plateau in a space of seconds. Coffee does that – and especially with chocolate desserts.
You want to make sure that your scones are not under baked – which is rather gross – but what I noticed with mine is that they were still nice and moist without being ‘raw’ dough. This is due largely to the buttermilk in this recipe. Buttermilk is such an awesome ingredient, in my humble opinion. It always provides a nice moist crumb to baked goods and imparts a slight tang in flavor. It balances out nicely with the peanut butter in this recipe, and while Baked’s recipe states that these scones are best enjoyed within a day of baking, I found that because they were not a typical drier scone, they had pretty good staying power for the couple of days they lasted (and trust me, they’re so darn good, they may just disappear within a day anyway). They heat up wonderfully when popped in a microwave oven for about 15 seconds. The chocolate chips get all seductively gooey once again and the oatmeal and peanut butter flavors just warm right up… you get the picture. This recipe is a definite keeper. Loved them.
One last (personal) note: the recipe appears in the “Peanut Butter” chapter, and while I’m usually fine and good with peanut butter, I’m not a tremendous fan of any kind of nuts, and especially in my baked goods (I make exceptions for almonds and pecans). Trust me, if I eat anything with nuts in it, you do not want to be around me, as the taste and the texture of nuts triggers my gag reflex in a pretty big way. It’s not pretty. Cashews and any kind of waxy nut? Those are the worst. Don’t even get me started on that muddy paste called Nutella. Blech. I know the Baked guys love it, but I just can’t stomach it (I will have a challenge just tasting the Nutella-based recipes when I have to make them). Anyhow, that’s just me. Baked strongly urges the use of a crunchy peanut butter in this recipe, mainly for the texture. I say, if you’re a peanut fan, by all means, this is probably a very good suggestion. I opted for a natural, creamy peanut butter. The scones still tasted like peanut butter, they just didn’t have the extra crunch of the nuts – and that was fine with me. Still, I would also advise that if you prefer a nice strong peanut butter taste to these scones, you do some taste tests with peanut butter before making them. I found the peanut butter taste to be a little ‘subtle’ in this recipe and almost wonder if they could have had a more pronounced peanut butter accent using a different brand. Something to think about, anyway.
I got the suggested yield of 8 scones from this recipe. Jake ate one of them, and he is much more a master of control than yours truly – who ate the remaining 7 over the course of about 3 days. I know. I am terrible. Trust me though, these are that good. And super easy. Make them for your family and friends today. They will adore you. The recipe: http://bakedsundaymornings.com/2012/10/08/in-the-oven-oatmeal-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-scones/