When it comes to scones, the maple-oat variety is at the top of my list. I originally set out to develop my own recipe this week, but when I discovered Smitten Kitchen's version, I realized there was no need. Her recipe has it all: rolled oats, real maple syrup, a touch of whole wheat, and enough butter to hold it all together. Yum.
In her head note to the recipe, Deb of Smitten Kitchen mentions that these scones "are just barely sweet yet not at all gritty with healthfulness." Not being a fan of sweet-sweet breakfast pastries and yet still craving an indulgence, this really spoke to me. I also liked that it used real maple syrup since many recipes rely on extract or call for maple sugar, which is hard to find. There is only an extra tablespoon of sugar to bolster the maple syrup, so I was really expecting the maple flavor to shine through.
The dough for these scones was surprisingly soft to the point of being dry. In fact, it reminded me a lot of pastry dough, which looks like a mass of crumbs until you try squeezing a handful together. I did end up needing to add another 1/4 cup of milk to get it to come together and feared that I might be over-working the dough at that point. Once it was formed, however, the dough was easy to handle and cut into triangles.
When it came to the taste test, I had to adjust some of my expectations. Understand: these are delicious scones in their own right. They're crunchy and flaky, nutty-tasting from the oats and whole wheat flour, and have just the barest touch of sweetness. I thought they were a bit dry and tough (most likely my own fault), but I would proudly serve these to my brunch guests and hoard the leftovers.
It's just that they weren't quite what I'd been craving since first reading the words "oat and maple." I really wanted more of the maple flavor to shine through - adding a quick icing made with two tablespoons of maple syrup helped with this, actually. The texture also wasn't quite right to me, a little too dense where I wanted tenderness, perhaps.
Again, I loved these scones and heartily recommend making them. Maybe I just need to develop my own personal version after all!
I'd be curious to hear your impressions. Have any of you tried this recipe? Or have a favorite maple-oat recipe to share?
• Get the Recipe! Oat and Maple Syrup Scones from Smitten Kitchen
(Images: Emma Christensen)