2016 has been keeping me busy. With work projects coming my way from as close as Vermont and as far away as Tel Aviv plus a trip to Montreal to visit my son, I haven’t been in the kitchen as much as I like. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with these developments, but at times I feel a bit pulled in several directions. When that happens, I bake. There’s something meditative about the process. I love creating a batter―watching butter and sugar come together into a smooth cream before adding eggs, flours and flavoring. Whether making simple drop cookies or an elegant pie, I love forming the dough into its chosen shape. And there are fewer things more soothing than the aroma of freshly baked breads or pastries in the oven.
I created these Oatmeal and Apricot Scones with Maple Glaze to have on hand for breakfasts this week. The dough is filled with layers of butter, oatmeal and flour to form a flaky pastry. Delicate and not overly sweet, they’re best served warm. With hot coffee or steamed milk, a bowl of fresh fruit and loved ones at the table, they make even a weekday breakfast feel like a celebration. It’s a marvelous way to start the day.
What do you do to relax?
I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.
Oatmeal & Apricot Scones with Maple Glaze
Yield: 12 Scones
For the scones:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small dice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup dried apricots, pitted and cut into small dice
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- Sift together the flours, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add the cubes of butter. Set the mixer on its lowest speed and mix until the butter is fully combined with the dry ingredients. The mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal.
- Add the vanilla extract to the milk. With the standing mixer still set to low, drizzle the milk and vanilla into the mixture until the dough comes together. (This is a damp dough.) Add the apricots and mix just until combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Shape it in a rectangle approximately 9 by 13 inches. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 triangles. Place the triangles on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Make the glaze by melting the butter and maple syrup together in a small pan.
- Brush the glaze on the cooled scones.
- Serve and enjoy.
- Raisins or dried cranberries can be substituted for the apricots.
- Warning: these are difficult to stop eating. But, if you do not eat the scones right away, store in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.
- They freeze well, so consider making a double batch to have some on hand for another time.