May 1, 2008
Wow. It seems that this day has really crept up on me. It’s my last day of law school. Quite probably (please, oh, please) my last day of school ever. And after two decades’ worth of school, I’m a little sad to see it go. I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune when I’m putting the finishing touches on a paper that’s due on Friday or studying for my three exams over the next two weeks or preparing for the bar exam over the summer, but for now, I’m going to allow myself a bit of nostalgia.
I worked for two years after college, so when I came back to school, I think I was really able to appreciate it. And, hands down, my favorite (outside-of-the-classroom) aspect of being a student is the flexibility. Sure, you need to be in class for a chunk of every day, but beyond that, you really set your own schedule. And that’s allowed me to do things like workout whenever I please, to bask in the sun when it’s shining and, of course, to cook and bake things that just wouldn’t be possible if I were a work-a-day gal.
(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)
Take these scones for instance. They’re another addition to the long list of breakfasty baked goods I’ve explored during my law school career. For the most part, Kevin is the beneficiary of the various breads/muffins/scones I bake up. I figure, if he can’t hang out with me all day while I do my flexible student thing, the least I can do is tuck a fresh little something in his palm as he walks out the door in the morning. Busting up this little June Cleaver image, of course, is the j.o.b. waiting for me in the fall. And, while I’m excited for the real world and all, I’ll miss having the time to do things like that.
Lucky for Kevin, though, September’s a long way off. So, he’s got weeks (months!) of new breakfast treats in his future. He’s indulged me lately as I’ve departed from some of our tried-and-true staples (such as our beloved banana bread) and gone in some directions that had him a little worried (such as ginger-rhubarb bread … oh man, was he suspicious of the rhubarb). These scones were something of a happy medium: flavors I knew he’d like (because, um, he did like them in these and this and these), just in a new, triangular, more buttery vehicle.
And like them he did. So did I, in fact. They addressed my main issue with scones, which is that they’re typically a tad too decadent for breakfast: too buttery, too dense, too big. These were buttery, sure, but the buttermilk both cut the richness and added another, brighter flavor. And they were hearty and homey, spiced with cinnamon and very gently sweet. Unlike the monster scones basking in the ill-lit bakery case of your corner coffee shop, these were reasonably sized. And they didn’t need a fancy, zig-zagged glaze to fancy them up. Instead, they were finished off with a humble but enticing dusting of oats and raw sugar. I’m glad our last official law school breakfast baked good was a hit.
Adapted from Gourmet
1 2/3 cups white whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk plus additional for brushing
2 tablespoons raw sugar
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.
Sift together flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a food processor. Add 1 1/3 cups oats and pulse 15 times. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size lumps. Transfer to a bowl.
Add buttermilk and stir with a fork until a dough just forms. Gently knead on a floured surface 6 times.
Pat into a 9-inch square (1/2 inch thick). Cut into 9 (3-inch) squares. Cut each square diagonally to form 2 triangles. Transfer to an silpat-lined baking sheet.
Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with remaining oats and raw sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 16 minutes. Allow to cool slightly on the baking sheet, on a baking rack.
Serve warm or allow the scones to cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature.