Oatmeal Scones

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.

Oatmeal Scones
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.

5 Responses to “Oatmeal Scones”

  1. suzannemarya Says:

    Congratulations, Kristin! Savor every moment until September but know that even after the job starts, you’ll probably still find time for indulging in a little June Cleaverism, not to worry. These scones look delish!

  2. Amanda Says:

    Congrats Kristin! how exciting! I can’t imagine how thrilled you must feel to finally leave the classroom. the only good thing about being a student is that being a student is your priority and that means a life of leisure outside of school is COMPLETELY necessary🙂 Are you planning on working at a firm full time once fall comes?

  3. Ali Says:

    My little girl is all grown up… Err wait your my big sister! Either way so proud and I hope fam dinners and weekly treats don’t take a hit once fall rolls around. Until then I’ll continue to enjoy everything… including these scones, they were awesome!

  4. eggsonsunday Says:

    Congrats, Kristin! What a great accomplishment. So glad you’ll have the summer to live it up in the kitchen before your job starts in the fall — but hopefully you won’t have to abandon the cooking frenzies *too* much in September. These scones look great! –Amy

  5. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink Says:

    Suzy: Thank you! You know, though, I do remember your stories about the bar exam and I’m not sure you ever mentioned “savoring” it. Ha! I’m glad you commented — it reminds me that I need to email a movie rec to you.

    Amanda: Thanks! Yes, I’ll be working at a Chicago firm in the fall. Goodbye life of leisure, as you aptly call it. Sigh.

    Ali: Glad you liked the scones! Don’t worry, I can’t let you and Kevin starve …

    Amy: Thank you! I’ve got big kitchen plans for the summer indeed. Theses scones were really good — they remind me of an oatmeal scone you made awhile back, which reminds me that I need to give your recipe a try too!


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