Thursday, June 5, 2014

More Great Scones for Breakfast

KAF's Cinnamon Flav-r-bites
I think of all bread type breakfast products, scones are my favorite. This is reflected in how many different scone combinations I have concocted over the years, versus pancakes, muffins or breads. I love a good piece of toast for breakfast, and I make plenty of different breads to keep it interesting. It still comes back to scones. Eventually I just have to have them. Today was another of those kind of days. 

Some few months back, when I was placing an order from King Arthur Flour, among the items I needed to replace were the Cinnamon Flav-r-Bites I use for my Cinnamon Chip Scones, recipe here below:

Cinnamon Chip Scones
Cinnamon Chip Scones

Cinnamon Chip Scones

Makes 8 scones

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest, optional
5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup cinnamon chips

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut in the stick of butter using a pastry cutter. (To simplify, grate the cold butter using a larger holed grater and it makes cutting in easier). Add in orange rind if using, and cinnamon chips to taste - ½ to ¾ cup. With a fork, gently toss in buttermilk and stir just until moistened. Turn out onto a floured surface and gently pat the dough into an 8-inch circle. With a large knife, cut across the circle 4 times, creating 8 wedges. Transfer wedges to a greased baking sheet, allowing at least 1-inch space between them. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

While looking through the site, I noticed a new product: Maple Flav-r-Bites! I bought a bag, figuring I would get around to using them eventually. Today was the day. 

KAF's Maple Flav-r-Bites
When looking at the King Arthur site, under the comments for this product, It just flabbergasts me that there are such varying comments. One person thinks they are too strongly maple flavored while another thinks they don't have enough maple flavor. One thinks they are too hard and wants them to dissolve while another eats them out of the bag like candy. I guess it's all in what you want or expect. I love the Cinnamon Flav-r-Bites a lot. They keep a bit of bite to them in the scones but I like that burst of cinnamon flavor, so no problem. The maple variety are a little bit harder, I think (didn't try them side by side). Still, even if they are a little bit firmer, they are not "crunchy" hard and they are easy to chew. This is what I was looking for in them, namely to keep their firmness and flavor so I get that burst of flavor when I bite into them. I have nuts in the scones too, so they also have some firmness of texture. 
Maple Walnut Scones
Maple Walnut Scones

Maple Walnut Scones closeup of texture
closeup of texture
I mostly keep a similar base recipe for scones. When something works, I keep at it. I started using a combination of all-purpose flour and cake flour, but if you do not keep cake flour in your pantry, just use the combined amount of all-purpose flour. In some varieties of scones an ingredient might make a difference and then adjustments are needed, but in general the recipes are similar. I have seen scone recipes with egg, and even tried one once, but I feel they come out too much like muffins in texture. If I wanted muffins, I would make muffins. This recipe is quite similar to the Cinnamon Chip Scones.

I used walnuts in these scones because I love walnuts more than most any other nuts. Obviously, any other type of nuts can be substituted, or use none at all. Also, the amount for the nuts or the "flav-r-bites" can be altered as desired. I used 3/4 cup of each, though I think I might use 1/2 cup of the Maple Flav-r-Bites next time. They are plenty strongly flavored, even though I love maple flavor. They were not overwhelming (to my taste) but just borderlining. Leave out the nuts and flav-r-bites and the simple, unadorned scones are also excellent. Here is the recipe:

Maple Walnut Scones
Maple Walnut Scones

Maple Walnut Scones

makes 6 or 8 scones

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 TB) unsalted butter, cold
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup Maple Flav-r-Bites
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (350 if on convection). In a bowl, sift together the flour(s), baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate the butter with a large holed grater into a separate bowl. If a large holed grater is not available, cut the cold butter into tiny cubes. Add the brown sugar and pour the sifted ingredients over all. With fingertips, rub the cold butter into the ingredients until the mixture is like coarse crumbs. Add in the nuts and Flav-r-Bites and toss to distribute evenly. Pour the buttermilk over the mixture and toss quickly with a fork until most of the mixture is moistened. With hands, bring the mass together and onto a floured surface. Gather the dough into a rough ball and flatten. Fold the dough over on itself. Flatten again and fold; repeat this a few times, trying not to overwork the dough. Gather the dough into a round mass once more and flatten slightly. Cut the dough into 6 or 8 equal wedges. Set the wedges on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake the scones for about 18 - 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.