Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cheddar Cheese Cornmeal Scones and Maple Oat Scones

Monday was another baking day with my friends who continue to demand my treats while they watch witty British detective shows...We are making a habit out of these days though and they are becoming not only teaching opportunities (Nina and Isabelle became very good at kneading the butter into the flour mixture), but also wonderful afternoons, or mornings as the case may be, to spend time with friends and hone my skills.
Nika (me) doling scones onto the tray
They are true playdates, but instead of playing dress-up, pretend or dolls, we make delicious food, watch hilarious movies and well, we still get the giggles because as it turns out you don't out grow them. So we whiled away the hours of one of our first summer mornings making ourselves scones and laughing over the most absurd things imaginable.
Amelia rolling out the dough
I made two recipes from my Rose Bakery cookbook for the event: cheddar cornmeal scones and maple oat scones. Last year, I was obsessed with cheddar cheese scones from Marlow and Sons and would wait in line every possible morning just for them. My patience ran fairly low since the service there is remarkably slow but the thought of that cheddar cheese scone kept me going...well, almost. 
I thought that the other morning would be the perfect opportunity to replicate or at least asymptotically approach the perfection of Marlow's cheddar scones. Since it's always nice to have sweetness to compliment savoury dishes, I decided that maple oat scones would be a nice addition. 
Bringin' the scones to the oven
As an unabashed anglophile, this is a pretty intense confession, but I don't actually like scones very much. With the exception of Marlow's aforementioned one, I avoid them pretty consistently. But I am not averse to making things that I don't like including but not limited to pancakes and scrambled eggs. I can recognize that something tastes good or is quality food, without actually liking it myself.
Maple Oat scones pre-baking

That said, I can eat scones and I did enjoy one and half of mine. But I enjoyed watching the others guzzle down three or four and go back for another much more than I did my own scone. Besides, they are so wonderfully British that I couldn't resist making them for an epic Sherlock-a-thon.
Isabelle and Amelia washing their scones down with orange juice
To begin the cheddar cornmeal scones add 1 1/3 cups of flour, 1 cup of cornmeal, 1 tbs polenta, 1 heaped tbs of baking powder, 1 tbs sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and a dash of cayenne pepper into a bowl and mix together. Then knead in 1/2 cup of butter and add 1 1/3 (or a little more) cups of cheddar cheese and mix it together with a fork or spoon. 
In a separate bowl you should mix together two eggs and 1/2 cup milk and then pour this mixture into the flour. Then, knead the scones together and plop them down like drop cookies onto a greased cookie tin. They should cook in the oven set to 400 F for 20 minutes.
Isabelle and Nina kneading the dough for round 2
The maple oat scones are pretty similar, but they do have some quirky differences. The oven should stay at the same temperature and the cookie tin should be greased. First add 1 3/4 cup of flour into a bowl with 1/2 cup wholewheat flour, 1/2 cup of rolled oats, 1 tbs baking powder, 1 tbs sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt. Follow the same procedure (kneading) and then add 4 tbs milk and 4 tbs maple syrup (previously mixed together) and incorporate the ingredients with each other. Bake the scones for about 18 minutes (they were a tad burnt after 20). 
Some little creature kept on sneaking scones into her room while we were occupied and it was only after she was caught red-handed that she confessed to eating about 6 scones! Baking has turned into a social activity, allowing me the opportunity to hang out with my friends and get messy. Stay tuned for our next event: I heard there will be Runcible Spoon ice cream and the Thin Man.

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