When label certain things as “off limits” you inevitably want them more. I know this is common knowledge, but I’ve learned it the hard way. When I gave up gluten, for example, I ended up “tweaking out” (my sister’s words) while watching others enjoy fresh, right-outta-the-oven pizza. For my own sanity, and the well-being of those around me, I ended up inhaling the chewy, gluten-filled dough that day, which was only 3 1/2 weeks after starting my gluten-free lifestyle. Whups.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been an on-and-off caffeine addict since college. I’ve given it up a few times for a month here and there because I liked the idea of being naturally awake without the need for caffeine. Caffeine-free Katie never stuck around for long, until a little over a year ago. I’ve had headache problems most of my life, but last year I was having upwards of 3 migraines every week. A coworker with similar migraine issues recommended I give up caffeine. At first I laughed and dismissed the idea; “Have you SEEN the thermos I bring with me everyday?” I thought of that caffeine-filled thermos as my friend…My morning friend that kick-started my day, and made me feel like I could deal with the ridiculousness that sometimes comes with my job.
Eventually I realized that friend could be a big pain in the head…literally. After reading up on the caffeine-migraine connection, I decided getting off “the sauce” might help my situation. Over the following months I celebrated my decrease in headaches, but another side of me mourned the loss of my morning friend. To ease the pain of my loss, I found decaf tea I enjoyed, drank more water, and optimistically waited for my “natural awakeness” to kick in.
It never did.
Fast forward to about a month ago, and my caffeine-free enthusiasm reached an all-time low. I’d walk into the kitchen at work and just sniiiiiiiff the coffee-scent from the pot that sits next to the water-heater I use for my stupid tea. My relapse started innocently enough; I’d grab a cup of black tea every few days, and maybe a really small cup of coffee, only when I absolutely “needed” it. Then, my mom and dad gave me a Caribou gift card for Easter, so I decided that meant I should probably pick up some coffee on my way to work. After all, it would be a waste to use such a kind gift on something like decaf tea.
You get where this is going. I’ve had caffeine every day for the past week and a half, and for the majority of those days my caffeine has been in coffee form. I’m so bad! I’m so screwed!…but the punishment migraine hasn’t come yet. I’ve told myself that as soon as I have to suffer the repurcussions I’ll need to stop, but until then? Stop and smell the roasted beans.
So anyway, these scones aren’t helping my problem. I always associate scones with comfortable mornings, acoustic music, and coffee, because whenever I wait in line at a coffee shop the pastry case just STARES ME IN THE FACE. Most of it I can talk myself out of buying, since I make a mean muffin, and I bet those ridiculously-large cookies are dry anyway, but oh-my-gaaaaawd the scones. Especially the Starbucks Maple Oat Pecan Scone. It’s just so buttery and delicious and covered in drizzle! Unfortunately, if I force myself out of my scone trance, I remember that it’s also full of gross things that I would never put into anything I bake at home.
Although there is nothing wrong with buying a scone at a coffee shop occasionally, I decided last week that I needed to learn how to make my own. After all, if I’m going to keep drinking coffee, and therefore continue to crave calorie-laden scones, I might as well make sure they’re not full of a bunch of chemicals. See? I can be logical sometimes.
These scones are just as buttery and satisfying as the Starbucks variety, but they’re 100% whole wheat, nearly free of refined sugar (except the tiny bit of glaze on top), and completely void of scary, long, unpronounceable ingredients. In other words, they are a GOOD decision, which I can only assume completely negates the delicious, warm, caffeinated BAD decision that they always must accompany.
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup old fashioned oats
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into squares and chilled
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani Plain Lowfat)
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water (egg wash)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and walnuts. Add the butter to the dry ingredients, mixing until you have pea-sized pieces. I did this by setting my mixer to the lowest speed possible for a minute or two. You definitely want to have pieces of butter visible in the dough, so don't incorporate it fully!
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, buttermilk, egg, vanilla, and maple syrup.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry. I mixed them together using my mixer on a medium speed. You do NOT want to overmix the dough, so stop right after everything comes together.
- Use your hands to form the dough into a ball, and then set it on a well-floured surface. Pat down slightly, sprinkle with a little more flour, then use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to ½-inch thickness. I wanted to have 8 triangle scones, so I used a knife to cut my scones like a pie. If you want smaller scones, use a biscuit-cutter, or really whatever you want/have on hand.
- Set the scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Mix together the egg and water, then brush the tops and sides of the scones with the wash. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the tops are golden.
- While the scones are baking, pour the maple syrup in a bowl, then slowly add the powdered sugar, whisking until it's fully incorporated. Stir in the vanilla, then set aside.
- Allow the scones to cool for about 5 minutes, and then drizzle each scone with 1 tablespoon of icing.
Like coffee, these maple-infused scones are so comforting and warm that I think they demand more respect than simply being a convenient grab-and-go breakfast. Take your glaze-drizzled scone, pick up a good book, fill your favorite mug with coffee and cream, and remember how relaxing mornings can be.
And yes, I know my emotional connection to coffee is kind of intense/insane. Forgive me.
Nutrition Information Per Serving (1 scone plus 1 tablespoon of glaze): Calories: 442, Total Fat: 18.2g, Cholesterol: 55mg, Sodium: 255mg, Total Carbohydrates: 61.4g, Dietary Fiber: 4.5g, Sugars: 28.9g, Protein: 8.7g.