Last year, we discovered the best scones known to Chicago. They were at the Bleeding Heart Bakery's tent at the Green City Market, and they eat like a meal. They are not cakey, but dense and crumbly. Click here for the actual recipe for the Bleeding Heart Bakery's Take a Hike Scones without commentary.
Now, here is my recipe. Without a Kitchenaid. With two toddlers.
Take a Micro-Hike Scones
8 oz Earth Balance buttery stick vege oil spread or other vegan margarine (do not use shortening) - But we're not vegan, so next time I'll probably just use butter.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup organic light brown sugar - It definitely won't work if it's not organic.
2 tsp cinnamon - Clean out the coffee grinder so you can grind up the cinnamon sticks since the cinnamon bottle is bound to be EMPTY!
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda - If you don't have any in the pantry, try the open one from the fridge. Noone will ever know.
1 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats - What, exactly, makes them Old-Fashioned?
3/4 cup dried fruit, cut into small dice (any combinations: cranberries, apples, apricots, or other fruit) - We used apricots and dates this time around.
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds - I had to ask Mike if "Pepitos" were pumpkin seeds. Apparently they are. Hey, I used to have a 6th grade crush on a boy named Nick Pepito. Hmmm...Little Nicky Pumpkin Seed.
4 tbsp flaxseeds- These are so good for you. And your bum.
3/4 cup plain soy milk - Again, we're not vegan so I substituted buttermilk this time around.
Cut the buttery sticks or margarine into chunks and freeze for a minimum of 1 hr. This is a good way to teach your toddler how to use a knife. It's butter and you can use a butter knife. How much safer could it be?
In the bowl of a electric mixer, stir together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Mix in the oats. Using the dough hook attachment on med-low speed, cut frozen margarine into dry ingredients until pea size chunks are left, 2-3 min. Scrape down the ingredients as needed as they creep up the sides of bowl. Since all we own is a dinky little hand mixer, we had to get creative. This is when we invited another two year old over to help. Believe it or not, 4 little hands in the dough gets it mixed up pretty thoroughly. And since a good deal of it goes in their mouths, it's the perfect recipe since no raw eggs are involved.
Briefly mix in the dried fruits, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds. Add soymilk (mixture will look soggy, but keep mixing until it reaches a thick, oatmeal-like consistency and isn't runny, about 1-2 min). Here we add buttermilk and keep mixing with little fingers. When they get tired. big fingers do the job just as well.
Scoop the dough onto a lightly floured surface; with hands, pull the dough together and roll to a thickness of 1 1/2 inches. Cut out scones with a 2 1/2 inch round cutter. The hard part here is making sure each toddler has access to a small cookie cutter, since they are much cooler than the big cookie cutters. I always thought bigger was better, but after witnessing the struggle to gain control over the smallest cutter, I have to revise my theory.
Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper and bake for 25-28 min at 375 degrees. Scones will puff up and crack on the top. During this time, it is essential to put Abba or some other dance-able music on your I-Tunes. Somehow, a little twirling and head bopping make the scones puff up to perfection.
Cool completely. Yeah, right. They taste much better warm from the oven. (makes 9 or 10) or 13 or 20.