I don't use maple syrup very much. When I was growing up, my dad was the only one in the house who used real maple syrup on his pancakes, etc. The rest of us used pancake syrup (not the same thing at all). Dad got the real butter, too, rather than margarine. It wasn't until I was much older that I realized what a good thing he had going. =) To be honest, my kids eat Log Cabin and like it just fine, but I don't know how much of that is just because they haven't had the real thing. I'm kind of afraid to find out.
I definitely associate maple syrup with breakfast, but hadn't thought past drizzling it on top of things. Sure, I've encountered recipes that used it, but nothing that really grabbed my attention. Nothing, that is, until I got my copy of Joanne Chang's Flour cookbook. The very first recipe in the book is for Oatmeal-Maple Scones. Yum. I don't like to eat oatmeal as hot cereal (can't stand the texture), but I love it in baked goods like scones. And these scones are really easy to make, even when you aren't quite awake yet.
These are drop scones, meaning that you scoop them out onto the baking sheet, rather than patting out dough and cutting it into shapes. So the dough is rather sticky. The only sweetener is the maple syrup; it also provides moisture in the dough, along with cream and an egg. For the dry ingredients, there's a mix of all-purpose flour and rolled oats, along with baking powder, baking soda and salt. The recipe calls for nuts, but they aren't very popular in baked goods around here, so I left them out. I've used raisins in these a couple times, but for the most recent batch, I went with cinnamon chips.
I was a bit surprised by the baking temperature of 350ºF, since most of the other recipes I've made call for baking scones at a higher temperature (usually 400ºF). To go with the lower temp, the baking time is longer. I didn't bake mine for quite as long as the recipe said, only 25 minutes instead of 40. That was partly because I made mine smaller, but if I'd made them the size in the recipe, I still don't thing they would have taken that long.
We had to have the glaze, of course. To be honest, I usually kind of wing it on the glaze. I put some powdered sugar in a bowl and whisked in a couple tablespoons of maple syrup along with just enough water to make thick glaze. Rather than brushing it all over the scones, I drizzled it on top--I prefer how it looks that way.
The verdict? Well, I've made these scones three times already, so that should give you an idea of how much I love them! I liked them just fine with raisins, and so did Gillian. But Brianna was very happy that I finally made a batch without dried fruit. (She liked to eat it straight up, but not in baked goods.) These scones also went over well at work.
If you'd like to try these for yourself, I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of Flour. But in the in meantime, you can find the recipe for these yummy scones online here. Unfortunately, the article only gives the volume measurements, which frustrates me to no end. One of the things I love so much about this book is that every recipe includes weights in grams in addition to the volume measurements. So I'm listing the weights of ingredients for you here.
(adapted from Flour, by Joanne Chang)
210 grams all-purpose flour
125 grams rolled oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
80 grams cinnamon chips (or raisins)
113 grams (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
80 grams cold heavy cream
160 grams Grade B maple syrup
1 cold egg
115 grams powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup
up to 1 tablespoon water
I used my #16 disher (which holds 2 ounces, or 1/4 cup) to scoop out my scones. I got 12, rather than the yield of 8 in the recipe. I baked them for 25 minutes at 350ºF.