Spring Forward… You have cost me one whole episode of Teen Mom 2. Thanks? I guess? I mean, I’d be mad if I were doing something valuable with my time. Like baking scones. If you’d taken these away, we might have to have capital-w Words. Maybe all-caps WORDS.
Ah, spring forward. The controversy! Morning people and night people: it takes all kinds. We can’t all do everything at once; that’d be madness. Like baking. Some of us get down with night baking, some of us wake up naturally with the sun, drink some green juice/chamomile tea/virgin blood (I don’t know how you people operate, forgive me) and bake up breakfast goods at an appropriate time.
Either way, we will have scones. Tender, slightly sweet, dotted with heavenly banana chunks and toasty hazelnuts.
Now, when I first decided I wanted banana in my scones, I strictly envisioned chunks. None of that mashed-banana stuff you find in muffins and banana bread (though that’s lovely too). Because this dough needs a bit of handling, we’ll cut this bad boy into chunks and freeze them for a bit (so they don’t just get smooshed and incorporated into the dough) while we do other stuff.
Like… Toast hazelnuts. Underrated nut in my opinion.
…And here is everything else. The nuts and bolts of baking: flour, butter, things that bind it all together, things that make it rise. Cinnamon and sugar, because duh.
Mix together all the dry ingredients and work butter in.
Stick it in the fridge for a while, add those frosty banana chunks, hazelnuts, and the wet ingredients.
Force it all to come together (but ask nicely first), form a 1 1/2 shape of some sort. Cut further into shapes… Of some sort. Circles? Wedges? Squares? Hearts, stars and horseshoes?
More buttermilk for the top!
Cinnamon sugar, too. Coarse, raw, regular, white, brown, it doesn’t matter: as long as there’s cinnamon too.
Bake. There we have it! Fluffy, tender breakfast goods.
Also, I have a favor to ask. See this coffee?
Do you like coffee? Do you like helping people? Basically, a friend of a friend (sister, rather) of a friend has had an awful stroke of luck:
Mark and Sarah Bender were spending last week in Hawaii to celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary. They left their 4 boys home. On their last day, Mark suffered a catastrophic injury, a C6/7 complete spinal cord injury. He had emergency surgery, and is recovering in a Hawaii ICU for what they think will be at least 2 weeks before he is stable enough to return home.
The community is rallying around this family with a coffee fundraiser. All we have to do to extend some kindness to some folks in need of help is buy some coffee (which looks great, by the way, and which I would do anyhow) from DOMA coffee, a sustainable, eco-friendly roaster in Idaho. All proceeds go to the family. Please take a look–and maybe buy a pound of coffee. It feels good. Promise!
Banana, Hazelnut and Cinnamon Scones
(adapted from Joy the Baker)
1 medium banana
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 cup toasted and coarsely chopped hazelnuts
Buttermilk and raw sugar/cinnamon for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Dice the banana into 1/2-inch chunks, then arrange in a single layer on the cutting board and stick in the freezer while you prep everything else (no need to cover).
Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, then add cold butter and use your hands or a bench knife to work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles something like coarse meal. Stick this mixture in the fridge for a few minutes and meanwhile, whisk together the buttermilk and egg.
Take your flour mixture from the fridge and add in the frozen banana chunks and hazelnuts. Toss to combine, then stir in buttermilk and egg mixture. Use a fork to mix it in to form a shaggy dough. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead/form the dough into a 1 1/2-inch thick circle or square shape. Try not to handle the dough too much–it’s ok if there are some dry bits that won’t incorporate. Just brush them aside. Cut dough into 8 wedges or 9 squares, as applicable. Or you could use a biscuit cutter to cut out circles.
Combine 2 tablespoons granulated or turbinado sugar with a teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl. Transfer scones onto the baking sheets, spacing evenly apart. Brush each with some buttermilk and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven for 14-18 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Cool slightly on a rack and serve warm.