Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Breakfast Scones

So, I'm posting later than I wanted to tonight. You know why? I've gone slightly apoplectic over a facebook post. My super cute friend is struggling with how to approach more nutritious snacks at her son's school. She's trying to gently suggest to the teacher that the school should supply guidelines for community shared snacks - she's not reaching for the moon. She just wants them to limit sugary snacks. And one of her friends? This woman wrote, "There aren't really any healthy prepackaged snacks to feed the kids and fresh is usually too messy" I just can't quit saying, "Fresh food is too messy." Seriously? Fresh food is messy? My adorable friend isn't asking for perfection. She's asking for less sugar. That's all - less sugar. Dude. Fresh food is too messy? I wonder where she stands on pudding cups vs grapes? Chef-boy-ar-dee vs whole grain crackers? Cheetos vs carrot sticks? So anyway I've been too busy freaking out over how messy fresh food is to write tonight's post. But I think I finally pulled it together to tell you about breakfast at our house.
My camera? She is not working. This pic? Cell phone. I warned you....
I believe in sleep. I like my kids (and okay, me) to sleep as much as possible. I put off waking the kids up until the last minute. And for that reason, breakfast is almost always grab and go at our house. But you know what? Grab and go in the morning takes a little bit of planning during the week. We're big fans, for instance, of muffins. However, we've been doing the muffin thing for a while now, so I decided to mix it up with some scones. I knew what I wanted. Something whole grain. Something with oats. Something low in sugar and fat and something with lots of fruit.

My current go-to cookbook for baking is King Arthur's Flour Whole Grain Baking. In there I found a lovely oatmeal scone recipe which I altered a bit. I reduced the sugar and butter, added quite a bit of fruit and supplemented it with some extra oats and ground flax seed. I'm pleased. It uses beautiful seasonal apples and the buttermilk I get from our milk co-op which I am in LOVE with for baking. I know the whole grain has staying power through the morning, and the fruit is giving the kids fiber and some quick start energy for the morning. The eggs and protein from the flax and oatmeal give them some longer term protein, too, so they don't crash from the fruit. A winning breakfast, and I feel good, too. Maybe I'm not a mom who can get eggs or pancakes on the table in the morning, but those crumbs in my back seat? They're full of natural goodness.

Cherry Apple Oat Scones
(Adapted from the Oat & Current Scones in KAF's Whole Grain
Cooking)
1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup oat flour
1/3 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter
1 cup finely diced apples (granny smith, Jonathon, Jonagold or whatever
your fav baking apple)
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup oats
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Place the cherries in a small bowl, add just enough water or juice of your
choice (or a mixture) to cover the cherries, and microwave on high for 1 minute.
Leave them to cool until you need them.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a baking sheet or
line with parchment or silpat

Whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and
sugar. Using a fork, pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into
the dry ingredients until it resembles bread crumbs.

Drain the cherries and chop very coarsely. (or not at all - just bite
sized, you know?). Add cherries, apples and oats. Mix.

Whisk together egg, buttermilk and vanilla in a bowl. Add, all at
once (dump it in!) to the dry mixture. Stir quickly - use a light hand -
until everything is moist.
Flour a large cutting board or your counter-top. Dump the dough on
the surface and form into a large rectangle. Don't handle it too
much. Just enough to keep all the dough together - knead it 2 or 3 times
in the process. Cut the rectangle into triangles (Make squares
or rectangles then cut those in half corner to corner like a good ol'
sandwich.) You should end up with 8 - 12 squares, which become 16 - 24
triangles. YOU decide how big. I go little because my kids only eat
a little b'fast. But then I make some bigger, for me and my spouse. (If
you do two different sizes, place them on 2 different baking sheets since, you
know, the smaller ones will be done faster and ready to come out
sooner....)

They will look prettier if you brush the tops with milk or cream before you
bake, but you don't need to.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until the scones are puffed up and golden
brown. As soon as you see color showing up around the bottom, pull 'em
out!

Store in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 - 5 days. OR
freeze and defrost a couple nightly.

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