Maple Oat Scone

Maple Oat Scone

So, more renewed focus on whole grains in this house, but this time because of recent talk about diabetes, both in our family and in our culture. A bit of a downer. But, fantastically, there are so many great recipes out there that have pioneered modern baking with a more wholesome bent, and I’m making my own tweaks and turns to some favorites, and they are turning out great. I don’t think this is going to be much of a headache at all. Next project: to see if I can get the elementary school to stop handing out so much sugar . . . I’m aware this will be traveling down the path of most unpopular mom, but I think it’s worth a shot. In the meantime, my kids did not balk at all at this terrific scone that’s a little bit sweet and light. I’ve slightly changed this recipe from The New Best Recipe, by ATK.

Maple Oat Scones

1 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1/4 c. whole milk
1/4 c. sour cream or cream
1 egg
3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour or spelt flour (or just use all-purpose if you want)
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. table salt
10 T. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 c. additional dried fruit or nut, if desired (apricots, raisins, currants, pecans)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread the oats on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven for about 7-9 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, but reserve 2 T. for rolling the dough out (if doing). Increase oven to 450 degrees. [If you’re in a time crunch, don’t worry about this. It makes the flavor of the oats nuttier, but it’s not necessary.]

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Whisk milk, sour cream, egg, and maple syrup together in a measuring cup.

4. Pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. [Or do this step by hand using a pastry blender, or even your fingers!]

5. Transfer the flour mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the cooled oats. Then, with a spatula, fold in 3/4 of the liquid ingredients. Gently the dough by hand until everything comes together, adding more liquid as needed to not have any dry bits at the bottom of the bowl.

6. Dust the work surface with a tablespoon of the reserved oats. Add the dough. Then dust the top with the remaining one tablespoon of oats. Pat into a 7-inch circle about one inch thick. Using a bench scraper cut dough into eight wedges. Set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Or, use a tablespoon scoop, and simply scoop the scones onto the sheet, flattening a bit for a wider shape.

6.  Bake for about 12-14 minutes. Let cool, and if desired, make a simple glaze of 3 T. maple and 1/3 c. powdered sugar to drizzle over the top.

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Oatmeal Raisin Bars

Oatmeal Raisin SquaresNeed a fast treat that’s sturdy and can be done in less than an hour? I have needed this special something several times in the last few weeks of summer, so this recipe has been a lifesaver. It gets to the oven quite quickly, bakes, and then is easy to take to the lake, camping, for a picnic, or just to have around the house as friends are stopping in. I also love that it’s mostly whole grain and since I don’t think butter is all that bad for people (in moderation, of course), I think this is really a great treat. Hope someone else loves it too! This recipe came from an old Everyday Food magazine.

Oatmeal Raisin Bars

  • 3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 c. packed light-brown sugar (I’ve also substituted for 1/2 c. honey, and it works fine, too)
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. ground cinnamon [I use 1 t., ’cause we love cinnamon]
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 1 c. raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; butter paper. [I just line the baking pan with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.]

In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugars, egg, salt, and cinnamon until smooth. Add flour, oats, and raisins; fold in just until combined.

Spread batter in prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift bars onto a work surface; cut into 16 bars.

Retro Peanut Butter Fingers

These have the French Buttercream. Delicious!

These have the French Buttercream. Delicious!

This is the recipe from elementary school cafeterias in the ’80s (and perhaps before and since!). Luckily, my aunt gave this to me, and I am so glad, because as a kid, I always had school lunch on the days these were served. So, if you have the same lovely memories, you’ll love this one. Incidentally, it’s great for a crowd, since it takes just a little effort, but makes somewhere between 36-48 bars, depending on how small you cut them. Perfect for picnics and after-school gatherings!

Retro Peanut Butter Fingers

1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar (the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 c., but I don’t think they need to be that sweet)
3/4 c. sugar (again, I’ve cut down from the original 1 c.)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
3 c. flour
3 c. rolled oats
18 oz. creamy peanut butter
Chocolate Frosting (of your choice; I’ve used a simple ganache, chocolate French Buttercream and chocolate American Buttercream. I usually pick the type of frosting according   to where and how I will serve them, and how sturdy I want the frosting to be)

1.Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line a 18 x 26 x 1″ pan with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, oats, salt and soda together. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugars together for 3-4 minutes, until fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, for about thirty seconds each. Add vanilla and beat briefly until combined. Add 9 oz. of the peanut butter, and beat another 1-2 minutes, or until combined.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer, and mix on low speed until combined. Spread the batter (it will be thick) onto the parchment-lined pan.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes (it will look a little dry), then remove to a wire rack.

6. Once the fingers have cooled, spread with the remaining peanut butter and then frost with your choice of chocolate frosting. Enjoy!