Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Oatmeal Raisin Scones

Hey now.

Your life is about to be altered.

These scones are the epitome of all things wonderful for your taste buds.

The recipe comes from this tiny well known bakery that I love - and mention often to my friends, my blog readers, my family, and even in my dreams...Levain Bakery, NYC.  I am going to be brutally honest with you, because what else would you expect from my tact filled self?  I don't actually like these scones when the bakery makes them.  It isn't their fault, I just usually get a cookie and a scone, and in comparison to the cookie the scone just never had a chance.  Now take this scone and set it far away from their chocolate walnut cookie and suddenly rays of sunshine start to point towards this simple and delicate scone.

I wonder if this comparison trick works for other things too.  I mean if you stand an average looking person next to a beautiful person that average person tends to look more average and be outshone by the beautiful person.  Now take that average looking person and stick them on a rock all by themselves and suddenly they don't look so average, and maybe they look even more beautiful?  Guess vice versa this might work as well if you stick the beautiful person all alone do they suddenly look not as beautiful?  This is totally based on appearance here and nothing else.  Am I pushing it here with this theory of comparison?  Hum.

Wouldn't it be awesome if we could all see each other as individual people and not as a person in comparison to another person?  I compare people all the time - so I am the most guilty of this.

Sometimes I get stuck in the comparison mode even for myself.  She is prettier than me, she is smarter than me, she is more talented than me, she is so much healthier than me, she is more loved than all know how to play the game.  This is not a good road to go down.  Personally I tend to go down that road when I am lonely, idle, or insecure about something.  I find it is so much better to keep busy with good things, and not dwell on my imperfections compared to a more "perfect" human being.  Clearly we all fall short of being "perfect" humans, and the only "perfect" being is God, and Lord knows we can't compete with him : )  But aren't we all made in His image and likeness?  Somehow I find comfort in that.  If I am made in the image and likeness of God how can I not be a good thing?  So when the self doubt creeps in try to think about that instead! : )

You know what another self esteem booster is?  Being able to make good scones!  This is a simple scone recipe, and trust me, you all can make it!  2 things to keep in mind when making scones - 1) DO NOT OVER MIX.  I know all you ocd people out there will want to incorporate every last grain of flour - don't do it!  2)  DO NOT OVER BAKE!  If you over bake the scones they will dry out.

And a quick demo video for how to cut butter for scones and pies...

I own a million cookie cutters, but you can use a glass if you don't have one...just don't break it, and if there is a chip on the glass-obviously don't use it!

Levain Bakery Oatmeal Raisin Scones
adapted by me 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In Medium bowl (or standing mixer bowl) mix the following:

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Then with mixer running add the cold diced butter a handful at a time...if you don't have a mixer you can cut the butter in using 2 knives or a pastry blender.  Mixer option is much faster.

12 ounces butter, cold and diced small - this is 3 sticks FYI :)

Mix until the butter is broken down into pea sized chunks.  Then add the raisins.

1 cup golden raisins or regular raisins, or any dried fruit you like

Mix until just combined.  Then add the half-and-half all at once.  Mix just until barely combined.

1 1/4 cups half-and-half, or 1/2 cream and 1/2 milk

If batter seems really dry add a little more milk.  You don't want the dough to be super wet, but it should hold its shape.
Divide dough roughly in half.  Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. If dough is very sticky, flour top of dough as well. Pat down into a layer 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Using a 2-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out scones.  Place each scone, as cut, onto a parchment-covered sheet pan leaving 2 to 3 inches between each scone. This should make around 20 round scones. Bake for about 18 minutes or until golden brown on both top and bottom.

 If you want to bake them later, you can freeze them and bake them whenever you need in now. : )  I baked 1/2 and froze 1/2.  Just lay them on parchment in the freezer until frozen and then wrap in plastic wrap or put in a plastic bag.

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