Friday, January 28, 2011

Cookie Friday: Very Vanilla Scones

Inspired by a scrumptious looking recipe for Petite Vanilla Bean Scones at The Pioneer Woman, and a stash of vanilla beans hiding in my study, I decided to try to make some very beany, very vanilla scones.  Boy, am I glad that I did!  I took last week's cookie recipe as my basis, and off I went...

First, put old-fashioned oats into the blender or food processor and pulse until it is significantly finer.  Not as fine as flour, but no big oats should be left.

Mix together the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.

Drain the beans, catching the liquid in a bowl.  Rinse the beans.

Place one cup of white beans in the food processor or blender with one tablespoon of the bean juice.  Puree until smooth.

Add vanilla and applesauce.  Puree again and add sugar.

It will be medium thick when you are done - almost the texture of yogurt.

Cut the vanilla bean in half longways.

Scrape out the yummy goodness inside the bean.  (Sorry about the awful picture.)

Add the yummy bean goodness to the wet mixture and blend for one second to disburse the beans.

You can absolutely make this if you don't have vanilla beans.  They were a nice touch but I don't think they were essential - especially if you are using good vanilla.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Combine thoroughly.  If it is too wet, add a touch of flour.  If too dry, add some bean liquid.  Fortunately, mine came out just right.

Prepare a pan.  I used a cake pan because it looked like the right size for my batter.  I sprayed it with oil, then panicked that it might stick and added a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom.

Spread the batter evenly in the pan.  It won't really spread to fill in the holes, so take the extra time to push it around yourself.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 16-20 minutes, until lightly browned and a cake tester comes out clean.

Turn out onto a cooling rack.

If you used parchment paper, peel it off now.

If you would like to make a glaze, do it now.

Start with one-half cup confectioners sugar in a small bowl.

Add one-half teaspoon of vanilla.  Add milk or water, one teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.

Spread the glaze over the top of the scones.  Cut and serve warm or cool.

The Verdict

This was a fantastic success!  We had guest children visiting and all six kids liked it.  My daughters said they would be delighted to take this to school for lunches.  There was one piece left after the first round and they carefully divided it up and ate it immediately.  I will absolutely be making this again, very soon.

We did agree that this was more like a cake or a muffin than a scone.  It was sort of like an oatmeal-applesauce cake with extra vanilla.  I don't care what we call it, it was great.

Comments from the food critics:  "It was yummy.  I really liked the sauce."  "I didn't like the glaze but the cake was yummy, especially with milk."

Very Vanilla Scones, makes 8 servings

one cup old-fashioned oats
one cup flour
one teaspoon baking powder
one teaspoon baking soda
dash salt
quarter teaspoon cinnamon
one cup canned white beans, drained and liquid reserved

one teaspoon vanilla extract
half cup sugar
quarter cup applesauce
one vanilla bean (optional)

one half cup confectioners sugar
milk or water
one half teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a 8 or 9 inch round baking pan by oiling or lining with parchment paper.

Pulse oats in food processor about 15 pulses, until roughly chopped.

Mix oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Set aside.

Place beans into food processor with one tablespoon of the reserved bean liquid.  Puree until smooth, adding applesauce, vanilla, and then sugar.

If using, slice vanilla bean in half longways.  Scrape out the vanilla goodness inside and mix into the wet mixture.

Mix wet mixture into dry ingredients.  If it is too dry, add reserved bean liquid until batter is good texture.  If it is too wet, add a touch more flour.

Spread evenly into pan and bake for 16 to 20 minutes, until it is lovely brown and a cake tester comes out clean.

Turn scone cake out onto a cooling rack.  Remove parchment if necessary.

To make glaze, mix vanilla into powdered sugar.  Mix in water or milk, one tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.  Spread evenly over top of scone-cake.

Serve warm or cold.

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