Best Lower-Fat Scones EVER

Bakery by the Lake has KILLER scones in a variety of sumptuous flavors. I had one and then for days, nay weeks, I had the hankerin’. The problem is, scones are one of those sneaky high-fat baked goods (OK, when I typed that it just sounds weird… Aren’t MOST baked goods high fat? How about…Scones are kind of dry and you wouldn’t THINK they are high fat, BUT, a Starbucks scone runs in the 410-480 calorie range with 16-20 grams of fat (that’s 35-40% calories from fat). Add another 200-300 calories for your sugary caffeine fix and yikes!

Back to the scones… I realized quickly that I needed a lower-fat, lower-calorie fix for my scone habit. I found this recipe, which I have adapted. You can check out the link for the original recipe and nutrition facts. I am going to copy/paste the recipe with my adaptations.

  • 3/4 cup dried cherries (SZ: I have omitted cherries, or used dried cranberries. Probably any dried fruit would be good. The directions call for covering the dried fruit with boiling water – I don’t do this, cuz I like ‘em chewier).
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (SZ: I have been using 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose and 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour).
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • (SZ: 3/4 cup of fine ground cornmeal, Optional: 1/4 cup coarse cornmeal: I found out this awesome addition by accident. Mom didn’t have quite enough oatmeal for a big double batch we made at Christmas, so I added about a cup of fine cornmeal and maybe 1/2 cup of coarse ground cornmeal. This added some nice “body” to the scone and I have been adding it to all subsequent batches).
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup (SZ: I just use whatever cheap stuff is in the cupboard)
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple flavored extract (SZ: I have been using 1 tsp – 1/2 tsp didn’t seem like enough)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (SZ: This can easily be taken down to 1/2 cup (1 stick) I have been using 1 stick of butter and then adding 1/2 cup of applesauce. The first time I made them, I only used about 3/4 of a stick of butter and more applesauce, and they were still decent. You can experiment).
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a heavy duty baking sheet with parchment paper. To prepare fruit, cover with boiling water and let stand 5 minutes. (SZ: Again – I don’t do this. And doesn’t only Martha Stewart say paper “toweling”?) Drain and dry with paper toweling.
  2. In a two cup measure, stir together the egg, buttermilk and vanilla, maple syrup and maple extract.
  3. In a food processor bowl, place the flour, oatmeal, corn starch, baking powder, soda, salt and sugar. Process briefly to blend ingredients. Drop in chunks of butter and pulse to cut in. Stop when you have a coarse, grainy mixture. Alternately you can do this by had with a pastry blender or two knives.
  4. Remove mixture to a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center. Stir in buttermilk/egg mixture. Blend in dried cherries. Stir with a fork to make a soft dough.
  5. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead only to get a slightly cohesive dough. (SZ: DON’T OVERMIX! – as soon as the liquid hits the flour, it starts to do some gluten thing so you have to be quick and don’t overmix or the scones will be tough) Divide the dough into 3 equal size pieces. Pat each piece into an 8 to 10 inch circle, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Cut each circle into eight wedges. (SZ: I was dropping the blob on the counter and monkeying around with it for a few batches, but it was the worst part of the process. Yesterday I just grabbed blobs of mixture out of the bowl and plopped them on the baking sheet in slightly flattened circles – I didn’t actually form them or make them pretty, just left them au natural blobs of scone mixture – they turned out great – this will be my new method. If you want to make them pretty, go ahead.) Place on baking sheet. Paint tops with beaten egg white and garnish with about 1 teaspoon of the sugar. (SZ: I’ve been adding a bit more sugar on top – they make a nice golden brown sweet crust).
  6. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.

Shelly’s Variations:

PB & J Scones

Omit Maple extract and oatmeal.

Add about 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter and 2 Tablespoons of Jam (I used raspberry) to the buttermilk mixture.

When you are cutting in the butter, cut in about 2 additional Tablespoons of peanut butter to the dry mix.

After you’ve poured in the wet mixture, strategically incorporate more PB and J into the mix so that it is marbled in and not all the way mixed in. I didn’t measure when I did it (of course), so use your best guess.

Then, after you’ve plopped the scones on to the pan, I made a finger hole in each one and put a pea-sized dab of PB, and maybe 2 pea sized dabs of jam into the whole. I still egged & sugared them though. These turned out AWESOME.

Snickerdoodle Scones

Omit maple & oatmeal

Add some cinnamon to dry mixture

Add some cinnamon to the sugar that goes on top.

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