The new cookbook from Baked (I've written about those guys before) is here, and it is tremendous. It arrived at my doorstep on Friday, filled with a stupefying number of recipes that demanded to be tried. Baked Elements is organized into ten chapters, each starring one of Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito's favorite ingredients, such as banana, malted milk powder, chocolate, booze, and so on. Chapter one is peanut butter. I've already made two of its recipes, with another one in the works for later today. The peanut butter chapter is so compelling that I haven't even read the rest of the book beyond a quick breeze-through.
Why oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip scones first? Number five in the book, this was the first recipe for which I had all of the ingredients on hand. Any suppertime plans I had went out the window. "Do you mind if we just have these tonight?" I asked Jeff, who had no problem whatsoever with this idea, and he helped me make them.
As you can see from the photo above, this is only kind of a scone. It's more like a cookie. Scookie? YES IT'S THAT. The oatmeal gives the scookie a nice chewiness and provides a speed bump for those of us who might be inclined to inhale it otherwise. The peanut butter has a definite presence, and the beyond-generous amount of chocolate chips will have you muttering things at it like, "Oh you son of a bitch."
And they're easy to make and not all that messy! Reportedly good with coffee! Less butter than you might expect! Buttermilk binder instead of cream so whoop-de-doo!
Make them and then buy the book. Matt and Renato deserve your love.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 3 ounces (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubs
- 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
- 1 large egg, separated
- 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
- 1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips <--we cobbled together some chunks and regular chips
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar <--we used granulated sugar instead
Preheat oven to 400 and position the rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and oats. Add the butter and use your fingertips or a pastry cutter to rub or cut the butter into the four mixture until the butter is pea-size and the mixure looks like chunky, coarse sand.
In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg yolk until combined.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the buttermilk mixture into the center of the well. Add the peanut butter. Using clean, dry, lightly floured hands, gently mix and knead the dough in the bowl until it starts to come together. Add the chocolate chips until just incorporated. Do not overwork the dough.
Turn the dough out directly onto the prepared baking sheet and shape it into a disk 8 inches in diameter and about 1.5 inches high. Beat the egg white slighty, brush the top of the dough with the egg white, and sprinkle with the raw sugar, if you wish.
Cut the dough into 8 wedges--but do not seprate the wedges--and bake for 18-22 minutes (mine took 22), or until the scones start to brown, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Alternatively, check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the scone. If the toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs clinging to it, the scones are done.
Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes, and re-slice and separate the scones. Serve slightly warm or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Scones taste best when consumed within 24 hours of baking, but you could store these scones in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Did you notice my fancy new plate up there in the top photo? I bought it for $1.50 at a garage sale in Jeff's tiny hometown last week. Jeff grew up about 35 miles south of our house, and 95% of the drive looks like the photo above.
When I taught my beginning art students about perspective, that was the scene I described when introducing the concept of vanshing points. "You know how when you're driving *basically anywhere in Champaign county* and you look at the road in front of you, and it seems like the sides of the road come together at a point on the horizon? And it looks like the road just disappears?" [nods all around] "That's an example of a vanishing point." [Huh! That thing has a name.]
Anyway, the harvest is happening, and the corn looks particularly sad this year thanks to the summer's drought. Some farmers were hit so hard that they didn't even bother to harvest--they just plowed everything under. But most are in the fields now, getting what they can from the stunted corn with its sad little ears.
Someone with happy big ears is Hypatia. Very Renee Zellweger on the pose there, Pache.
And Bun would like to thank everyone who had nice things to say about her supervised walkabout post a while back. She came into my life almost 11 years ago, and her ability to pose with maximum cuteness at all times and in any situation continues to stun all who encounter her, even in the dark.