It is difficult to make a case for the nutritional benefits of scones but they sure do make me happy. I rarely, if ever, indulge in a bakery scone. A single scone in a coffee shop can contain a staggering amount of fat and more calories than I care to consume in a single treat. I took a quick glance at the Starbucks menu options and found their blueberry scone contains 460 calories and 22 grams of fat - oof-da! If you want to compare these to a Starbucks pastry, they are similar in caloriea and fat content to their Petite Vanilla Bean Scones. There are a few differences between these buttery homemade roasted strawberry scones and those little crumbly vanilla guys; these are a bit bigger, they aren't frosted and you can enjoy them flaky and warm out of the oven - in your pajamas.
The key to fitting these lightly sweet treats into a balanced lifestyle is the size of the pastries and your frequency of consumption. Keeping these scones on the smaller side reduces the calorie and fat load per serving. In my book, that means I can have one with my fruit, yogurt and coffee. I can then indulge in a second scone with my second cup of coffee and finally use my finger to pick all the crumbs up off the plate.
While preparing to put together this recipe I learned a fun fact about scones. Once they have been cut into their little wedges, just prior to baking, scones can be frozen! This was music to my ears because I was preparing these, along with several other breakfast treats, for a brunch party (more on that in future posts). Freezing the scones in ready-to-bake form allowed me to make them days in advance. When the day of the brunch arrived I baked them from frozen for a few extra minutes.
Finding sustainable healthy balance isn't about what we have to give up to achieve our goals. Balance is about finding how to love our treats and eat them too. The answer may be avoiding the offerings in our coffee shop's pastry case (it helps me to assume they are stale) while keeping a bit of dough in the freezer ready to bake should the mood strike.
Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Scones
Soft and flaky scones studded with roasted strawberries. Just sweet enough to satisfy a morning pastry craving. These are best enjoyed within a few hours of baking. Make them up for a crowd or freeze the prepared scones to bake a few at a time over several months.
Inspired by Strawberry Buttermilk Scones from La Brea Bakery via Vintage Kitchen Notes and Roasted Strawberry Scones from The British Larder
Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 15 minutes. Yield: 24 petite scones.
3 1/2 cups flour (suggested 1 1/2 cups whole wheat and 2 cups all purpose)
1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons raw sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon zest
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter - cut into small cubes
1 cup roasted strawberries - approximate yield of 2 lbs fresh berries
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
Optional: additional sugar to sprinkle on the tops prior to baking
1. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to combine the flour, sugar, zest, baking powder and salt.
3. Use a fork, pastry cutter, or your fingers to blend the cold butter into the flour mixture until the butter is reduced to little pebbles and the flour looks like moist sand.
4. Use a fork to fold the roasted strawberries into the flour so the strawberries are evenly distributed.
5. Add the buttermilk to the flour in small portions begin with 1/2 cup and drizzle the remaining milk in a few tablespoons at a time - you may not need all of the liquid. Fold the buttermilk into the flour until the flour becomes a dough that just holds together. Use a fork or your hands to create the dough.
6. Turn the dough onto a clean floured surface. Divide the dough into three equal portions. Form the portions into balls and gently pat into 1/2 inch thick circles. Cut each circle into eight wedges and arrange the wedges onto the prepared baking sheets leaving about an inch between each scone. If you desire sprinkle the tops with a tops with a pinch of sugar.
7. Bake the scones in the hot oven for approximately 15 minutes. When fully baked the outsides should be firm and slightly golden with a soft flaky interior.
Freezing the prepared dough: Scones are best when eaten within a few hours of baking. To make these in advance follow the recipe up to arranging the scones on the prepared cookie sheets. Instead of baking, place the pans into the freezer for four or more hours. Once frozen transfer the scones into freezer bags. All wrapped up they can be stored in the freezer for several weeks. When you are ready to bake your scones place the frozen pastries on to lined baking sheets and bake, from frozen, as directed above. They will likely need a few additional minutes in the oven but should come out as light and fluffy as if you had just prepared the dough.
Approximate nutrition per scone: 127 calories, 3.8 g fat, 21 g carbohydrate, 1.4 g fiber, 2.6 g protein, PP = 3.
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