I made butter this week, which meant that [pity] I had buttermilk, which meant that [pity] a batch of scones was in order. I dug out a very old cookbook from the Four Sisters Inns and found a recipe for buttermilk almond scones. From there, I altered the recipe extensively, reducing the amount of almonds, adding some whole-grain rolled oats and substituting whole-wheat flour for some of the all-purpose.
The result? These almond-oat-buttermilk scones are hearty but not dense, a bit crunchy from the almonds and the sugar topping, buttery and not too sweet. I made half the batch in huge, 3-inch scones perfect for a fill-you-up breakfast and the rest in mini 1-inch rounds. They’d be perfect with a spoonful of homemade strawberry jam for breakfast.
Why not bake up this almond scone recipe for Mom this weekend?
hearty almond-oat-buttermilk scones
(makes 2 dozen, give or take depending on size)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 tsp. almond extract
4 cups flour (see Note)
3/4 cup rolled oats
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. sliced almonds, toasted and chopped (divided use)
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
raw or granulated sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together the egg, buttermilk and almond extract. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and 1 cup of almonds. Add the butter and use your fingers or a pastry blender to work it into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add the buttermilk mixture, stirring with a fork. Dig your hands into the bowl and work the dough gently until it’s pretty well combined, then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 4 or 5 times until it forms a soft dough. Divide the dough in half; press each half into a round about 1 inch thick. Use a round cutter to make either large (2 1/2-inch to 3-inch) individual scones or mini (1-inch) ones; gather scraps, pat out dough again and continue cutouts until you’ve used up all the dough. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush each scone with cream and sprinkle with sugar and remaining 2 Tbsp. of chopped almonds. Bake 15–20 minutes (small scones will take less time) until golden brown on top.
Note: I used 3 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of whole-wheat flour for this almond-oat scone recipe to add even more hearty texture, and I was pleasantly surprised that the scones remained tender. You could use the full amount of all-purpose flour.