Just some scones, hangin out on deck.
After my oven difficulties while baking muffins the other day, I had to give baking on the boat another go as soon as possible. This morning, as we pitched and rolled at anchor in choppy Newport harbor, I searched for inspiration in my cookbooks and recipe notes.
What had I been meaning to bake before we left? Oh yeah, scones! Now where was that recipe? Hmmm, kinda boring. How could I spice these up? Some spices, perhaps? I looked to one of my favorite unusual cookie recipes for ideas. I’m sure I’ll be posting about these cookies eventually. They’re vegan oatmeal cookies that use banana and all kinds of yummy spices, making them taste a bit like indian food in oatmeal cookie form.
The recipe I wanted to spice up was for Banana Bran Scones. I love the idea of incorporating banana into a scone and oat bran is a breakfast staple in my kitchen. Without messing with those two ingredients, I played around with the recipe to make it a little more exciting! Unlike my last oven experiment, the result was not disappointing. (To be fair, the Pear Ricotta Muffins were really, really tasty after they’d firmed up a bit and I will be making them again!)
These scones are so much better than I expected them to be. I’m kind of in love with them. They’re just the right amount of sweet for a scone. They’re hearty without being dense and buttery, as scones can be. The banana is incredible. Using a really ripe banana makes the flavor so strong and sweet it almost seems artificial. I love the little flecks of un-mashed fruit here and there. Then there’s the spices! I added most of the repertoire from my favorite oatmeal cookies. I think cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger go really well with banana and raisins. which I threw in at the last minute. This was also an opportunity to give coconut oil another try. I’ve been experimenting with it and I’m really happy with how it worked in this recipe. There is a hint of coconut flavor in the baked scones and they maintain their scone texture without the butter.
Do yourself a favor and make a double batch. They go fast!
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Spicy Banana Bran Scones
Adapted from Cooking Light
Makes 8 scones
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oat bran
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon each of nutmeg, ginger, and allspice*
1 tablespoon powdered soy milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter/margarine)
3/4 cup mashed, ripe banana
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon vinegar
A handful of raisins
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (I used the oven timer this time to make sure it heated up!)
Mash banana and sugar together in a small bowl. Let stand while you prepare other ingredients.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, oat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices, and powdered soy milk.
Melt coconut oil in a saucepan over very, very low heat. You can also submerge the jar of oil in hot water to soften it or use whatever softening method you prefer.
Allow the oil to cool slightly, then pour it into the flour mixture, blending with a pastry blender, 2 knives, or a whisk (a whisk worked great for me).
Add vinegar and water to the banana.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
Pour banana into flour mixture and stir vigorously to combine, adding the handful of raisins as you do. Dough will be more like a batter than a biscuit dough.
Place dough, in approximately 1/3 cup scoops, on an oiled or otherwise nonstick cookie sheet. You may want to flatten and shape each scoop into round, biscuit-like shapes.
Bake at 450 for 15 minutes.
*I wanted to use cardamom, since I think it’s actually the star spice in the oatmeal cookies, but I couldn’t find it. I must have hidden it away in the boat somewhere. I subbed allspice but use cardamom if you have it!