Nostalgia for College Scones

When studying late at the library, it helps that there is a snack bar nearby for you to get some munchies to push your brain through the night. But when the clock strikes 2 AM, the leftovers are free.

We crowd into the sitting area as we are kicked out of the library and the bars (or cage…) comes down to keep pesky students out of the library. Some sit and chat with friends. Others are walking through during their night frat hopping for a warm cut. I’m here to occupy an entire booth and lay stomach down on the entire thing as I read my book.

I once stayed over in the library afterwards with a friend because we were both pulling all nighters for our final essay. We were told to leave and were escorted out into one of the 24 hour areas.

As I would klick klack on my keyboard for whatever essay or study guide I was making, I would keep one eye at the snack bar. Are they closing? Is that someone with the magical brown boxes? Yes! I quickly slide out from the booth and race over there.

At 2 AM, the snack bar closes and whatever baked good is leftover is put out for all sleep deprived children to hoard on. There would be green muffins (pistachio!), cranberry muffins, cinnamon roll (if you’re lucky), apple turnovers, and scones. I once was able to get my hands on a slice of red velvet cake. Staying up late at night and knowing that there will be free baked goods, it makes the torture a bit sweeter.

It was during one of these late nights that I got my hands on a blueberry scone. It was delicious. I don’t know how to describe the texture, but it’s the same texture that I love in biscuits, so fluffy and flaky. I’ve tried their chocolate and cinnamon scones by buying them, but the blueberry still wins. Blueberry scones are usually abandoned at 2 AM for students to take and I wonder if that means other people like it the least of all the scone selections. Good for them because more blueberry scones for me!

Now that I’m back at home, I am without my beloved blueberry scone. Looking online for a recipe to cook today, I thought I would try scones. I have baking ingredients at home so I shouldn’t need to go out and buy any. I prefer to do recipes with ingredients that I already have. A lot of the food videos I watch would require me to buy new things that I’m not sure if I would use again. I’ll have to rethink this…

Googling… I found a scones recipe from King Arthur Flour. I thought it was a perfect way for me to tackle my lack-of-blueberry-scones dilemma. We have a King Arthur Flour Cafe in the school library, but that isn’t where I get my beloved free blueberry scones from. KAF actually sells out their stuff so quickly. I think I’ve bought scones from KAF but didn’t quite like them. The snack stand keeps it warm whereas KAF lets all their baked goods get cold. I love my baked goods piping hot. Remember, I love stuff that burns my mouth.

You can look online for KAF’s recipe but let’s take a lot through my pictures of my experience baking…

Adding butter. Called for 1/2 cup of butter, which is 1 stick. I was 1.5 tablespoon short... Hopefully this turns out ok.

Adding butter. Called for 1/2 cup of butter, which is 1 stick. I was 1.5 tablespoon short… Hopefully this turns out ok.

Wisk traps the butter in! Keep pounding to incorporate the butter in.

Threw butter into freezer for a bit because didn’t feel cold enough. Whisk traps the butter in! Keep pounding to incorporate the butter in. Later gave up and used my hands.

I hope this is the crumbly texture mentioned? Short on butter though...

I hope this is the crumbly texture mentioned? Short on butter though…

Mixing egg and vanilla extract. When I finished the batter, I realized I forgot the milk... See the face? And I use chopsticks to mix. It's the best way.

Mixing egg and vanilla extract. When I finished the batter, I realized I forgot the milk… See the face? And I use chopsticks to mix. It’s the best way.

Adding the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Adding the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Forgot to add the blueberries earlier. Hopefully it's fine to add after the wet ingredients are already added.

Forgot to add the blueberries earlier. Hopefully it’s fine to add after the wet ingredients are already added.

Batter all mixed! Spatula is better than wisk because wisk collects everything.

Batter all mixed! Spatula is better than whisk because whisk collects everything.

Dump of batter scraped onto parchment paper on baking sheet.
Dump of batter scraped onto parchment paper on baking sheet.

Circles of batter! Molding and messy hands.

Circles of batter! Molding and messy hands.

Cut into 8 pieces total and into the oven!

Cut into 8 pieces total and into the oven!

Tada!

Tada!

1 scone and 1 cup of milk. Cup made by a friend. If you flip it over, it's a dinosaur. The rim of the cup is the dinosaur's mouth!

1 scone and 1 cup of milk. Cup made by a friend. If you flip it over, it’s a dinosaur. The rim of the cup is the dinosaur’s mouth!

The inside. Not as flaky and fluffy as I liked. Kind of dry. Probably because I forgot the milk.

The inside. Not as flaky and fluffy as I liked. Kind of dry. Probably because I forgot the milk.

Slightly burnt on the bottom.

Slightly burnt on the bottom.

Pile of scones!

Pile of scones!

 

Lessons Learned

  • Check all the ingredients thoroughly before baking. If I had, I would have known that I didn’t have enough butter and then use less of the other ingredients.
  • Read the directions carefully. Then I wouldn’t have missed the milk. Scones were kind of dry probably because there were a lot of dry ingredients and there was no milk and less butter added.
  • Keep cooking area clean. Area was a bit messy from my experimenting from breakfast. Keeps you more sane when you have a clean area to work in.
  • Don’t touch the hot baking sheet. Accidentally hit my pinkie finger on it. Didn’t touch entire pinkie but it stung for a bit. I’ve been burned worse so this was nothing. Branded during freshman college homecoming tradition of running around the bonfire. I didn’t touch the fire. The fire touched me!
  • Know what tool to use when mixing. Whisks seem to be better for dry ingredients and when you don’t have damp clumps. Spatulas are nice with the damp clumpy batters. Here are 10 ways to use a whisk. Not sure about number 6. Wouldn’t that just break it?

Verdict

The scones were a bit dry. That was probably because I didn’t have enough butter, 1.5 tablespoon short of 1/2 cup, and totally forgot to put in the milk. So the scones probably had too many dry ingredients, which makes sense. The bottom was slightly burnt. I also didn’t add the blueberries at the right time. They were supposed to be added after the butter but I added it after the wet ingredients were slightly mixed in. Hopefully the only problem was that it was difficult to mix in. It also didn’t taste as sweet. I used raw sugar instead but I don’t think that would make a difference.

Overall, it was a good experience. More to come. I can only go up from  here!

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3 thoughts on “Nostalgia for College Scones

  1. Pingback: Moon Cakes Galore 丰富多彩的月饼 | Hunger Is the Best Chef

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