sweet scones

Minneapolis’ St. Martin’s Table closed a few years back. This small, nonprofit cafe served up vegetarian fare for 26 years and shared space with a small bookstore, also a part of the faith-based St. Martin’s Community. Servers were volunteer, with tips going to a staff-picked charity-of-the-month. Eating at this restaurant always felt good as you knew your dining dollars were making a difference, but the food alone was worth the visit.

Each day’s menu offered a handful of sandwiches, soups, and salads; all were served with the most amazing honey-whole wheat bread. With the restaurant shuttered, the bread–and all of their other delish offerings–are a thing of a past. Almost.

My mom had bought a copy of the restaurant’s cookbook: from the kitchens of St. Martin’s Table and has generously passed it on to me. This humble spiral-bound cookbook holds many of the restaurant’s homespun recipes and I’m thrilled to have it. I make myself a loaf of the honey-whole wheat whenever I need to be extra good to myself. I’ll post the bread another day, but tonight we talk scones.

With too many blueberries (is there really such a thing?) in the produce drawer, scones were in my very near future. St. Martin’s Table’s cookbook has a recipe for Jennifer’s Scones. (Apparently, “Jennifer was a kitchen goddess at SMT during 1998.”) Though I’d never had scones at St. Martin’s Table, I was sure they’d be winners.

The recipe was for plain scones (though I used white whole wheat flour to add whole grain), but also noted that up to 1 1/2 cups stir-in (blueberries!) could be added. I knew I was pushing it by adding so much fresh fruit as the extra moisture would make for a longer bake time. While the scones did take more than 20 extra minutes in the oven, they were worth it. Instead of brushing the dough with cream and sprinkling with sugar, I sprinkled the unbaked scones with coarse sugar and sea salt. If St. Martin’s Table was still around, I’d bet they’d have done the same. The oats put these scones in the “healthy breakfast” category (in my book anyway), but they’re easily enjoyed anytime you want a tasty, but not overly sinful, baked good.

Jennifer’s Scones

From St. Martin’s Table cookbook. Recipe notes that up to 1 1/2 cups optional stir-in can be added before stirring in the buttermilk.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk (I used 3/4 cup as the blueberries added plenty of extra moisture.)

Heat oven to 350°F.

In bowl, mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture looks like fine granules. Stir in buttermilk until dough is moistened.

Place wet dough on floured work surface; knead 3 to 5 times to form 8-inch circle. Transfer to ungreased baking sheet. Brush with cream and sprinkle with sugar as desired. Cut into 8 wedges. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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