irish_scones

It’s that time of the year again: St. Patty’s Day! I’ve been reminded of my fondness for Irish soda bread thanks to the bombardment of St. Patty’s themed emails from various foodie websites. I also have a deep love (and a hankering) for scones lately, too, so I was happily surprised when I stumbled upon this recipe for Irish soda bread scones — two in one! These scones are also great because I can bake a batch or two and give them away as treats on March 17th.

This recipe is very simple and virtually foolproof, especially for novice bakers. I love these scones because they’re more bread- than cake-like and not too sweet: the perfect blank canvas for butter and jam. They’d also be great with raisins or currants, spices (i.e.: cinnamon, ginger), chocolate chips, or even green food coloring! Start off your St. Patrick’s Day with one of these warm delights topped with your favorite spread or dunked in your morning coffee (they’ll help soak up the booze you’ll be probably consume later on, too).

Irish Soda Bread Scones
(makes 6 large or 10 small scones; adapted from this recipe on The Joy of Baking)

3 cups flour (white, whole wheat or half and half; I used just white.)
1/4 cup oats (I used quick cooking oats)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I used light buttermilk)

Topping:
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons oats
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (i.e.: Sugar in the Raw)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Stir together dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add buttermilk and stir to combine.
2. Mix by hand until a dough starts to form. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead into a ball. Pat dough into a 7-8 inch circle about one inch thick. Cut into six large or 10 small scones (or whatever shape your heart desires).
3. Transfer scones to baking pan with parchment or that’s lightly floured. Brush the tops of scones with buttermilk, then sprinkle the oats and turbinado sugar over them.
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until they’re lightly brown and have a hollow sound when you tap the bottoms. Let cool for a few minutes and spread with your favorite jam while they’re still warm.

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