On one side we have the Maple-Walnut Scones from Baked…New Frontiers in Baking. These are large, light and fluffy scones intensely flavored with maple. The general tip to make a great scone is use super-cold butter, break up the butter into small (but not too small) bits, and don’t work the dough too much. These scones are also flavored with natural maple extract, which took me forever to find (found it at Surfas, naturally). This stuff is liquid gold. If you run into it, snatch it up.
On the other side we have vegan Banana-Date Scones from Veganomicon. Oh, yes, an unfair competition. If butter is the secret to a a great scone, how can one made without butter compare? The vegan scones are made with a combination of all-purpose and whole-wheat pastry flour. They are sweetened with a little bit of brown rice syrup, a bunch of chopped up dates, and mushed bananas. This really isn’t a side-by-side comparison because they are two completely different recipes and flavor combos. The only similarity is chopped up walnuts.
The Baked Maple-Walnut Scones are the scones of the gods. Everything about them was wonderful. The texture, the flavor, the butter.
The vegan Banana-Date Scones tasted wonderful, but they weren’t scones. They had a more cake-like texture. They were moist and chewy, not scone-like at all. P actually liked them a lot. When he tasted one, the first thing he said was “these aren’t scones!”–he is not a big fan of scones–and proceeded to eat two more. We’ve been calling them sconecakes.
Recipe from Veganomicon
Notes: I made these smaller than indicated in the recipe. I used my 20 ice cream scoop and got 15. Because they were smaller, I baked them for less time. They were done ~30 minutes.
|1||dates (8 oz.)|
|1||tbsp all-purpose flour|
|1||cup bananas, very ripe, mashed|
|2||tbsp ground flaxseeds|
|1/3||cup rice milk|
|1/3||cup canola oil|
|1/4||cup brown rice syrup|
|1||cup all-purpose flour|
|1 1/4||cup whole wheat pastry flour|
|2||tsp baking powder|
|1||tsp ground cinnamon|
|1/2||cup walnuts, chopped|
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease two medium-size baking dishes.
- FInely chop the dates, place in a small bowl, and sprinkle with 1 T. flour. Toss the dates to thoroughly coat with flour, breaking apart any clumps. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flaxseeds and rice milk. Whisk in the mashed banana, canola oil, and brown rice syrup. In a separate bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir into the banana mixture until the ingredients are just moistened; the dough will be thick yet sticky. Fold in the chopped dates and walnuts.
- Lightly oil a 1/2 cup measuring cup and scoop generous half-cupfuls of dough onto a baking sheet, leaving about three inches of space between scones. Gently pat down the tops of the scones and dab with rice milk if desired. Bake for 32-34 minutes, until browned and firm. Transfer from the baking sheets to a cooling rack to complete cooling.