So, it was quite a nice surprise to meet all of our new neighbors and realize how wonderful neighbors can actually be. One of my friends from school lives right up the street with her boyfriend and their adorable cat. The lovely man that lives across the street from us, a die-hard Twins fan who often sits on his porch listening to the Twins game, eating ballpark peanuts with his cat (his cat also loves the peanuts and often brings the shells over to our stairs to gift us), has taken to mowing our lawn. This is just awesome, especially because our current mower is home to several hundred eight legged creatures. But, more recently, we received a card in the mail the other day from the woman who lives right next door. "To our new neighbors," it read, "Welcome to the neighborhood. You will love it here! If you should need anything, please do not hesitate to call: (XXX) XXX-XXXX." Attached to the card was a gift certificate to a local coffee shop.
That is like, the nicest thing, that a stranger has ever done. We were floored. How do you thank your neighbors? How do you express gratitude without sounding so terribly astonished that there are decent people actually left in this world?
Naturally, I baked. And, staying in line with the coffee shop breakfasty vibe, I decided to bake up some scones. Cinnamon. Oats. Simple ingredients that most people love. No nuts (too many allergies out there). Quick, easy, but delicious. The neighbors both appreciated them. And, Ron and I are officially excited to be living next to nice, normal, and wonderful people.
A Mingling of Tastes
- 1 1/2 cups oats, old fashioned or quick (not instant)
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry or all-purpose flour, or a combination
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 9 chunks and chilled
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup cinnamon chips
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spread the oats on a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
- Raise oven heat to 450 degrees F.
- In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Pulse a few times to combine. Add butter chunks to flour mixture and pulse until mixture is the size of small peas.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, half and half, and vanilla. Spoon out 1 tablespoon and set aside to use for brushing tops.
- Add the flour mixture and the oats to cream mixture and stir until almost mixed. Add the cinnamon chips (if using) and continue mixing just until mixture comes together in a ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, shape the ball into a 7-inch circle (about 1 inch thick). With a floured knife, cut into 8 wedges, and place wedges 2 inches apart on a non-stick or parchment lined baking sheet.
- Brush with reserved cream mixture.
- Bake 14-18 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until scones are lightly browned and cooked through.