It’s always hard to know where to start, sitting down to write for the first time in months. The last time I did so was in May, when I shared a recipe (and Gourmet Makes-style video) for Brown Sugar Cardamom Coffee Pop Tarts. I also shared some thoughts––on the pandemic, on finishing my sophomore year of college virtually, on finding routine, and on letting my “new normal” and the “gift” of idle, home-bound time, which no one asked for and yet everyone ultimately received, make way for creativity. When I wrote in May, we were but a few months into this time in history that now seems to be more so an era than a mere phase. So it’s funny, now, looking back at where my head was at, and at the projects I was dreaming up that had yet to take concrete form.
As much as these past several months have been characterized by an unprecedented amount of suffering and hurt and sorrow, I like to think that they’ve also been defined by an overwhelming amount of innovation as the world has tried to figure out how best to navigate through the present (and build, or re-build, for the future). On a personal level, the confluence of home-bound time a desire for newness amongst all these days that seem to blur together has led to two things: For one, I (and perhaps you, too,) have found it so important to seek out or plan little moments or activities to look forward to and revel in, whether that mean a night of cooking and watching Jeopardy with my roommates, Sunday morning yoga and pancakes, or a quick distanced catch-up coffee with a friend. On the other hand, I’ve tried to lean into that idea of innovation by pouring time into creative projects that get me excited and make me feel productive, motivated, proud, even––projects I never would have had time to devote to, or maybe never could have dreamt up, under normal circumstances.
The biggest of those projects has undoubtedly been Gourmand. What started as a food podcast hosted by my friend Maggie and myself has since morphed into a far more extensive food media hub. It’s a broad term, I know––but Maggie and I are essentially creating a network, platform, community that’s meant to empower the next generation of food lovers and leaders. That means bringing guests on our podcast and speaking with them about the vastly varied ways in which their careers got their starts, and about their advice for young people getting their footing in the industry; it means creating and maintaining Gourmand Community, a section of our website that’s all about seeking out and publishing food content of all sorts from up-and-comers; it means connecting (and Zooming!) with fellow college kids across the country who share our interest in food and bev.
So, needless to say, I’ve been busy. And I’m so thankful to have found something so endlessly exciting and gratifying to pour my time into. Gourmand has brought with it opportunities I never thought I’d have––like the chance to interview some of my food idols (hello, Joanne Chang and Anna McGorman) and to work with some of my favorite brands.
Which brings me (finally, I know––this is what happens when you only write blog posts twice a year) to this recipe.
Over the holidays, we launched a 12 Days of Gourmand initiative over on Instagram, where we worked with different companies and individuals within the food industry to highlight their work and put out some fun content for our followers. One of those companies was Seed + Mill––an NYC-based brand that *I consider* to be the gold standard in tahini and halva. Co-founder and CEO Rachel Simons led a baking tutorial on our Stories, and now, it’s my turn to take over theirs!
That was the premise for developing these scones, which may be my new favorite riff on my go-to cream scone recipe. They’re ever-so-slightly heartier with the addition of whole oats and a touch of whole wheat flour. The scone itself is nutty and just barely sweet thanks to a balance of tahini and maple syrup, making it the perfect vehicle for the maple tahini glaze that gets spooned on top. I’ve used Seed + Mill tahini here, of course, and added in some of Raaka Chocolate‘s (another 12 Days of Gourmand feature!) Maple Dark baking chocolate for good measure. The result is a treat that’s just as great for breakfast as it is with your afternoon cup of tea.
- Basic Cream Scones
- Buttermilk Scones
- Vanilla Bean Scones
- Chocolate Chunk and Orange Scones
- Blackberry Cornmeal Scones
Oat, Tahini and Maple Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones
Makes 8 scones
- 1 ¼ cups (160g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (35g) whole wheat flour
- ½ cup (50g) rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
- 1 tablespoon (13 grams) granulated sugar (you may add up to 2 tbsps more if you prefer a sweeter scone)
- ½ teaspoon (3 grams) fine sea or table salt
- 5 tablespoons (70 grams) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- ½ cup (70g) roughly chopped chocolate (I used Raaka’s Maple Dark baking chocolate for this, broken up into chunks)
- ½ cup (118ml) heavy cream
- ¼ cup (60g) tahini (make sure to stir before you measure)
- ¼ cup (76g) maple syrup
For the glaze and topping:
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
- Milk or water, to thin (about 2 tablespoons should do the trick)
- Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
- Heat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking tray with parchment and set aside.
- In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the cream, tahini and maple syrup. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add in the butter and use a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingers to work it into the dry ingredients, breaking it up until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with a few larger lumps of butter. Stir in the chocolate.
- Pour in the cream mixture and use a fork to bring the mixture together until it starts to resemble a dough.
- Transfer the dough to a countertop and gently knead to bring it together into a rough, sticky ball. Use your hands to press the dough into a square that is roughly 1 inch thick––you may use a metal bench scraper if desired to help square off corners and edges. Cut the dough into 4 smaller squares (2×2), and cut each square into two triangles to form 8 scones. Place the scones on the lined baking sheet. Alternatively, you may press the dough into a circle and cut 8 wedges, or cut it into rounds with a biscuit cutter.
- Brush the tops of the scones with cream and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool slightly while you make the glaze.
- For the glaze, whisk together the tahini, maple syrup, confectioner’s sugar, and just enough milk or water to thin it to a pourable consistency. Pour the glaze over the slightly cooled scones and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.