I think I’d make a fantastic grandfather. I don’t have a “walking three miles to school! in the snow! uphill both ways!” story, but I have a tale of effort and hardship almost as edifying-and-simultaneously-annoying. I like to call it the tale of the forgotten essay.

My students hear it so often that I’m sure they know it by heart. All I have to say is, “Have I told you that story–” and they all cry, “Yes!” I think they hope that this affirmation will prevent me from telling it again; alas, I always launch right in.

They’ll be glad that I’m finally writing it down (if only so that they can print it out and ceremonially shred it).

I tell the tale of the forgotten essay for the same reason many other storytellers have told many other great stories: to inspire young people towards responsibility, honor, and success. And groans. And the occasional eye roll, apparently.

It also begins the way many other great stories begin: “When I was your age…” (Incidentally, it was at this point in the story recently when one of my students dropped his head into his arms melodramatically. I think he was overcome with excitement about the inspiring tale he knew was coming.)

See, when I was their age, I was a driven, successful student. Any grade below an A was unacceptable. I stayed up until 3 a.m. most nights working diligently on homework assignments or projects.

One day I walked into my first period English class around 10 minutes before the schoolday began. When I sat down at my desk and looked around, I knew something was amiss. My classmates each had a lengthy piece of writing in front of them. It suddenly hit me like a freight train: I’d forgotten to write the essay assigned for homework.

I sheepishly approached my teacher, who was monitoring the hallway before class. “Ms. S,” I began, “I made a big mistake: I forgot to write the essay last night. I’m so sorry. Is there any way I could have a little extra time?”

I have to admit, I expected leniency. I was a superb student and tried harder than almost any of my classmates. I had never missed an assignment before. I always tried to go the extra mile.

Ms. S peered at me over her glasses and replied, “No.”

I was crushed and admittedly a touch bitter, but I didn’t have time to dwell. I walked back into the classroom and looked at the clock. There were eight minutes left until the bell would call Ms. S into the classroom. My bitterness was replaced by a rush of adrenaline and resolve. I took out a sheet of paper, grabbed my pencil, and began writing.

Eight minutes later, Ms. S stood at the front of the room collecting the essays. With a sigh of relief, I placed my work on the stack. She raised her eyebrows in approval.

Believe it or not, I got the paper back a few days later (oh, Ms. S, I now know what a miracle it was that you were able to grade papers so quickly) with a good grade scrawled across the top. I don’t remember the grade exactly (like a striped bass, it gets more impressive every time I tell the story), but it was solidly acceptable.

…And now I can lovingly goad my students with this story whenever they have an excuse for not trying their best.

Truthfully, though, we all have times when we’re in an unexpected pickle, and continuing to try can be daunting. Last Sunday I found myself in that position. I was supposed to make a special cake for a Mother’s Day dinner, but for reasons I won’t bore you with (I’ll just cry to Byrd about them), I found myself unable to commit to a long recipe.

There was at least an hour where I lay curled up on my bed with Byrd, wondering how I could make anything at all. Finally, though, with Mike’s encouragement, I began poking about online. As soon as I found a recipe for blueberry scones, I knew it was the eight-minute-essay of a dessert that I’d been looking for.

Thankfully, they turned out delicious. And even more lovely is the fact that I now have another story about determination to bore my students with.

When have you pushed past an obstacle to succeed?

One year ago: Coffee Mousse Filled Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie Sandwiches
Two years ago: Lemon Raspberry Cake

Blueberry Scones with Maple Glaze

Recipe by: Adapted slightly from Tyler Florence (scones) and Recipe Girl (glaze)
Yield: 8 scones or 16 mini-scones

These scones are delicious, quick, and easy. They can literally be mixed, baked, and glazed within 45 minutes — perfect for my crisis Sunday! I love the combination of maples and blueberry because it reminds me of a sweet blueberry pancake breakfast.

Scone Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones

Maple Glaze Ingredients:
1/3 cup icing sugar
2 Tbs maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together (I usually do this on a piece of wax paper that I can then use as a chute to pour the ingredients into a bowl) and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the cold butter into the mixture 6-8 times until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs (you can do this with a pastry cutter or two knives if you don’t have a food processor.) Pour the flour mixture into a bowl and fold in the blueberries gently so as not to break them. Make a well in the center of this mixture, add the heavy cream, and slowly work the flour and cream together to form a dough, being careful not to overmix.

Lightly flour a surface and press the dough out (careful not to handle it too much; the butter should stay in tiny, cold pieces) into a long, skinny rectangle: about 12 inches by 3 inches. Cut the rectangle in half and in half again so that you have a row of 4 3-inch squares. Cut each square in half diagonally to form your scones (you can cut them in half on the other diagonal, too, if you want mini-scones.) Place the scones on the prepared baking sheets, brush on heavy cream, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden.

Let scones cool while you mix the glaze. Whisk icing sugar, cinnamon, and maple syrup together until smooth and drizzle over the scones. Eat immediately.

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32 Comments on Blueberry Scones with Maple Glaze

  1. Maranda
    May 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm (10 years ago)

    Oh Julie! How you make me swoon! I have been dying for a delicious scone lately. And here you are, with the perfect recipe.

    I’m so glad you were able to get that essay done. I don’t think I would have had it in me. And now look at you! Great job love!

  2. Kayleigh
    May 20, 2012 at 12:00 am (10 years ago)

    These look really great!

  3. Denise @ Creative Kitchen
    May 20, 2012 at 1:57 am (10 years ago)

    These scones look incredible!! Congrats on getting that essay done. Wow…8 minutes isn’t much time.

  4. Beth {local milk}
    May 20, 2012 at 2:29 am (10 years ago)

    My partner love loves blueberries, and I rather love him. So I am always on the look out for blueberry goodness. But more than the blueberries… the 8 minute essay! I’m only now learning that trying and failing is more of a success than never trying at all.. tenacity and all that. I love it.

  5. Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    May 20, 2012 at 10:47 am (10 years ago)

    I think we can all relate to that story and those moments. Looks like these scones were a huge win, I’d love them!

  6. sayre weir
    May 20, 2012 at 11:22 pm (10 years ago)

    oh my goodness these look absolutely DIVINE!!

  7. Karly
    May 21, 2012 at 1:43 am (10 years ago)

    I’d like to nominate you to come and teach my children and tell them your story. I’ll take the day off, lay around on the couch, and eat blueberry scones.

  8. Cassie
    May 21, 2012 at 7:02 pm (10 years ago)

    These scones are mouthwatering, Julie! Scones are a weakness for me. And that glaze…love it!

  9. Jenny @ BAKE
    May 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm (10 years ago)

    the oozing of that syrup is so tempting! I bet everyone loved them!

  10. kelly(frugalfoodiefamily)
    May 23, 2012 at 4:54 am (10 years ago)

    Gorgeous images! Have never thought to do a maple glaze on top of the scones. Delish.

  11. Barbra Donachy
    May 26, 2012 at 6:47 am (10 years ago)

    Looks so good. Thanks for posting this recipe.

  12. Deanna
    May 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm (10 years ago)

    Those look so good. I always got scared to ask for an extension even when I really need it. In 4th grade I decided to read Gone With the Wind for a book report. Everyone else read a 100 page book and even with my awesome reading skills I was not anywhere near done with the book in a month. Thankfully my teacher saw me reading it incessantly and gave me the extension.

  13. Tay
    June 1, 2012 at 12:05 am (10 years ago)

    … you forgot this part:
    “And after all my hard work, Mike’s sister dropped not one, but TWO of them on the floor. She felt so bad that she ate one for breakfast the next two days. At least she believes her floor is clean, since she Swiffered right before the guests came. And at least she didn’t serve them to the guests.”

    Five second rule, right?

    Thanks for making them – and I hope it wasn’t too much trouble!

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      June 1, 2012 at 12:27 am (10 years ago)

      LOLLL I totally would’ve eaten one of the floor ones, ’cause I know you’re a great housekeeper! Now if I dropped them on MY floor on the other hand…

      I need to tell you about the time I picked up a box of cookies my coworker had brought to work, dropped them ALL on the floor, picked them up quickly, and then proceeded to drop them ALL on the floor . . . again.

      It definitely wasn’t too much trouble! They were super easy πŸ™‚ Thanks for letting me bring the dessert! Love doing it.

  14. Wanda
    June 2, 2012 at 1:46 am (10 years ago)

    I made these tonight and they are delicious. My dough, however, was really sticky , resulting in abstractly-shaped scones that are nowhere near as pretty as yours πŸ™‚ Could using whole milk instead of the heavy cream have caused the stickiness? I’m terrible about finding myself without one ingredient and making hopeful substitutions.

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      June 2, 2012 at 1:51 am (10 years ago)

      Mayyybe, Wanda — but it is a relatively sticky dough. I just use enough flour to work with it without much grief πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you enjoyed them!!

  15. Bethany
    October 29, 2012 at 1:19 am (10 years ago)

    I made these DELICIOUS scones for breakfast this morning (along with your Eggs a l’Oignon, which is one of my go-to ways to make eggs now), and oh my goodness…soooo delicious! My hubby and sister loved them as well. It was my first time ever making scones, and I was surprised at how easy it was! Super yummy πŸ™‚ Thanks for the great recipe!

    PS: I am finally going through and commenting on all of your recipes that I have tried. I am totally in love with your blog, and I want to try every single recipe you post! Lol. I always get my husband to sit and look at your posts with me, and we let out a lot of “oohs” & “aahs.” I tell him that your blog is dessert for my brain, haha! You are awesome.

    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      October 29, 2012 at 1:45 am (10 years ago)

      Awww, Bethany, this comment made my day! Thank you so much — I LOVE it when someone makes and enjoys one of my recipes πŸ™‚


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