Banana Bread Scones From Samantha Seneviratne

April 28, 2020
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Ali Slagle. Food stylist: Samantha Seneviratne.
Author Notes

For those bananas getting speckled on the counter (or falling at your feet every time you open the freezer door), I’ve found a happy new home. Think: all the comforts of banana bread, with more crunchy-sweet edges and fluffy, chocolate-spiked middles—and ready in, oh, about half the time.

As Samantha Seneviratne writes in The Joys of Baking: Recipes and Stories for a Sweet Life, “These scones are the perfect breakfast when you’re rich in overripe bananas but don’t have the time or patience for banana bread. They bake up fast and don’t need to cool before being eaten. Some of the butter might ooze out a little while they bake, but don’t worry. That just helps get the bottom extra crunchy.”

A few tips: If you'd like to use frozen bananas, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or under warm running water. Mash any extra banana liquid back into the bananas and be sure to measure out 1/2 cup to keep the dough from being too wet and sticky. To peel the hazelnuts, just toast them in a 325°F oven until they smell toasty and are golden throughout (break one open to check), about 10 minutes. Let them cool wrapped in a clean kitchen towel (the trapped steam helps loosen the skins), then rub any loose skins off with the towel. Don't worry about any skins that don't come off. If you don't have hazelnuts or don't want to use them, feel free to swap in a different nut or leave them out. Feel free to swap in another kind of chocolate (Samantha used chopped chocolate chips in the video below) or leave it out, too.

Recipe adapted slightly from The Joys of Baking: Recipes and Stories for a Sweet Life (Running Press, October 2019).

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Watch This Recipe
Banana Bread Scones From Samantha Seneviratne
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 22 minutes
  • Makes 8 scones
  • 1 extra-large, extra-ripe banana, mashed (1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into roughly 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 1/4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/4 ounces hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • Sanding sugar for sprinkling (or turbinado or granulated)
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the banana, cream, egg, and vanilla. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender, or 2 knives used like scissors, until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some larger pieces. (You can use your fingers if you work fast enough that the butter stays cold.) Toss in the chopped chocolate and hazelnuts.
  3. Drizzle in the banana mixture and stir with a fork until the mixture is crumbly and moistened, but stop before you’ve mixed it into a uniform batter. Tip out the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and pat it into a craggy, 6-inch circle. Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper, cut the circle into 8 equal triangles. (At this point, you could freeze the triangles well-wrapped on their sheet for another day. Bake them from frozen.) Spread the triangles a good couple inches apart and brush the tops with the cream. Sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  4. Bake until the scones are golden brown and set, about 18 to 22 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of a scone should come out clean. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or room temperature. Scones are best the day they’re made, but any leftovers can be frozen (or stale ones can be split in half and toasted in butter in a skillet to revive them).

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