The last place you’d expect to find a yummy scone recipe is in a backpacking cookbook. But lo and behold, there it was in my tattered copy of The NOLS Cookery. It’s been 20 years since I last cracked its spine, but I’m prepping for a spring break camping trip with my husband and kids and knew I had to dig it out.
First I looked at the chart for how much food to pack. The advice is 2 pounds per person per day for heavier workdays like snow camping — let’s hope that won’t be necessary. Then I ran through lists of suggested meals and snacks and finally searched for recipes I remember making on the trail, like cinnamon rolls and chapatis. I tell you, NOLS gets serious about good food, even in the backcountry.
Near the end of the book was a recipe for Oat Stones, a cross between a scone and a cookie that you can fill with fruit filling. It sounded so good I took the book straight to the kitchen, let my three-year-old climb up on the counter next to me, and made a batch. The results were so flaky and delicious, we ate them all within 24 hours. They were great with sliced oranges for an afternoon snack and even better with coffee the next day.
Adapted from a recipe in The NOLS Cookery
Two large handfuls of dried mission figs, stems removed
1/2 cup butter
2 cups oats (not steel cut)
1/4 cup honey plus more for filling
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups white flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350. Chop figs and put in a small saucepan with water to cover. Let boil then turn down the heat and let sit until figs are soft. Drain well, reserving poaching liquid. Put in a food processor and pulse until smooth, adding honey and a touch of salt to taste. Set aside.
Melt butter and pour it over oats in a large bowl. Stir well, then add 1/4 cup honey and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt, then add to the oats. Gradually add the reserved poaching water until the dough holds together without being too sticky. Divide dough in half. Make 7-9 balls with one half and press with the palm of your hand to flatten. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Spread fig filling over each, leaving the edges free. Then form an equal number of balls with the remaining dough. Flatten and place over each cookie bottom, gently pressing edges together. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown.