In our never-ending quest for good barbecue, we sometimes return to old favorites to see what's new. At Jabo's Bar-Be-Q off Arapahoe Road in Englewood, not much has changed over the years in terms of the homestyle barbecue, customized sauces and hands-on service — but a stack of red boxes behind the cash register was something we hadn't noticed before. Turns out that those red boxes hold the promise of capturing one of the suburban smokehouse's most delightfully odd menu items and making it available for home cooks. That's right: Now you can make Sconuts at home with little more than the contents of one box, a few cups of water and a pot of hot oil.
First: Exactly what is a sconut? It's not a cronut — and it's definitely not a Bronut. Instead, a sconut, also known as a Utah scone, is similar to Indian fry bread. Utah scones are popular enough in that state that there's even a restaurant chain called The Sconecutter that's dedicated to promulgating the existence of the doughy fried puffs.
Several years ago, our then-food critic Laura Shunk said this of Utah scones on the menu at Jabo's: "I could eat these for breakfast, and I wish a bakery existed that made that possible." Now her wish has come true, in a sense. That bakery is your own kitchen — if you don't mind firing up the deep-fryer during the breakfast hour.
Next question: How did a fried-dough product from Utah end up on the menu at a barbecue joint run by a Louisiana pit master? Lawson's wife and restaurant co-owner, Susan, grew up in Utah, where her mother would make the treats and serve them with honey butter. Now you can, too, for a mere $5 and a little labor, which will net you about a dozen of the fluffy bites. That's a bargain compared to the menu price of $2.50 per sconut — although you get a free one with any lunch combo (or two with a dinner combo).
Like her mother before her, Susan Lawson serves the sconuts at Jabo's with a rounded scoop of honey butter, which nestles perfectly into the dimple atop the sconut and melts into a luscious pool as it warms. They're sweet and delicate and act as a palate cleanser between bites of smoky brisket or ribs, especially if you ask for your sauce hot. Sure, they're more of a dessert than a savory side, but rules be damned. The box includes instructions on how to make a perfect sconut at home along with that whipped honey butter — which relies on marshmallow fluff as its secret ingredient.
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Jabo's Famous Utah Style Sconuts can be purchased at Jabo's during regular business hours, or check Jabo's website for information on how to order some. Here's a video from Jabo's on how to make your own sconuts: