Saturday, March 1, 2014

Apple Scones with Caramel Frosting

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Scones are quickly becoming a favorite in my house. And before last month, I had never even attempted to make them. Shocking!

I think it started with a few trips to the farm market, where there are several scone vendors. At almost 4 bucks a pop, I figured I could makes them myself (and they may even taste betterWinking smile) and get twice the amount of scones for our hard earned buck.

(Printable recipe is at the end of the post.)

Apple scones

Scones are actually surprisingly easy to make! I was sure they would be fussy, and I was going to have difficulty…after all, pie crust is my nemesis…and the ingredients and preparation seemed similar.

BUT…this is nothing like pie crust (PHEW!!!)…

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although you do cut the finished product the same way.

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I learned a trick from the King Arthur Flour website (which by the way is a valuable resource)…

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Freeze the scones for 30 minutes before baking to get the best rise.

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Here they are all golden and flaky, fresh from the oven.

What goes better with apples than caramel? NOTHING!

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So I altered my favorite caramel frosting recipe a bit…plopped it into a pastry bag, and piped it on top of my warm scones.

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I think these are my favorite creation so far this fall.

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They are tender, have just the right bite of apple, and practically melt in your mouth.

Apple Scones

2 cup unbleached flour (I like King Arthur)

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick of cold butter, cut into 1 inch chunks

1 cup of diced, peeled tart apples (I like Macintosh), tossed with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

3/4 cup full-fat buttermilk (or mix 3/4 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar with 3/4 cup whole milk and let stand for 10 minutes)

Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl).

Add chunks of chilled butter.

Turn mixer on medium-low speed, and let mix until coarse crumbs form (some larger chunks can remain). Or use a pastry cutter to accomplish this.

Add the apple/cinnamon/brown sugar mixture, and mix briefly to incorporate apples.

Pour in the buttermilk, and mix on low until dough forms a ball. DO NOT OVERMIX. If more milk is needed, add it a little at a time, until dough comes together.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat into a flat circle that is about one inch thick.

Cut dough into eight equal pieces (pizza style) with a sharp knife.

Transfer onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place scones, uncovered, in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Remove scones from the freezer, and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.


Caramel Frosting

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

a pinch of sea salt

3 tablespoons whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 –  1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, bring butter and brown sugar to a full boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in milk.

Return to heat and bring back to a boil, whisking until smooth.

Remove from heat an add vanilla extract.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

After the caramel mixture has cooled slightly, add one cup of powdered sugar and mix until smooth, adding more powdered sugar, until desired frosting consistency is reached.

I hope you are enjoying fall. I know we have been!


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