Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fresh apple cinnamon scones

How on earth is it October already? Pretty soon it will be time for the holidays. But let's focus on my favorite season of the year, which is happening right now - fall. Autumn is the peak time for apple picking, so you can make these apple cranberry oatmeal bars, apple crumble bars, apple bread, caramel apple cake, apple pie cupcakes, apple buttermilk custard pie, apple pie or salted caramel apple pie with your loot. 

Jaida of Sweet Beginnings is this month's host of What's Baking and asked each of us bake a sweet or savory scone. Since apples are clearly on my mind, I chose to bake fresh apple cinnamon scones. 

If you take a look at the photo above, you will see that these are barely recognizable as scones and almost look like a chicken pie or something. I added more apples and butterscotch chips than the recipe called for because I wanted more fruit and butterscotch flavor. The scones were nice and crispy on the outside and chock full of apples, butterscotch and flaky layers on the inside. The cinnamon flavor came through as well, and I know that using cinnamon chips would have been even better (but alas, I did not have any). Both my husband and I enjoyed these scones, and we were tempted to eat an entire slice as part of our taste testing.

The one thing I'd recommend changing is decreasing the amount of sugar in the topping. I used 3 Tablespoons as the recipe suggested, but it was too much. Start with 1 TBSP and go from there - you can always add more sugar if needed.

Be sure to check out Jaida's blog to see what types of scones everyone baked!


Fresh apple cinnamon scones

  • 2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice (can substitute with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon)
  • 1/2 cup (8 TBSP, or 1 stick) cold butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh apple, in 1/2" pieces (about half a medium apple); feel free to leave the peel on
  • 3/4 cup cinnamon chips (can substitute with butterscotch, white chocolate chip or even regular chocolate chips if you can't find cinnamon chips)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • Splash of milk (to top the scones)

Topping


  • 3 TBSP coarse sanding sugar (can substitute regular white sugar in a pinch - I recommend decreasing this to 1 TBSP and adding more if needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and apple pie spice (or cinnamon if you are substituting). Cut in the butter with a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture contains pea-sized chunks. The mixture will resemble coarse sand at this point. Do not overwork the mixture.

Gently fold in the chopped apples and cinnamon chips.

In a separate small mixing bowl, mix the eggs, vanilla, and applesauce together.

Slowly add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a study spatula or wooden spoon. Mix until everything is just incorporated. Do not overmix.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.

Transfer the dough to a clean working surface sprinkled with a little bit of flour. Shape the dough into a circle about 5 inches wide and about 3/4 inches thick.

Brush the top of the scone dough with a little bit of milk  Make the topping by mixing the coarse sugar with the cinnamon. Evenly spread the topping on top of the milk.

Using a sharp paring knife or pizza cutter, cut the scone in half diagonally and vertically so you have 4 slices. Cut each slice into 3 sections so you get 12 total wedges.

Place the 12 scone wedges on your prepared baking pan and transfer them to your freezer for 30 minutes. This will help solidify the butter so they will help create beautiful, flaky layers in your scones.

Preheat your oven to 425°F. 

Remove the scones from the freezer and into your preheated oven. Bake for about 18-22 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Turn off the oven, remove the scones from the oven and allow them to cool. Scones are best served warm but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about 3-5 days (they will start to get soggy after a day or two). They can also be stored in an airtight container and stored in the freezer for a few weeks.

Yield: 12 large scones


Source: King Arthur Flour

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