Maple Nut-Apple Scones

October 30, 2008

As if it weren’t already painfully obvious: we have officially arrived at the “Seeeee, I told you fall was my favorite season” portion of the program. I know it’s been a full-on assault around here of apples, pumpkin, squash, potatoes and braises. But I simply can’t help myself. And today is no different: apples (again!), maple and toasty nuts. Yup, breakfast doesn’t get much more fall than these scones.

Fall, as a season, feels to me a little like lightning in a bottle. As the steamy summer winds down and the dog days have me at my wit’s end, I find myself trying to hurry fall along. But all too soon, it’s the end of October and I am holding on white-knuckled to the last days of this fleeting season. When it boils down to it, you really only get a few flawless fall days: sunshiney skies, warm golden light, tree limbs feathered with leaves that were once green and will soon be gone altogether, the scarf wrapped around your neck fluttering in the breeze.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

And, sadly (devastatingly, really), this week has felt like my autumnal ship has sailed. My chic fall trench has been retired (after a mere couple weeks’ worth of wear!) in favor of a cozy wool number. Kevin’s been donning his ratty Bears stocking cap to the train in the morning. And baseball is over until April. Sob!

Luckily, despite the early sunsets and frosty sunrises, the fall produce remains. Fall produce is hearty like that, you know. So, really, you’ll just have to forgive me for the unflinching parade of fall around these parts: it’s all I’ve got. And you will surely forgive me, after just one bite of these scones. Actually, it might happen earlier than that: after just one whiff. One maple-and-cinnamon-laced whiff. I feel forgiven just thinking about it.

Maple Nut & Apple Scones
Adapted from Eating Well

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup plus 1 ½ teaspoons sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons chilled reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), cut into small pieces (2 ounces)
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup diced peeled apples* (1 large)
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, divided
¾ cup low-fat buttermilk or equivalent buttermilk powder
1 teaspoon maple extract or vanilla extract
1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water for glaze

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.

2. Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, oats, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl; whisk to blend. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut or rub cream cheese and butter into the dry ingredients. Add oil and toss with a fork to coat. Add pear and 1/4 cup nuts; toss to coat. Mix buttermilk and maple (or vanilla) extract in a measuring cup and add just enough to the dry ingredients, stirring with a fork, until the dough clumps together. (It will be sticky.)

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times; do not overwork it. Divide the dough in half and pat each piece into a 7 1/2-inch circle. Cut each circle into 6 wedges and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with the egg glaze and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup nuts, pressing lightly. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar.

4. Bake the scones until golden and firm to the touch, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

* The original recipe calls for pears, which I think would be lovely too.

12 Responses to “Maple Nut-Apple Scones”

  1. Amanda Says:

    Right now, the rain is falling outside and I have a bunch of cookies in the oven, and I gotta tell you, I’m loving fall more than ever! Especially with Halloween tomorrow. Although, once December comes, I’ll be aching for Spring. Isn’t that how it always is?! By the way, the mix of maple and apple in that last picture makes me want to set up shop in your neighborhood. You provide the scones, I’ll bring the coffee.

  2. sue bette Says:

    I am drinking my morning coffee right now and wishing I had one of these scones. Love the pictures!

  3. eggsonsunday Says:

    Ok, seriously, YUM. I think I’ll make these tomorrow morning for breakfast — we have some pumpkin butter that I think would be a fabulous topper/spread for tiny nibbles of these scones. -Amy

  4. andie Says:

    yummy.

    I can never get scones right. when I try to make them, they wind up like triangular hockey pucks. LOL

  5. Jerry Says:

    Looks yummy!

  6. cassie Says:

    Wow! I am so impressed with your recipes and your photography! It is all so beautiful–I can’t wait to cook & then come back. Thank you!

  7. Dana Says:

    Oats, whole wheat flour AND apples??? It’s like you made this just for me! Bookmarked🙂.

  8. Shannalee Says:

    I have to say these pictures are simply stunning. Nicely captured.

  9. whitneyinchicago Says:

    These look fabulous. I am going to have to make these later on in the weekend.

    What is up with this slight warm spell? I think its nature’s way of reminding us to remember Chicago when it is comfortable out so we don’t forget during the 5 months of winter!

  10. Dorothy Says:

    omg these are soooooo yummy looking! they look so cozy. i absolutely love anything with maple and pecans.


  11. Amanda: Sounds like a date!

    sue bette: Oh, yes, morning coffee is practically required with these.

    Amy: I didn’t think they could get any better. I was wrong. Pumpkin butter, mmm ….

    andie: That’s no fun. Maybe it’s time to try again?

    Jerry: Thanks!

    cassie: Thank you!

    Dana: My favorites too.

    Shannalee: Thank you!

    whitney: It’s weird, isn’t it? But I’m trying to embrace it.

    Dorothy: Thanks!


  12. I made these yesterday and am currently enjoying one with my morning coffee! YUM. I used white wheat flour and almonds because that is what I had on hand.

    Great recipe!


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