Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Baking: Fluffy Walnut Scones

One of my favorite goodies to bake during the holidays is maple walnut scones. I got this recipe from my friend Ginny in Fairbanks after she made them for me a couple of summers ago. I have never made scones and wasn't even sure I liked them (all I could think about were the dried-out sugary $5 scones they sell at Starbucks). These scones are nothing like that. And even better, they are easy to make.

This morning when I made these I decided to alter the recipe a little. The dough turned out way too wet, so instead of rolling it out and cutting it into triangles, I had to just plop balls of dough on a cookie sheet. I was nervous because the consistency was so different than it should have been. They turned out just fine anyway - phew! This time they were WAY fluffier than they've ever been before and I'm loving it. I'm not sure if they still even qualify as a scone, but that doesn't really matter because they're delicious. So here are the directions with the original recipe and my alterations:

Maple Walnut Scones

1 cup chopped walnuts
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled
1 egg
1/4 cup half and half - I added a tiny bit extra this time
3 tsp maple syrup (the original recipe called for 1 tsp maple extract)

-bake nuts for 5 min at 375, allow to cool completely
-combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, stir well
-slice butter into flour mixture, making sure each piece is coated, using a wire whisk press into butter until sandy, add walnuts
-in a separate bowl beat half and half, egg, and maple
-combine mixtures just until blended with a spoon (the original recipe says to first use a spoon then your hand, but my version this time was way too wet to be mixed by hand)
- plop balls of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet (in the original recipe, you would roll the dough out on a flat surface and cut triangle-shaped pieces out)
-bake for 15-20 min at 375F

* These scones are yummy even without the walnuts.

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