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Maple Pecan Scones

Last night a chill wind came in our bedroom window and I had to put a second layer on because my legs got cold. The song-filled coqui frogs quieted and I know that we have entered into our fall season. 


It’s fall and the decorations are out - pumpkins on the mantel, silk leaf garlands and fairy lights strewn in our Christmas tree, orange, red and yellow pillows in the living room and the dining room table set with festive fall linens. A need to celebrate has bitten me early and I am welcoming it. 


We are feeling very thankful this year. Each year offers its own adventures and this year was no less exceptional. 


I am including this delicious recipe for the scones (remember; pronounced “sk-on”, not “sk-one” as in “stone”) we are serving up around the house; Vanilla Maple Pecan Scones served with vanilla-maple whipped butter. 


Funny story about these (which are originally from Cook’s Illustrated years—maybe decades—ago); we had just started our vanilla farm, or were maybe in our second year and the press was very interested in what we were up to. Journalists began hunting us down and we got a message from someone from Gourmet magazine who wanted to pay us a visit! This to me was the ultimate—I grew up on Gourmet magazines in keepsake binders kept on our living room shelves. My grandparents bought my parents a subscription to it and often my father would line us up in the kitchen to accomplish various steps in recipes that he was attempting. 


Well, of course I was nervous about having this person (now persons because she was bringing her husband!). Nervous not only because of our 4-wheel drive only road, but because I wanted to be able to serve something delicious on the cold wet day which it turned out to be. I settled on serving tea and scones because I thought it would be elegant yet rustic without being stuffy, pretentious or seem like I was trying too hard. I had never made these before, but they sure sounded good—actually, I don’t think I had ever made scones ever before! Well, I made them, served them and the Gourmet woman said that they were some of the best scones she had ever had! These really are the only scones I ever make now and they really are that good. I hope you give them a try—and don’t forget to add vanilla! It adds the love and legacy into everything you make. 


So for the next occasion where you need an effortlessly delicious impression, these vanilla maple pecan scones are a great choice.



Vanilla-Maple-Pecan Scones

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tips old-fashioned oats or quick oats

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1/4 cup whole milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 large egg

1/4 cup maple syrup (you can get vanilla infuse maple syrup in our Trio Set!)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I keep this on a plate in the refrigerator until ready to use)


Method:

Heat oven to 375º F. Line a half sheet with parchment. Evenly spread oats and chopped pecans onto parchment and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, about 7-10 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Increase oven temperature to 425º F. (Save the parchment for baking the scones—just allow the pan to cool, or use another pan)


Whisk milk, cream, maple syrup, vanilla extract and egg in large glass measuring cup until incorporated; reserve 1 tablespoon in a small bowl for glazing.


Pulse flour, baking powder and soda and salt until combined—about four 1-second pulses. Scatter cold butter evenly over dry ingredients and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 12-14 pulses. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in cooled oats. Using a spatula (I use a flexible plastic bench scraper) fold in liquid ingredients until large clumps form. Mix dough by hand (or use bench scraper—it keeps your hands cleaner!) until dough forms a cohesive mass. 


You can either turn out the dough onto a work space or I just turn it out onto the reserved piece of parchment to gently pat into a 7-inch circle about 1 inch thick. With your bench scraper or a sharp knife, cut into 8 wedges and move apart to the parchment, giving them at least 2 inches spacing. 


Brush scones, tops and sides, with reserved liquid for glazing. Bake until golden about 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet on wire rack for 5 minutes and then remove to cooling rack for 30 minutes. Serve with vanilla-maple butter or you can glaze them (like in the photo).


Vanilla-Maple Butter

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt


Method:

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. If you are feeling fancy, you can use a pastry bag to pipe into small butter dishes, otherwise, just put it into a small ramekin and smooth it down with a butter knife.


Vanilla-Maple Glaze

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1-2 tablespoons whole milk or cream.


Method:

Whisk together all ingredients except for the milk or cream in a small bowl. Slowly incorporate milk or cream until desired consistency for glazing adding more if needed. Drizzle over scones when they are cool—if you do it when they are still warm the glaze will run right off of them.