Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Caramel Apple Scones

I know that apple season is over, but luckily apples are available year round where I live (produce such as berries and asparagus are only sold seasonally). I first made these scones as part of my mom's birthday breakfast when I was visiting her, but I loved the caramel sauce so much that I had to make them again. That said, these scones definitely need the caramel sauce on top to make them as good as they are. I may have even eaten a few spoonfuls of leftover caramel sauce when nobody was looking.

These scones freeze really well if you need to prepare the dough ahead of time. Just freeze the already cut dough and add a few more minutes to your baking time. It's great having these in the freezer on those cool morning when you want a warm breakfast but don't feel like putting the effort into it.

Adapted from Recipe Girl
Makes about 12 scones

For the apples:
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 medium apples (or 1 1/2 large), peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the scones:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (113 grams) butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 cup Greek vanilla yogurt

For the caramel sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Prepare the apples by heating the butter in a medium sized skillet. Add the apples and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Mix in the cinnamon and remove from heat. Place apples on a separate plate to speed up the cooling process.

Preheat your oven to 350ºF/175ºC. Line 2 baking sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the butter and mix until pea-sized crumbs form. Stir in the apples and the yogurt until the dough comes together, using your hands if necessary.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten the dough into a 14" x 4" log. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into triangular shapes (see photo above). This should yield about 12 scones (I made mine a a little bigger for the first batch and smaller scones for the second batch). Place the scones on the baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake scones for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are cooked through, but still soft inside and slightly golden on the outside. Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit.

In the meantime, prepare the caramel sauce by heating the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Once melted, mix in the brown sugar and milk. Allow to cook another minute. Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool slightly. Whisk in the vanilla and 1/2 cup of sifted powdered sugar. Beat with an electric mixer if there are clumps in your caramel. If the caramel seems too runny, add another 1/4 cup of powdered sugar (I have never needed to do this). Drizzle caramel over warm scones and serve.

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