Caramel Apple Scones


Although a bit messy, these have a great, wintery flavor
of caramel and apple.

Since it’s fall, the trees are alight with colors, and the weather has taken a definite turn towards the bottom of the thermometer, I find myself searching for wintery recipes. 

As a result, and since it’s now October, I decided to try a caramel apple scone. What could be more appropriate for October than caramel apples?


Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting counter

2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground clove
4 tbsp unsalted butter, chopped
3/4 cup chopped caramel bits (I used Kraft caramels and chopped into sixths)
1 tart apple, chopped (Granny Smith) (about 1 cup, chopped small)
1/2 cup half and half, plus ~2 tbsp to get a sticky dough
1/2 tbsp vanilla bean paste
1 egg, lightly beaten

Instructions:
1. Mix the flour, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ground cloves together with a whisk.

2. Add cold, chopped butter, and mix well with a pastry blender, or a fork. Mix until it resembles coarse sand.

3. Add the caramel and apples.

4. Combine half and half, vanilla bean paste, and egg. Whisk lightly to mix.

5. Add half and half mixture to scones, adding extra half and half (if needed) until the scones come together to be slightly sticky.

6. Spread the dough out onto a well-floured countertop and flatten into an 8-inch round, about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch high. Cut into 8 or 10 scones. Alternatively, you can flatten into a flat log, about 5-6 inches wide and 1/2- to 3/4-inch high. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, with the scones separated only slightly from each other (this prevents the caramel from leaking out too much). If you cut in a round, you can place them in a round together; if you cut them from a log, you can place them side-by-side, 1/2- to 1-inch apart from each other.

7. Bake at 350ºF for 20-30 minutes, until golden around the edges and cooked through the middle. If they seem extremely slow in baking, or baking unevenly, you can separate from each other a little and put them back in until the outer edges of the scone are golden. Test with a cake tester or toothpick 

To freeze: cut into triangles and place in a plastic bag. To bake, remove and put on a parchment-lined baking sheet, increasing the baking time to 30-40 minutes.

Chopping the caramel and apples took a bit of time. I was glad I prepped everything up front.

Combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.

Use a pastry blender to work the butter into the flour mixture.
Then add the carmel and apples.

Combine the egg, half and half, and 

Add the half and half mixture to the dough. You should get a sticky dough.
If you need more half and half, add it.

Press out the dough onto a generously floured countertop.
Flatten it into a round or a log, and bake with the sides 1/2- to 1-inch apart from each other.

These are chocked full of apple and caramel flavoring, with a hint of fall spices.
Results: Although messy, these are yummy scones. If you want pure caramel apple taste, you could omit the spices, just depending on the caramel and apple for flavor. I, personally, like the fall spice addition.
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