Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cheddar and Apple Scones

I'm sure I've told you this before, but since my family is from Wisconsin, I love anything cheesy...especially a sense of humor

(I'm not even certain that's why I love cheese, but I need something to blame my addiction on).

Seriously though... Throw cheese on anything and I'll love it. My favorite snack though, as far back as I can remember, was cheese, crackers, and a slice of apple. Something about the crisp-tart apple pairs so well with the sharp cheese.

When I found these scones over at Smitten Kitchen, I knew I had to make them... and then Fall came and went and before I knew it Christmas was over and these STILL hadn't made a guest appearance in my kitchen... Until this weekend!

These are really the ideal Fall treat, but I'm 100% sure these scones will be reappearing throughout the year. The scones have a crunchy sugar top which is an amazing addition to the mild cheese flavor and has just a hint of sweetly baked apple coming through. Plus this scone recipe is perfect... flaky, buttery, heaven!

They are truly addicting... I may or may not have eaten 2 in 10 minutes (please go with me here and assume I may not have...)

Cheddar-Apple Scones:
(makes 8 generous scones)

2 firm apples (I used Gala but a green apple would do well)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar plus 1 1/2 Tablespoons for sprinkling
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt plus a pinch for your egg wash
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and chilled
1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded (I opted for yellow for a pop of color)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs

Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Peel and core your apples and cut into large chunks, about one-sixteenth in size. Place the cut apples in a single layer on your lined baking sheet and bake until they take on a little color and feel try to the touch, around 20 minutes. Let them cool completely by placing in the fridge while you continue.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking power and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, place the chilled butter, cooled apple chunks, cheese, cream and one egg. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the top and mix on medium-low speed just until the dough comes together. Do not over-mix.

Generously flour your work surface and place the scone dough on top of it. Sprinkle the top with flour and form into a 6-inch circle that is about 1 inch thick.

Cut the circle into 8 even wedges. Cover your baking sheet with a fresh piece of parchment and transfer the wedges to the baking sheet. Leave about 2 inches between each scone.

Beat the remaining egg and pinch of salt in a small bowl and brush the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle them with the remaining Tablespoon and a half of sugar.

Bake the scones in your preheated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until firm and golden. Transfer the scones to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before devouring!

Enjoy the scones warm with cinnamon-butter or apple butter! Delicious!

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