bourbon caramelized apple scones

There’s nothing quite as comforting on a lazy weekend morning than a platter piled high with freshly baked scones, no?

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Inspired by the flavor combination I seem to be in love with as of late {does anyone recall these doughnuts, or this batch of granola from earlier this year?}, I set out to recreate yet another sweet version featuring this wonderful flavor combination. Yes, it certainly is reminiscent of fall, but to me, it’s a flavor combination that pairs well with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or strong cup of tea year round.

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I think that, for me, what really sets this recipe over the top is the use of bourbon in the apples. It’s still one of those flavors that is intensely strong for me, but in the best sort of way. Smoky and nutty, with a hint of vanilla, it makes the perfect accent to the sweet flavors of the caramelized apples we haphazardly fold into the scone batter. Big chunks are what it’s all about, dears. If you’re going to go all out for breakfast, why keep anything small?

…and in case you’re feeling particularly adventurous when preparing this recipe, why not give Greek yogurt a try, in place of the butter? I promise you, there will be no difference – the end result is still light and flaky as if butter was used, but now, you can have two instead of one and not feel any remorse.

So pour yourself a beverage, tie on your apron, and let’s get to baking, shall we?

~~~

Bourbon Caramelized Apple Scones {recipe adapted from Joy of Baking}

makes: 8 scones

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar {I use my favorite turbinado sugar}

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup Greek yogurt, very cold {feel free to swap out for an equal amount of very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes}

2/3 to 3/4 cups buttermilk {if you’re out, check out this great tip we talked about not to long ago!}

For the bourbon caramelized apples:

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

3 apples, finely diced

1.5 ounces bourbon {you can omit if you prefer to not cook with alcohol}

1/2 tsp. vanilla

pinch salt

 

To Prepare:

Make the Apples:  melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add in the apples then sprinkle with a dash of salt, stirring to coat evenly with the melted butter. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the apples become slightly tender. Add in the bourbon and vanilla, then cook for several minutes {3 to 5} until the apples are soft and the alcohol has evaporated. Set aside to cool completely.

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Make the Scones:  preheat the oven to 400 degrees, placing the cooking rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper {I like to give it a spritz with cooking spray, just to make sure nothing sticks}. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add in the Greek yogurt {or butter}, using either a pastry cutter or two knives, blending the fat into the flour mixture. It should look like coarse crumbs. Add in the buttermilk {I usually find myself using the full 3/4 cup} and stir gently, just until the dough comes together. Add in the cooled apple mixture, folding in until it just marries into the dough. Do not overmix!

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Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently; really, you’re just working in any large crumbles of dough. Pat the dough into a disc roughly 8″wide.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes {this is slightly longer than a typical scone recipe, because the addition of the cooked apples adds in more surface area and mass to cook}, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into 8 equally-sized triangles. Can be stored, covered, at room temperature for several days*.

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*After 2 days or so, I will transfer them into a zip-lock bag and store in the refrigerator. To warm, simply pop them in a microwave or toast up in the oven!

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