I think the test of a great scone is if you can eat it in the afternoon and it’s still just as delicious as when they were baked that morning(except for the warm part, nothing beats that!!). There is a little pastry spot in Portland that I took my friend to, and the maple-walnut scone we got was so good, that when she accidentally dropped a piece on the street, she picked it up and popped it into her mouth without hesitation - now that’s a good scone!! I wanted to make my own version, desperately wanting to avoid ‘maple flavoring’ but needing to capture a deep maple taste. By glazing the walnuts with syrup, you not only add an extra maple element to the scone, but you toast the nuts as well, which accents the nuttiness of the oat flour. The reduced syrup concentrates the deep flavor, and using it in the scone and the icing balances the sweetness. There are a few steps to these scones that make them next-level maple, and they’re totally worth the extra 15 minutes of prep!
MAPLE-OAT SCONES W. GLAZED WALNUTS // MAKES 8
1 ½ c flour
¼ c oat flour
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
6 T unsalted butter
½ c milk
¼ tsp vanilla
½ c pure maple syrup, reduced to 5 T, divided
½ c glazed walnuts (see below)
½ c walnuts, roughly chopped
2 T maple syrup
Pinch of salt
½ c powdered sugar, sifted
2 T reduced maple syrup
¼ tsp vanilla
Turn oven to 400 degrees(ensure your oven rack is in the center) and allow it to preheat for at least 30 minutes. Line a half sheet pan with parchment and set aside. To reduce the syrup, bring the ½ cup to a simmer over medium heat, then allow to bubble and reduce to 5 T, about 13-15 minutes. Allow syrup to cool slightly as you pull together the rest of the recipe. While syrup is reducing, make your walnuts:
Lay a sheet of parchment onto a pan or countertop. Place a dry skillet over medium heat; add walnuts to lightly toast. Increase heat to medium-high and add 2 tablespoons maple syrup (straight from the bottle, not your reduced elixir!) and salt. Stir frequently with a rubber spatula until they’re toasty and caramelized, being careful not to burn, for about 2 minutes. Use the spatula to transfer to parchment in a single layer to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter using your favorite method - I use a pastry blender - until some pea-sized amounts remain throughout. Combine milk with 3 tablespoons of the reduced syrup and the vanilla. Pour into dry ingredients; using a fork, mix about halfway, then add the glazed walnuts(you may need to break them up a bit) and mix lightly until just combined. Transfer to a board and knead together lightly; pat into a circle about ¾ inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges and place on prepared sheet, spaced 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate pan, and bake for another 6-8 minutes, until they’ve popped up and have a golden crust on top. Remove from pan to cool on a wire rack.
To make icing, sift powdered sugar into a small bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of the reduced syrup, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Whisk to combine, adding ½ - 1 teaspoon of milk if the mixture is too thick to drizzle. Place the wire rack with scones on top of the parchment lined pan you baked them on to catch drips and drizzle with the maple icing.
These scones definitely passed my all-day test - I tasted them morning, afternoon and evening!! - as well as fulfilled my quest to bring out the maple flavor naturally. They’re perfect for Fall (move over pumpkin spice!) or any time of year if you’re a maple-loving Canadian like me, I hope you’ll give them a try!
With a full heart and an empty plate,