Happy Apple Week: Day Five -- Apple & Cheddar Scones

It's the end of Apple Week, bringing me to the last apple-based recipe: apple and cheddar scones.

Smitten Kitchen is one of my favorite blogs to read, and I've had my eye on the apple and cheddar scones recipe for a while. I've never baked scones before, but have always been intrigued by their fluffy center and crisp, yet soft, crust. The beauty of scones is that they can be savory, sweet or a combo of the two.

Apples and cheddar cheese go hand-in-hand and work perfectly in baked treats like apple pie with a cheddar cheese crust, or as a no-bake, no-cook snack...just a piece of cheese and an apple slice.

The white sharp cheddar cheese and tart Granny Smith apples in these scones balance perfectly with each other, creating a delectable treat.

I bet you can guess the first step of this recipe: Peel, core and chop the two Granny Smith apples. (This seems to be a recurring theme with apple recipes.) Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the apple pieces on the sheet and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. This will dry out the apples so they are soft in the scones, not crunchy.

Once the apples are done baking in the oven, leave the oven on because you'll bake the scones at 375 degrees. While the apples cool, prepare the dry mixture by combining 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 1/2 tablespoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. You can either sift or whisk these ingredients together; use whichever method you prefer.

Next, beat six tablespoons of cold unsalted butter in a stand mixer, along with the apple pieces (once they are cool), 1/2 cup of shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup of heavy cream and one egg. Once everything is mixed together, slowly pour the flour mixture into the stand mixer and combine everything on low -- be careful not to over-mix.

To keep your kitchen clean (or at least prevent it from looking like a flour bomb went off), line your counter with plastic wrap, sprinkle with flour and lay your dough in the center. Flour your hands and the rolling pin, then roll the dough into a circle that is about one and a quarter inch thick. You can use your hands to shape the dough if that is easier. I used a pizza slicer to cut the dough into eight wedges -- the recipe calls for six generously sized scones -- and then transferred them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Create an egg wash by beating one egg with a pinch of salt, then coat the tops of each scone and finish them off with a dusting of granulated sugar. Bake the scones in the oven for nearly 30 minutes at 375 degrees -- keep a close eye on the scones after they've been in the oven for 25 minutes because they will turn golden brown quickly.

These scones pair perfectly with the Crock-Pot apple butter for a great start to your day.

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Molly Dunn
Contact: Molly Dunn