By Collier Curran
Some of my fondest memories from home involve fall baking. I will always remember running off the bus after school and opening my front door to be greeted by the warm and comforting smell of cinnamon and nutmeg. Whatever my mom was baking–cupcakes, cookies, bread–would waft through the house and blanket the existing coziness of my favorite season.
Now that I am in college, I am determined to recreate the comfort of home baking in my studio apartment. One of my favorite ways to do so is through small batch recipes. Recipes that fall under this description generally feed about two people (or one if you are hungry and determined), cutting down on waste while still allowing for that comforting baking experience. Specifically, these small batch apple cinnamon scones are perfect for making in your dorm room or apartment. With them come certain advantages, such as: using cold butter (meaning that you can decide to make these on a whim and can avoid the pain of having to wait for the butter to soften when you just want to bake already), and having fresh pecans in every bite (this may be a stretch, but these provide a chunk of your daily protein!). I will warn you; I recently bought pecans at Morton Williams and my debit card was certainly not pleased. However, if you are willing to make the investment, you can chop them up into small pieces and make a minimal amount of nuts go a long way. Then, you have the rest of the bag to add to oatmeal, granola, or simply to snack on. If not (or if you have an allergy), these would also be delicious nut-free!
Lastly, I will provide a small tip for dorm room bakers. The recipe recommends that you roast the pecans before adding them to the scones. I will second this notion, because I believe roasting adds a great depth of flavor to the scones, but I know many of you are rolling your eyes even thinking about roasting the pecans in the oven before you even start the recipe. So, here comes the tip! Believe it or not, you can actually microwave your pecans and still get the wonderful roast-y flavor! Simply spread your chopped pecans out on a plate and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring halfway through if your microwave doesn’t automatically rotate the food. Microwaving the nuts is such a simple tip which will really amp up this dorm room recipe. Who knows, you may want to double this recipe once your friends catch wind of your new baking expertise!
Check out this recipe on the blog One Dish Kitchen in order to read the original commentary and find similar small batch treats.
Small Batch Apple Cinnamon Scones
Makes 4 Scones
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup cold butter , cut into small pieces, 1/2 stick
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup pecans , chopped and toasted
- 1/2 cup chopped apples (Appx. 1 small apple)
For the Glaze (optional, but delicious)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar , sifted
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
*A note: I also suggest using pre-made apple pie spice in place of just cinnamon. Similarly, do not be afraid to go a little heavy on spice. I find that in scones, the spice can often get lost among the other ingredients, so more is necessary to really get that spicy fall flavor.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and sugar.
- Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. (Note: if you don’t have a pastry blender, don’t fear! You can simply mush the butter into the flour mixture with the back of a fork or with two crisscrossed knives.)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and the milk. Pour into flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- Gently stir in the toasted pecans and the diced apples.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead very lightly and form a circle. (Add a little more flour to the dough if the dough becomes too sticky to handle).
- Cut the dough into 4 wedges.
- Place the wedges onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let cool on baking sheet for a minute, then transfer onto wire rack.
- To prepare the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cream and maple syrup until smooth. Spread over the tops of the cooled scones. Top with additional chopped pecans, if desired.
Ta-da! There you have it. Beautiful scones for you to enjoy during the fall season, especially as midterms approach. Take a study break and try these out! If you liked this recipe, check back soon, as I am seeing these posts turning into a series…