Tap, Tap, Tap

What is this time of the year, besides being a time wrought with bizarre weather and equally bizarre politics? It’s Maple Sugar time, baby! Have you ever been to a sugar shack? White billowing clouds flowing forth from a ramshackle cabin in the woods. And when you step inside? Probably one of the best scents known to man. Maple-hot, sugary, sweet maple-swirls all around you. It’s a maple tornado and you are blissfully riding around in it like Dorothy and her little dog, too.

So it only seems fitting to share a recipe with you-a recipe which results in the prettiest and tastiest Maple Cranberry Scones you ever laid your maple-lovin’ eyes on. It is perfection on a weekend morning. My family and I all gave them a big, maple-y thumbs up. Recipe courtesy of Yankee Magazine. Ok, fine. I’ll cop to it-I subscribe to Yankee Magazine. At this point in my life, I’m a New England girl and this is a New England Magazine, so it makes sense. Call me geeky, but I like exploring our little part of the country. There are also some pretty great recipes using goods from our fair states. Man, I think Yankee should pay me for that nice little plug on their behalf, don’t you?

Without further ado…Whole-Wheat Maple-Cranberry Scones
(note: I used ALL whole wheat pastry flour for this recipe, as opposed to the whole wheat *and* white and it was still deemed delicious. The choice is yours. Also, this recipe makes big scones. Consider yourself forewarned. Experiment, you might want to cut the dough into 16 rather than 8…)

For the scones…
1.25 cups whole-wheat flour
1.25 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tb. baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 maple syrup (the real stuff, folks)
1/3-1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
1 cups frozen cranberries

For the glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1.5 TB water
1 Tb. maple syrup

Preheat oven to 425 and set rack to the middle position. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt until combined. Using a pastry cutter or fork, work in the butter until it forms pea-sized bits; then use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour, creating a blend of powder, flakes, and some remaining small lumps of butter. Pour in the syrup and 1/3 cup of the milk, and stir well with a fork. If needed, add another tablespoon or two of milk to form a dough. Use a spatula to fold in the cranberries.

Turn out the dough into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and, with well-floured hands, press into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 8 equal wedges (no need to separate them). Bake until puffed and golden brown on top, about 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, make the glaze; whisk together all ingredients until smooth.

Let the scones cool until barely warm; then drizzle with maple glaze. Serve with butter, jam, or whipped cream. Enjoy!

Even before being baked, they look beautiful…


And ah…the finished product…

All hail the Maple Tree.

p.s.-A few extras:
-Maple Syrup has no fat and 2/3 as many calories as corn syrup
-It is a truly natural food
-Contains numerous antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
-Is said to reduce the risk of heart disease and fights inflammatory diseases
-May help to protect against some cancers
-Lower glycemic index than cane sugar
-Yes, you can bake with it and not have to use white sugar!

For myself, I’ve been using it to sweeten my tea (instead of white sugar or agave and a switch from honey) and it’s divine.

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