Maple Walnut Pull-Apart Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze and highlights from Winter Break

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I'm finally back to the United States! I had an incredible winter break full of visits with family and friends in New York and Tennessee, amazing food from around the world, gorgeous places (Israel!), several new adventures and lots of laughs. Unfortunately, I actually have to come back to reality. Since I'm not completely ready to return though, I'll share some of my favorite pictures (lots of food) with you.

Marzipan's Rugelach. This is probably one of the most amazing desserts I've ever eaten. The rugelach comes out incredibly fresh, oozing melty chocolate. They are super soft and taste amazazazing. One of my favorite food blogs, Serious Eats, wrote a bit about these little gooey wonders found in Jerusalem.

I miss these rugelach so much already. It just gives me another excuse to go back to Israel soon.

Halva Waffles... oh my goodness. These were insane. Golden waffles topped with shreds of halva (there are loads of different types of halva, but in Israel it's made with sesame) and chocolate sauce along with ice cream and whipped cream. Yes, this is real. These came from a restaurant in Jerusalem called Waffle Bar (click here to read a short article about the restaurant).

Another amazing dish from Waffle Bar, goat cheese and pesto filled flatbread. Yummmm.

Pistachio and Halva (I'm telling you, I fell in love with halva on this trip) ice creams topped with halva shreds at Prime Grill in Tel Aviv

Fresh pasta in an outdoor market, called the shuk, in Jerusalem

Olives galore!

Amazing gelato. I got a mix of Ferrero Rocher and Chocolate-Hazelnut. So, so good.

Since I'm missing the amazing desserts of Israel, I'm going to share a recipe for some amazing little scones. They cover two main parts of the food pyramid (at least my food pyramid). Dessert and breakfast. That's two reasons to eat them already. They have that awesome scone "buttery-crumbliness" (say that 10 times fast), along with a sweet, maple-y glaze.

And... you can pull them apart! That's probably my favorite part of all.

Plus, they are just so cute.

Don't deny it.

These scones are special from the start. Instead of using white sugar which is a bit more traditional, they use brown sugar which gives a deeper flavor and helps them to be slightly more soft.

Butter is key to good scones. Butter is actually key to a good life...

Chopped walnuts add a bit more flavor complexity and more texture. You can use pecans as well, they would be spectacular.

The wet mixture contains whipping cream and egg yolks. These are pretty common ingredients in scones that help to give them their characteristic texture. Maple flavoring adds to the crazy amazingness.

The dough is mixed and then formed into several tiny balls. The original recipe from Bakergirl calls for 48 tiny balls. I found that when I was forming them, I had more dough left over, so I made 60 instead. My scones came out wonderfully. I think either amount will be fine.

The dough balls are rolled in cinnamon sugar. Awww yeahhhh...

You know rolling anything in cinnamon sugar add dramatic effect.

Okay, maybe only in my life. Let's just get back to the scones...

Into the pan and then the oven!

Now you could just stop here. You could take these glorious treats out of the oven and devour them right now.

Or...

You could wait five more minutes and make a killer brown sugar glaze to drizzle all over. And then eat one. Or all of them.

Yeah, choose the latter. I promise you won't regret this.

Yummmm...

Now bundle up in layers of winter clothes and go into your 27 degree back yard and start taking photos. Of scones.

This is what happens once you taste these.

Maple Walnut Pull-Apart Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze (recipe adapted from Bakergirl)

Makes 12 scones

Ingredients

Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
  • 3/4 heavy whipping cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Brown Sugar Glaze

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 to 1-1/2 Tablespoons warm (not hot) water
  • Maple flavoring to taste (I used about 1/4 teaspoon)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 4oo degrees F. Grease muffin tin (unless you use stoneware like I did, then you can skip the greasing), and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender, fork, or even your hands until coarse crumbs form. Add the chopped walnuts.
  3. In a small bowl, combine whipping cream, egg yolks, and maple flavoring. Mix well. Pour the wet whipping cream mixture into the dry flour mixture. Stir the dough until it is just combined (be careful not to overmix). Pour dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead the dough 10 times or until it becomes smooth.
  4. Separate dough into 60 balls (I put 5 dough balls into each muffin cup, Bakergirl put 4. I think either would work well). Place the 1/4 granulated sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Roll each tiny dough ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  5. Place three dough balls in the bottom of the prepared muffin dish. Top with two remaining dough balls.
  6. Bake scones for 16-18 minutes. Let cool slightly. Remove scones from pan and place on cooling racks.
  7. To make the glaze: Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tablespoon warm water. Mix until smooth. If it's too thick, add a bit more water. Add maple flavoring to taste. Drizzle glaze over warm scones. Devour.