Apple Scones on Halloween

When I grow up, I want to live in a town small enough that I can bake my own Halloween goodies for trick or treaters, and not be looked at like a monster trying to poison our darling youths with anthrax-infused candy apples. Don't get me wrong, I love candy as much as the next American, but I love baking even more, and having an excuse to dole out said baked goods. Plus, it's just so much more festive, creative, and interesting to give out a homemade confection. But alas, trust in this world is all but obsolete. Even I have been trained to fall into this trap of cynicism. I remember just after 9/11, going trick or treating to this one house where a woman opened the door with an apron on, offering us (if memory serves me correctly, which it has been known to not do) candy apples or regular candy. My entire group gossiped about how she was so clearly cooking up some poison to inject our candy with. What darling children we were, right? Poor woman - all she did was offer us a nice, homemade treat, and even at 11 or 12 years old, all we could say of her was that she was obviously trying to kill us. Happy Halloween!

Basically, all of that is to say, I am skeptical that my dream of having a white picket fence and a dog and cat and kids and hubby, opening the door on Halloween Night in my own finest apron, letting the smell of cinnamon and apples waft out to the trick-or-treaters, and offering them my best sugary concoction I can muster that year...well, I'm skeptical that this will ever happen. This year, to try to come as close as possible to this lofty dream, I have retreated to my parent's small mountain home for the weekend - and, yes, I baked my little heart out. It's really for a bake sale for my college's student dietetic association, so I guess that's pretty close to handing it out to trick or treaters. Just minus the cute costumes, and plus a little price tag on each scone and muffin we dole out.

I have yet to make the apple muffins (that's on the menu for tonight), but the apple scones are baked, cooled, and individually wrapped. Unfortunately, this means I have no pictures of them (no camera). I will do my best tonight to get a little photo shoot going and edit this post, but if you really want to know how wonderful they look, head on over here to see the ones that the original blogger took.

I really hesitate to call these scones at all. They lack the firmness that a scone should have, and the dough was really more of a batter than anything else. Essentially, they turn to be delectable little apple cake slices, with just a little bit more body. The recipe claims the dough will be wet, so I don't think that I necessarily did anything wrong (except, perhaps, use more than half all purpose flour, which absorbs less liquid than whole wheat, and bake them in a higher altitude than usual). If you find that your dough/batter is as liquidy as I did, you might be better off making these drop scones; but if you find that I have just made a teensy blunder and yours are the picture of perfection, go right ahead and make them as the recipe states. Either way, you'll wind up with a baked good that tastes delicious and a house that smells like fall. Not too shabby, eh?

Apple Scone Cakes, courtesy of Acquired Taste
Yield: 16, apparently, but I doubled it and got 24...and probably shouldn't have even stretched it that much.
The Ingredients
2C flour, half whole wheat (mine was more of a 3:1 ratio because...well, it was just more convenient at the time)
¼C sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt (omitted, salted butter)
½C butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 apples, peeled and cut into small pieces (I used about 7 smaller ones when I doubled it)
1 egg
½C milk (I used 1%)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. brown sugar

The Method
1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and 3/4 of the cinnamon in a large bowl - though I wouldn't complain much in eating one of these with all of the cinnamon added here, and even more added later on...
2. Add in the butter with your hands, using a pinching motion to create a sandy-textured mixture. This should take around 5 minutes.
3. Add the apple pieces and be sure to incorporate fully.
4. Meanwhile, beat together the egg, milk, and lemon juice. I used a fork and my poor wrist because we lack the finer luxuries of a fancy mixer or even a whisk, but I think it did the trick just fine. Not that I would choose to do it again if I had another tool handy.
5. Pour the liquids into the apple mixture gradually, taking time between additions to mix thoroughly. This is where the recipe assures you that the dough should be very wet. Check.
6. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead 4-5 times. Ha! A video clip of me trying to need this batter would be one of the most ludicrous scenes you've seen in a long time, I can assure you. If you would call your "dough" a "batter," please do us all a favor, and skip this step, as I so foolishly did not.
7. Transfer the dough to a well-oiled (but not excessive) baking sheet or pizza pan - or, again, if you have a batter, just put it straight from the bowl to here. Using your hands or the back of a spoon/spatula, pat the dough into a 1/2" tall round, and cut into 8-16 slices. I found that 8 produced very appropriate scones, but I suppose that 16 would work, too.
8. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over the top, as I so carelessly forgot to do and instead rushed halfway through the baking process, and bake for 15-20 minutes (or until the tops are a nice, golden brown). I found that 20 minutes was even a little bit too short, so I took them out, separated them from the circle they made, and baked them even more. And probably could've baked them longer still. Like I said, using the "drop scone" method would have made my life much easier yesterday.

All in all, I can't complain about them. They may not have turned out as a typical scone should, and scone conoisseurs all over would flock to criticize this product. But to any person who just likes apples and cinnamon baked together, this is sure to please. It's light, definitely not dry, and very enjoyable. Hopefully the people at the bake sale tomorrow think so, too!

Happy Halloween!

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