The aroma of these hearty scones baking on Sunday morning was intoxicating. My attempt at a healthy weekend breakfast was thwarted, however, by my inability to stop myself from eating FOUR of them. Then another for dessert. And another the next day. If you are craving the flavor of fall in an addictive, filling, not-too-sweet bread item, this is the scone for you. Recipe after the jump:
MAPLE NUT & PEAR SCONES
Adapted from Eating Well
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup plus 1 ½ teaspoons sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons chilled reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), cut into small pieces (2 ounces)
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup diced peeled pears, preferably Bartlett (about 1 large)
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts, divided
¾ cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon maple extract or vanilla extract
1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water for glaze
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.
2. Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, oats, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl; whisk to blend. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut or rub cream cheese and butter into the dry ingredients. Add oil and toss with a fork to coat. Add pear and 1/4 cup nuts; toss to coat. Mix buttermilk and maple (or vanilla) extract in a measuring cup and add just enough to the dry ingredients, stirring with a fork, until the dough clumps together. (It will be sticky.)
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times; do not overwork it. Divide the dough in half and pat each piece into a 7 1/2-inch circle. Cut each circle into 6 wedges and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with the egg glaze and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup nuts, pressing lightly. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar.
4. Bake the scones until golden and firm to the touch, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.