I have made these scones three times in the past week. It's been tried and tested to the moon and back, dear readers, and both I and the recipe are better for it. (Charlie seems to be none the worse for the wear either.) See, I made the first batch last Monday morning when two friends came over for brunch; we each had one and then I put the other nine on a plate on the kitchen counter all the way back against the wall to finish cooling while I went out to run errands. I came home an hour or so later to find the plate on the ground, a guilty-looking dog hiding in the living room, and no scones.
The scones were to be an appreciative gesture for my immigration lawyer, so I made another batch later in the week to bring to my appointment. The first batch was good but I'm a huge fan of ginger and I didn't think it had quite enough, so I changed up the recipe a bit to give the scones more spice, substituting powdered ginger for minced ginger and adding chunks of crystalized ginger. I tasted half a scone to make sure I wasn't going to be poisoning my lawyer, packed up ten, and put the other half plus one more in the toaster oven to save for when I got home later in the day. I bet you know what happened, don't you? As my sister pointed out, Charlie deserved those scones since he was clever enough to open the toaster all by himself...
Even though I didn't need to, I decided to make one more batch yesterday. The smell of the apple compote cooking away on the stove is absolutely heavenly - plus I wanted to tweak the recipe some more. The scones were better the second time than the first but they were still a little cakier than I like my scones to be, so I actually incorporated all of the compote into the mixture, going against the original instructions. Because that changed the consistency of the batter, I ended up making the scones as cookies! So here you have it: version three of a recipe for spiced apple scookies. Charlie hasn't eaten any of this batch yet. Maybe I'll get to enjoy them all by myself!
based on F the PSL by Baking the Goods
3 medium Honeycrisp apples
1/2 c apple cider
1/4 c brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter
5 oz crystalized ginger
1/2 c buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350°f.
Core, peel, and chop the apples into small chunks. In a dutch oven over medium heat, combine apples, brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, powdered ginger and apple cider. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, as the sugar caramelizes on the apples. Remove from heat; allow the apples and accumulated goopy juices to cool completely while you prepare the dough.
Measure the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and the rest of the cinnamon into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Dice the butter into 1/2" cubes. Use your hands to blend the butter into the dry ingredients until the pieces of butter are the size of almonds. If the apples aren't yet cool at this stage, place both the apples and the dry mixture in refrigerator until they are. Once the apples have cooled, toss them plus the goopy liquid with the dry ingredients and add the crystalized ginger, chopped into pieces slightly smaller than the apple chunks. Combine well.
Whisk the eggs and buttermilk together, then the mixture to the dry ingredients. Gently mix the dough until it comes together but don't overmix; the dough should look scrappy and rough at this point. Scrape the dough from the bottom and sides of the bowl to incorporate floury scraps.
Form mounds on an ungreased baking sheet using a heaped tablespoon. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to help the scones hold their structure and prevent them from falling and spreading too much in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the scookies are golden brown, then let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve with hot black tea or café au lait and enjoy!
(The original recipe uses the goopy juices from the apple compote to make a glaze for the tops of the scones. I don't think that's necessary - at least not for the tweaked scookies - but if you really want it, Skinnytaste has a glaze recipe that you could try as does Bon Appetit. The latter sounds more deliciously indulgent!)