What’s Cookin at Callie’s Cabin: Autumn Harvest Scones to howl about
October 6, 2010
One fall, a time of apples, changing foliage and cooler temperatures, I dog sat for a good friend. He went to Ireland; I stayed at his home chock-full of creature comforts and a fun-loving brown-and-white Border collie, Daisy. Each day I sipped herbal tea and nibbled on fresh apples as I mourned my yellow Lab who passed days before. In between sad tears and happy memories, Daisy, a sensitive soul, worked her charms and helped me heal a broken heart.
When my friend came home, I rescued a 3-year-old Brittany. Dylan was like an amazing genie. When our eyes first met, he was eager to bond. He loved to run. He loved to jump. He loved me. For 10 years, he warmed my soul like tea and apples -two of my favorite comfort foods for the autumn harvest.
This is the time of year when sweet and spicy eats enter your oven and warm up your spirit. Autumn scones are best made with nature’s finest ingredient: apples. One apple contains 100 calories, heart-healthy fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and other stay healthy nutrients. And, an apple a day means fewer doctors to pay. So, in honor of unforgettable healing dogs -like apples – I baked a batch of good-for-you autumn harvest scones to love.
2 1⁄2 cups 100 percent natural whole wheat flour
1⁄4 cup organic brown sugar
1⁄4 cup honey (I used cinnamon and clove)
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1⁄4 cup European style butter (cold cubes)
1 brown egg
1⁄2 cup 2 percent half and half milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
11⁄2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 cup Fuji apples, chopped to small chunks
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spice. Add chunks of butter, sliced in small squares. In another bowl, combine milk, egg and honey and stir. Combine wet ingredients with dry. Stir until a dough-like mixture forms. Fold in apples, raisins and nuts. Drop large spoonful of dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Mix approximately 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/8 cup melted butter, 3 to 4 tablespoons lowfat milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon maple extract. Swirl a spoonful of glaze-like frosting on scones when warm. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Serves 12 medium-large scones.
Ironically, before I made these scones, Seth, my 4-year-old food-loving canine snagged a 4-ounce bag of baking walnuts that I misplaced; he saved half for me. A call to the vet helped save the dog day afternoon. No worries: The walnuts weren’t grown outdoors. So, my Brittany lived, and the apple scones are to die for. Since fresh cranberries aren’t in season yet, I sliced a warm scone and spread it with gourmet cranberry honey jelly. This treat is fit to warm you up on a cold October day at Lake Tahoe where you can both see and taste fall.
So, what type of beverage goes well with apple scones? Ah, let me count the autumn drinks of choice. Low-fat milk heated up with a teaspoon of orange blossom honey and sprinkled with cinnamon hits the spot. Hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick can’t be beat. Add a dog (or two), a crackling fire, turn on Animal Planet or tune into two-legged friends and don’t forget to bring on the apple-maple scones with flavored honey (for humans only).
A special thanks (again) to Alpine Animal Hospital who have always been there for my three Brittanys.
– Cal Orey is an author and journalist. Her books include “The Healing Powers” series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate) published by Kensington. Her website is http://www.calorey.com.