Craving a caramel apple like the ones at the county fair? Go no further than…breakfast.

Breads and Muffins / November 5, 2014

I remember the small town carnivals that came to town when I was a child. When all the rides were assembled, the dry, dusty alfalfa field, barren that morning was, by nightfall, transformed into an other-wordly place. Glowing orbs, painted carriages that swung through the air, and the food trailers that lit up like UFO’s were mesmerizing. Sure the ground was muddy, and the food was trashy but it was fantastic. And the fare included that mascot of all county fairs, the caramel apple on a stick. Although some of those apples were covered in that bright red candy, others were spared the paper skewer and presented as simply sliced up so you could dip them in cheese or marshmallow.

This is the food you eat before being inverted in a cage suspended above the crowds and twirled around at lightning speeds? YES IT IS.    It was a race to a sugar coma, and we loved it.

Would you believe it if I told you there are more than 7,000 varieties of apples in the world? It’s a staggering number, but a testament to the iconic fruit that America LOVES. Anything that you can consume from your palm, eat sloppily without apologizing, and when you’re done feel ABSOLUTELY NO guilt for scarfing it, is a good thing. Really good. Plus, unless you’re fond of seeing your Doctor a lot, (Not withstanding those of you married to a physician, we’re sure you like seeing your doctor all the time,) the ol’ apple promises to keep ’em away if you eat one once a day.

Now remember, I don’t know how to do anything plain. I like to take something familiar and amp it up a bit. Which is why I decided to combine my love of billowy, sweet scones with apples, cheese and caramel. When I took a bite of my little squares, I expected to get a distinct snap of the apple acidity, and the familiar sharpness of the cheddar cheese. But a new creature was born and it was addictive. And then, when covered in home made caramel, well, I felt a little other-worldly myself and there wasn’t a Tilt-A-Whirl in sight.

The good news is scones are super easy to make. So unless you LIKE to see your doctor and shell out a co-pay, you need to start your day with a GRANNY SMITH APPLE AND CHEDDAR CHEESE SCONE WITH HOMEMADE CARAMEL.

(As a note, the caramel sauce I made was easy and it is a nod to The Pioneer Woman’s recipe. Take 1 C packed light brown sugar and put it in a saucepan with half a stick of butter or 1/4 C. Let it slowly melt. Then add 1/2 C heavy cream and a dash of salt. Cook, whisking constantly, (it will reach a boil pretty quickly) on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. Take off the stove, add 1 t good vanilla extract, whisk again and let cool. The PW said to cook for 5-7 minutes but when I did that last time, I about had caramel I could wrap in plastic. Too hard. Try only 3-4 minutes for the best sauce!)


Granny Smith Apple and Cheddar Scones

Makes a dozen scones


Ingredients:

2 C all purpose flour
2 T baking powder
1/3 C sugar
½ C butter, chilled hard and cut into small
cubes
1 t salt
¾ C plus 2 T heavy cream
¾ C peeled and small dice granny smith
apples
¾ grated sharp cheddar cheese


Direction:

  • Combine flour, soda, sugar and salt. Then, working with either a pastry cutter or your hands, add the chilled butter and work it into the flour mixture until it resembles peas. Add the cream and mix just until incorporated. Don’t over work dough. Gather and empty onto a floured surface and pat together, then flatten. Cut into 2 by 3 ½ inch squares. Place on a greased cookie sheet and cook in a 450 degree Fahrenheit oven for 12 – 13 minutes, until browned. Serve with your favorite caramel sauce!


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