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Maple-Cheddar Pecan Scones

Maple-Cheddar Pecan Scones
Only lightly sweetened, these scones can be served at any time of day—with butter and jam at breakfast or teatime, or in place of dinner rolls. They also can be filled with a slice of smoked ham and served as a party appetizer.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. ¼ cup sugar
  3. 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  4. ½ teaspoon baking soda
  5. ½ teaspoon salt
  6. ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  7. ½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, diced
  8. 1 cup coarsely grated cheddar
  9. ½ cup chopped pecans
  10. ¾ cup buttermilk
  11. ½ teaspoon maple extract
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly coat it with vegetable oil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Stir in butter pieces, and with a pastry blender or large fork, cut in butter until mixture is coarse and crumbly.
  3. Stir cheddar and pecans into flour mixture. Combine buttermilk
  4. and maple extract; gradually add to dry ingredients while tossing mixture lightly with a fork to form a soft dough. (The goal is to moisten the dry ingredients but not stir too vigorously, which causes the scones to be less tender.)
  5. Gather dough together, pressing gently to combine. Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and pat out to a 1-inch-thick round.
  6. Cut with a serrated knife into eight wedges. Arrange wedges 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden and firm to the touch. (Dough can also be patted out and cut into 2-inch square scones, which will bake in 12 to 15 minutes.) Serve warm or at room temperature.
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