Almond Caramel Scones
Related Post: Scones Primer
Chopped almonds add crunch, flavour, and fibre to a basic vanilla scone. The icing is adapted from Recipe Girl’s caramel apple scones recipe, which I recommend highly.
Almond Caramel Scones
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped. Save about 2 tbsp (15 mL) for garnish. See Notes & picture, below.
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, plain or vanilla
- 1/4 cup 35% cream
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup icing sugar, or more to thicken
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (See Notes, below.)
- Add all the dry ingredients, including almonds, to a large bowl and whisk together to incorporate.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, cream, and almond extract. Set aside.
- Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is about pea-sized. The dough will have the texture of crumbs. (See Notes, below. Or see the Scones Primer for pictures.)
- Add wet ingredients to flour and butter mixture, then stir until just combined.
- Gently knead the dough into a ball in the bowl, then turn out and begin patting into a circle until it’s about 1 inch (2.5cm) thick. You may need to squeeze the outer edges a bit to incorporate crumbly bits into the dough.
- Cut the dough into 8 evenly sized wedges and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Put a little 35% cream in a bowl and add a drop or two of almond extract. Brush scones lightly with this mixture, if desired. (This gives a nice sheen and a hint more almond flavour to the finished scones.)
- Bake for 12-13 minutes, or until edges start to turn golden.
- Let scones cool for about 5 minutes on the pan, then move them to a wire rack. Place the parchment from the baking pan under the wire rack to catch drips when you ice the scones.
- After the scones have cooled for about 10-15 minutes, make the icing. Melt butter in a saucepan then add brown sugar and milk. Cook over low-medium heat for about a minute. You want it to bubble a little but not come to a full boil. Transfer to a small mixing bowl and let cool for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla, then vigorously whisk in the icing sugar until smooth. (See Notes, below.)
- Drizzle or spread icing on cooled scones. After you ice each scone, add some chopped almonds to the top. This icing sets fairly quickly, so it’s important to ice and garnish one scone before moving onto the next. Let the scones sit for at least 30 minutes for the icing to set completely. (If you don’t let the icing set, the almonds will fall off.)
- I used roasted almonds, but raw would be fine too. If you use roasted, be sure they are unsalted. The icing contains salt and adds just enough of that flavour. Any more salt would be too much. See picture below for an idea of how much to chop the almonds.
- Ovens can vary widely in temperature. For this recipe, I set my oven to 395F and bake for about 12 minutes. Watch your scones carefully the first time you make this recipe to ensure they don’t bake too long.
- The cutting process can take a few minutes but you want to be able to see pieces of butter in the dough, so don’t go too long with this step.
- The original icing recipe recommended using an electric mixer but I find that too much hassle. Vigorous whisking should be fine.
- The thickness of the icing is a personal preference but you need this one on the thicker side to hold the almonds on. I find the ratio of icing sugar to liquid that I have here works really well, but if your icing is a little thin, you can add more icing sugar, about one tsp (5 mL) at a time. It doesn’t take much to thicken it and you don’t want it so thick you can’t spread it. If that does happen, add a little milk to thin it again.
Image of almonds by Etofficina – Dreamstime.com. Almond photo by Crystal Smith.