Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sweet Potato Maple Scones
Saturday mornings, I creep out of bed, early and quiet. After some bleary-eyed fumbling in the kitchen, the house smells of good things: chocolate-studded muffins, loaves brimming with fresh fruit, or maybe an organic scone or cookie. Still hot, the pastries are packed away, ready to be snatched up by small hands. I dress quickly, round everyone up, and it's out the door.
I walk up the street to my yoga studio, where I'm greeted with the sweet enthusiasm of three-year-olds, ready for a Saplings class. After an hour of downward dogs--and lots of patience--the kids dig into whatever treat I've brought them. There are requests for seconds, and thirds, and when only crumbs remain, I know I've done it right.
This past week, I served these scones, rich with sweet potato puree and sure to wrap you up in a swath of nostalgia. A variation on my oft-baked Pumpkin Scones, they're simple and quick. The texture is slightly denser than pumpkin, and the usual citrus glaze is replaced with a drizzle of maple, reminiscent of the popular doughnut glaze. And if you've ever had a hankering for sweet potato pie, oh! this is the way to satisfy it.
Sweet Potato Maple Scones
For the scones:
1/3 cup non-dairy milk
2 teaspoons apple cider or other vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
½ cup canned sweet potato puree
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the glaze:
1 tablespoon non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
2 tablespoons real maple syrup, Grade B if you have it
1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 400° F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line it with parchment, and set aside.
Make the scones: In a medium bowl or 2-cup measure, whisk together non-dairy milk, vinegar, oil, sweet potato puree, and vanilla. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
Make a well in the center of the dry mixture, and pour in the liquid mixture. Using a flexible spatula, make a scraping-scooping-pressing sort of motion to gently combine the two. When you have only a few streaks of flour left in the dough, remove it to a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough evenly into a circle 6” in diameter and about 1 ½” high. Using a sharp knife, cut the mound into eight wedges; it should be fairly sticky and a bit misshapen; that’s okay. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet.
Bake until firm and just baked through (insert a knife; if it comes out clean, they’re done), 12-15 minutes.
Make the glaze: In a shallow dish, whisk all glaze ingredients together. When poured into itself, ribbons of glaze should just disappear on the surface.
Transfer scones to a cooling rack and cool 5-10 minutes. Dip the tops into the glaze, nuzzling it in to reach any nooks. Turn upright, and return to rack.
The scones are great with steaming mugs of hot apple cider or English Breakfast tea.