When I tell people that I baked scones I typically get the response that they don't like scones because they are dry and hard. My first experience with scones was actually at Starbucks and my favorite was always the maple scones. The Starbucks scones aren't rock hard -- but they aren't exactly soft and fluffy either.
I started making scones for myself several years ago and even had a recipe for maple scones in one of my books, but it didn't have quite enough maple flavor for me. I found this particular recipe on Epicurious and it has quickly become one of my favorite scone recipes which is saying a lot because I love scones.
So soft and buttery, slightly sweet with a biscuit texture... yum. Definitely one of my favorite things. I thought I was going to put a powdered sugar glaze on these scones once they cooled but when I tasted one I knew it would be overkill because these scones are perfect just the way they are. The maple comes through loud and clear, but it's a subtle sweetness that marries perfectly to the texture.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 large egg yolks
1 1/4 teaspoons maple extract
1 egg, beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Using fingertips, rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in chopped pecans.
Whisk cream, egg yolks, and maple extract in medium bowl to blend. Pour over flour mixture; stir until moist clumps form. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead gently until smooth, about 4 turns. Pat dough out to 1/2-inch-thick round. Using 2-inch-diameter fluted cutter, cut out scones. Gather scraps. Pat out dough and cut out additional scones. Transfer scones to prepared baking sheet. Brush with egg glaze.
Bake until scones are browned and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 16 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.