For the scones:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
- 1/4 cup pecans, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
For the icing:
- 1 pound confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- Splash of strongly brewed coffee
- Dash of salt
- 2 teaspoons maple flavoring or maple extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.
Cut the cold butter into small pieces. Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles crumbs.
Now finely chop the pecans and stir them into the flour mixture. Mix the egg and cream together. Add the mixture to the bowl and stir until just combined.
Turn the mixture onto a cutting board. The dough will be very crumbly, but do not let your heart be troubled. With your hands, push the mixture together into a large ball. Do not knead or press too much; you want to leave that gluten alone!
With a rolling pin, very gently roll out the dough into a 10-inch round, about 3/4 inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut the round into 8 equal-size wedges.
Transfer the wedges to a baking sheet lined with a Silpat baking mat. (Or just spray the pan with cooking spray; either one will work!) Bake the scones for 22 to 26 minutes, until they're just barely starting to brown. Do not allow the edges to become dark or the Red Coats will come and get you. Allow the scones to cool completely before icing.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir the icing ingredients until smooth. Pour generously over the scones and sprinkle with pecans. Allow the icing to set before serving.
Photograph by Coral Von Zumwalt