Eggnog Pancakes

Eggnog Pancakes

If you haven’t stocked up on eggnog this holiday season, you might want to run to the store and pick up a container of your favorite brand so that you can whip up a batch of these fluffy Eggnog Pancakes for breakfast. They’re easy to make and a wonderful way to infuse …

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Eggnog Pancakes

If you haven’t stocked up on eggnog this holiday season, you might want to run to the store and pick up a container of your favorite brand so that you can whip up a batch of these fluffy Eggnog Pancakes for breakfast. They’re easy to make and a wonderful way to infuse a little holiday flavor into your mornings. I enjoy them throughout the holiday season – starting after Thanksgiving and going all the way through New Year’s Day.

The pancakes are light, fluffy and have a delicious eggnog flavor in every bite. This flavor comes from the eggnog in the batter, of course, but it is amplified by the addition of vanilla extract and freshly ground nutmeg. That combination of vanilla and nutmeg is always a component of eggnog, so including both of those ingredients makes these pancakes work beautifully.

The pancakes are not overly sweet on their own, but since eggnog is sweetened and contains a bit more sugar than the milk or buttermilk that you might typically put into your pancakes, the eggnog ‘cakes will brown a bit more easily than their plainer counterparts. This means that you might need to turn down the temperature on your cooktop between batches to prevent your pancakes from over-browning.

This recipe makes a batch that should serve 6-8 people, especially if you are serving up your pancakes with a side of eggs, bacon or sausage. If you’re serving a smaller crowd, feel free to halve the recipe. I drizzled mine with maple syrup, but if you don’t have quite as much of a sweet tooth, you could top them with a dollop of whipped cream and an extra sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg.

Eggnog Pancakes

Eggnog Pancakes
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 tbsp sugar
1 3/4 cups prepared eggnog
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sugar.
In a small bowl or a large measuring cup, whisk together eggnog, eggs and vanilla until well-combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the eggnog mixture and whisk until batter is smooth.
Preheat a nonstick griddle or a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. When a drop of water skips around on the surface of the pan, the pan is ready for you to dollop 1/4-cups of batter onto it (if the water evaporates, the pan is too hot). Reduce heat slightly and cook pancakes, turning once, until pancakes are golden on both sides.
Repeat with remaining batter.
Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

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Candied Ginger and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Candied Ginger and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
No matter what the occasion, you can never go wrong with a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. This recipe for Candied Ginger and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies puts a sweet and spicy twist on a classic chocolate chip cookie. They’re sure to satisfy any chocolate chip cookie fan, adding a generous amount …

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Candied Ginger and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
No matter what the occasion, you can never go wrong with a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. This recipe for Candied Ginger and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies puts a sweet and spicy twist on a classic chocolate chip cookie. They’re sure to satisfy any chocolate chip cookie fan, adding a generous amount of candied ginger to a buttery, chewy oatmeal cookie base.

Ginger is a warm, spicy flavor that is delicious all year round, but that I particularly enjoy in the cooler months of the year. In fact, although these are not a traditional “Christmas cookie” recipe, I’ll often include them on my holiday cookie plates! There is candied ginger mixed into the dough, but the dough itself is made with ground ginger and a hint of cinnamon. The ground ginger gives the cookies a nice all-over heat, while the pieces of candied ginger add spicy sweetness when you bite into them. The cinnamon gives a little bit of depth to all that ginger, too.

I included both dark chocolate and milk chocolate chips in the cookies. Both types of chocolate go very well with ginger in general. Milk chocolate has a nice sweetness to temper the spice of the ground ginger. Dark chocolate has a bitterness that brings out the sweetness of the candied ginger. Together, they really create a great balance in these cookies.

The finished oatmeal cookies have a crisp edge and a chewy center. They’ll keep their texture when stored in an airtight container for at least two days. Since oatmeal can dry out cookies a bit during baking – and that is why this recipe includes a small amount of milk to add a bit more liquid to the dough – be sure not to over-bake them or you’ll end up with a cookie that is more crispy than chewy.

Candied Ginger and Milk Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely chopped, candied ginger

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars until mixture is light in color. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the milk and the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually blend in the flour mixture until just incorporated.
Stir in the oats, chocolate chips and ginger. Dough will be thick, so this can be done by hand or with a mixer.
Drop 1-inch balls of dough onto the cookie sheet, placing about 1 1/2 inches apart so they have room to spread.
Bake at 350F for 10-13 minutes, until golden brown at the edges and light golden at the center.
Cool on baking sheet for at least 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 3 1/2 – 4 dozen.

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Cranberry, Pecan and Bourbon Christmas Cake

Cranberry, Pecan and Bourbon Christmas Cake
During the holidays, I do a lot of entertaining – just like I’m sure that many of you do, too. It’s fun to spend the day in the kitchen whipping up elaborate desserts that will really impress guests, but there isn’t always time for that. And there are many desserts that look impressive …

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Cranberry, Pecan and Bourbon Christmas Cake
During the holidays, I do a lot of entertaining – just like I’m sure that many of you do, too. It’s fun to spend the day in the kitchen whipping up elaborate desserts that will really impress guests, but there isn’t always time for that. And there are many desserts that look impressive without requiring a whole day of baking. This Cranberry, Pecan and Bourbon Christmas Cake is an easy-to-make bundt cake that is loaded with warm holiday flavors including sweet-tart cranberries and toasty pecans.

The cake batter is simple to put together, with vanilla extract and orange zest in the batter alongside a generous dose of bourbon. The bourbon also brings a vanilla-y flavor to the cake and gives it quite a lot of depth. While there is quite a bit of bourbon in the cake, the alcohol in it will burn off during baking, so there is no chance of catching a buzz even if you happen to overindulge in this dessert. If you want to skip the bourbon, you can substitute orange juice (freshly squeezed) to bring out more of the orange flavor already in the cake.

Whole cranberries and finely chopped, toasted pecans are folded in just before the batter is poured into a greased bundt pan. Whole cranberries not only look beautiful in the finished cake, but their tart sweetness is a nice contrast to the rest of the cake – especially once you’ve added a generous drizzle of Vanilla Orange Glaze to the top. I opted to finely chop the pecans to ensure an even distribution throughout every slice. If you like, feel free to sprinkle some chopped pecans on top of the cake after adding the glaze!

The cake is moist and dense, with a pound-cake like texture that will almost melt in your mouth. I love how all of these flavors come together and work so well, even though it may seem like there is quite a lot going on in this cake at first glance! The cake will keep for several days after baking when stored in an airtight container. That said, it’s ready to serve as soon as it has cooled, so feel free to cut yourself a slice right away.

Cranberry, Pecan and Bourbon Christmas Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup bourbon*
2 tsp orange zest
1 1/2 cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup finely chopped, toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well-combined.
In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine vanilla, buttermilk, bourbon, orange zest and vegetable oil. Working in two or three additions, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the butter mixture, ending with a final addition of dry ingredients. Fold in cranberries and chopped pistachios until well-distributed. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack before topping with glaze.

Serves 16

*To substitute out the bourbon, use freshly squeezed orange juice instead.

Vanilla Orange Glaze
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp orange zest
1 1/2-2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake.

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Pomander Orange Cake

Pomander Orange Cake

This Orange Pomander Cake is directly inspired by pomander balls. It’s an easy to put together loaf cake that is fragrant with fresh orange juice and zest, as well as plenty of spicy ground cloves. The loaf is topped with an orange and clove glaze that adds an extra layer of sugar …

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Pomander Orange Cake

This Orange Pomander Cake is directly inspired by pomander balls. It’s an easy to put together loaf cake that is fragrant with fresh orange juice and zest, as well as plenty of spicy ground cloves. The loaf is topped with an orange and clove glaze that adds an extra layer of sugar and spice, tying everything together perfectly.

Orange Pomander balls are one of my favorite crafty things to make around the holidays. They are made by studding oranges with whole cloves, releasing both the bright zest of the citrus and the warm spiciness of the cloves. They smell amazing and can be used to both decorate and freshen a room. These two ingredients are often used in holiday baking, as well, so the smells of the pomanders are linked to the smells of Christmas for me – even though you can certainly enjoy the scented oranges themselves all year round.

Since oranges are a primary component of this cake, it’s important that you stick with fresh fruit. Fresh oranges have a nice acidity that you won’t find in refrigerated orange juice, and it really makes this cake pop. Plus, you’ll want to use the fresh orange zest for maximum orange flavor.

I really enjoy this cake with the glaze, although you can skip it if you prefer to. This is an excellent bake to make for holiday brunches or desserts. I have served it up both ways with many requests for seconds. It’s such a simply cake to put together, it’s almost surprising how much flavor you’ll find in each bite!

Pomander Orange Cake
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
2 tbsp orange zest
1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ground cloves and salt.
Add in egg, orange zest, orange juice, buttermilk and vanilla extract and whisk until well-combined. Add in melted butter and whisk until batter is smooth. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs attached. Allow loaf to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before turning it out and allowing it to cool completely on a wire rack. Drizzle with pomander glaze.

Makes 1 loaf; serves 10.

Pomander Orange Glaze
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp orange zest
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp butter, room temperature

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. If needed, whisk in a few additional tablespoonfuls of confectioners’ sugar to thicken. Drizzle onto cooled cake.

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Eggnog Blondies

Eggnog Blondies
Eggnog is a holiday favorite of mine that I serve up all season. Although it’s a drink, I don’t always serve it up as a beverage. Instead, I incorporate eggnog into a variety of different treats to offer up to guests at brunch and dessert throughout the holidays. These Eggnog Blondies are an …

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Eggnog Blondies
Eggnog is a holiday favorite of mine that I serve up all season. Although it’s a drink, I don’t always serve it up as a beverage. Instead, I incorporate eggnog into a variety of different treats to offer up to guests at brunch and dessert throughout the holidays. These Eggnog Blondies are an easy to make bar cookie that is inspired by the vanilla and nutmeg flavors in eggnog.

The bars come together quickly and easily. They have a generous amount of vanilla extract and freshly ground nutmeg, along with a splash of prepared eggnog. When it comes to the vanilla, you can use vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, which will give the blondies a vanilla-flecked look. The nutmeg should be freshly grated, as it is a spice that looses flavor quickly after it has been ground. If you only have pre-ground nutmeg (unless your container is very fresh), be a little generous when you add it in to make up for the fact that it may have lost some of its peppery character.

The finished bars have a crisp outer edge and are perfectly chewy in the center. While I don’t always add leavening to my blondies – since I want that chewy, dense texture that you get in brownies – I added a pinch to this recipe because it has additional liquid in the batter. They really do taste like eggnog, with plenty of creamy vanilla and spicy nutmeg. If you’re an eggnog fan, you will find these to be downright addictive. And they should be a huge hit with holiday guests – even if they’re not usually eggnog fans to begin with.

The bars are ready to eat as soon as they have cooled, and can be cut into large or small pieces depending on how many you need to serve. They’ll keep for about 2 days after baking if stored in an airtight container.

Eggnog Blondies
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 tbsp eggnog
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and egg. Whisk in melted butter, followed by vanilla extract, nutmeg and eggnog, and mix until ingredients are well-combined. Add in flour, salt and baking soda and mix until batter is uniform, with no streaks of dry ingredients remaining. Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until blondies are set and golden at the edges. Allow blondies to cool in the pan before slicing.

Makes 12-16.

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Homemade Eggnog Milkshake

Easy Eggnog Milkshake
Eggnog is a holiday classic, but that doesn’t mean that there is only one way to enjoy it. Eggnog can be served hot, cold or at room temperature and I like it in all three forms. To take this holiday treat to another level, try a Homemade Eggnog Milkshake this season! This decadent …

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Easy Eggnog Milkshake
Eggnog is a holiday classic, but that doesn’t mean that there is only one way to enjoy it. Eggnog can be served hot, cold or at room temperature and I like it in all three forms. To take this holiday treat to another level, try a Homemade Eggnog Milkshake this season! This decadent dessert drink is the perfect way to end a holiday meal.

I really enjoy eggnog during the holiday season. I often make my own version of the creamy egg-enriched beverage, but there are many great store bought brands out there to choose from if you are looking to save a little time in the kitchen. The quality of store-bought eggnog has definitely improved over the years, as the drink only gets more and more popular.

Just as the name suggests, this milkshake is made with eggnog. The ‘nog makes it especially rich and it has a hint of custard to it that you won’t find in a plain vanilla milkshake, although you certainly get plenty of vanilla flavor in the finished drink. Eggnog is typically flavored with vanilla and nutmeg. I add more of both to the milkshake because these flavors can be muted in a cold drink and you want them to stand out. Combine the eggnog with a good quality vanilla ice cream to give the drink a good base. Feel free to play around with the ratios here because different brands of eggnog have different consistencies and you might prefer your milkshake to be thicker or thinner than I do. No matter how you make it, be sure to save some room in the glass to top yours with a layer of whipped cream and a bit of additional nutmeg.

This recipe makes enough for about four people, depending on how big your glasses are. It could serve two if you really want to indulge. It could also easily serve more if you want to pour it into smaller punch cups. You can scale the recipe up or down to suit your needs.

Bonus: If you want to put a more adult twist on this milkshake, blend in about 1/4 cup of dark rum. It will give it boozy molasses note that works beautifully with the vanilla and nutmeg, without overpowering those flavors.

Homemade Eggnog Milkshake
2 1/2 cups prepared eggnog, chilled
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for topping
whipped cream, for topping

Combine all ingredients, except the whipped cream, in a blender and blend at low speed to combine for a few seconds. Turn speed to high and blend until creamy and smooth. If the shake is too thick, add in a few more tablespoonfuls of eggnog. Divide into serving glasses and top with whipped cream. Sprinkle freshly grated nutmeg on top before serving.

Serves 4.

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Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel
When you think of baking with pumpkin, the first dish that comes to mind is probably pumpkin pie. as delicious as pumpkin pie is, pumpkin puree is a versatile ingredient that can – and should – show up in many other bakes in your kitchen during the fall and winter holiday season. This …

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Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel
When you think of baking with pumpkin, the first dish that comes to mind is probably pumpkin pie. as delicious as pumpkin pie is, pumpkin puree is a versatile ingredient that can – and should – show up in many other bakes in your kitchen during the fall and winter holiday season. This Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel is a cake that is perfect for serving up at holiday brunches and can also serve as a wonderful alternative to pie after a holiday meal. The coffee cake is a moist pumpkin cake topped with a delicious spicy-sweet streusel that is packed with toasty pecans.

The cake itself is simple to put together. It contains pumpkin puree – and canned pumpkin is just fine in this case – along with a generous helping of pumpkin pie spices. The spices, of course, get their name because they’re frequently found in pumpkin pie and other desserts. They include cinnamon, ginger and cloves – all of which compliment the natural sweetness of the pumpkin puree. The cake also contains buttermilk, which helps to ensure you get a moist and tender cake. If you don’t have buttermilk, sour cream makes an excellent substitution.

The streusel for this cake is rich with brown sugar and warm pumpkin pie spices. It will sink down a bit into the top of the cake after it comes out of the oven, due to the sugar melting slightly, so don’t be alarmed if that happens. The cake itself is also not overly sweet, so the crisp, spicy brown sugar topping makes for a nice contrast. The streusel also contains chopped pecans, which add a little bit of extra texture to this bake. If you’re not a pecan fan, you can use walnuts or hazelnuts. Since the baking time is relatively long, you don’t need to use toasted nuts in this recipe, as they will toast up nicely in the oven.

The cake is ready to eat as soon as it has cooled, but it will keep for at least 2-3 days after baking if stored in an airtight container. Feel free to microwave a slice for a few seconds before serving, too, to recreate that just-baked warmth!

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Streusel
Topping

1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 cup butter, chilled
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 10-inch round tube pan.
Prepare the topping: In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt and spices. Cut butter into small chunks and rub into sugar mixture with your fingertips, making sure no pieces larger than a pea remain. Mixture should be crumbly, with some small pieces of butter visible.
Stir in nuts. Set aside.
Prepare the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, blend in half of the flour mixture, followed by the pumpkin puree and buttermilk. Blend in remaining flour mixture, stirring only until the batter just comes together and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into a even layer.
Using your hands to squeeze the topping mixture into clumps (grab handfuls and squeeze to form clumps of streusel), sprinkle batter evenly with the topping mixture.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and cake springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack before slicing.

Serves 10-12

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Sweet and Spicy Maple Pecan Scones

Sweet and Spicy Maple Pecan Scones
I do a lot of entertaining during the fall and winter, so I am always putting together desserts and brunch bakes that use some of my favorite fall flavors. These Sweet and Spicy Maple Pecan Scones make an outstanding addition to any holiday gathering, since they’re loaded with warming flavors.

Maple …

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Sweet and Spicy Maple Pecan Scones
I do a lot of entertaining during the fall and winter, so I am always putting together desserts and brunch bakes that use some of my favorite fall flavors. These Sweet and Spicy Maple Pecan Scones make an outstanding addition to any holiday gathering, since they’re loaded with warming flavors.

Maple syrup is a fantastic sweetener because it adds a deep, rich flavor to baked goods, in addition to simply making them sweet. Good quality maple syrup is not inexpensive, and that is one of the reasons that people often shy away from using it in their baking. A high quality maple syrup is well worth the investment when it is used in a recipe where it is the star, since its flavor cannot be reproduced by using a less expensive ingredient, such as maple extract. That extract is an easy way to add a bit of extra flavor to a cake recipe that already has other ingredients working in it, but it won’t give you the same effect as the real thing in these Sweet and Spicy Maple Pecan Scones.

The scones are sweetened primarily with maple syrup and you can taste that maple flavor in every bite. I added a little bit of sugar to the dough to enhance the maple flavor without needing to drown the scones in syrup.

The spicy element of these scones comes from the addition of chopped Sweet and Spicy Pecans, addictive sweet and savory candied nuts that I make a lot around the holidays. They’re seasoned with a blend of spices, including cinnamon, cloves and cayenne pepper, and they contrast both in flavor and texture with the rest of the scones. I highly recommend making up a batch of the nuts, however you can buy similar spiced pecans that can be used in these scones, as well. I added a bit of cinnamon and cayenne to the scone dough to compliment the nuts.

The finished scones are tender, with a moist interior and a distinct – but not overly sweet – maple flavor. They can be eaten as-is, or spread with a little bit of butter. It might be tempting, but don’t use pancake syrup in place of the maple syrup in this recipe. I like to use Grade B maple syrups, or dark amber syrups, rather than the lighter “fancy” maple syrups because they have a stronger, more intense maple flavor that really comes through in the finished product.

Sweet and Spicy Maple Pecan Scones
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup milk (any kind)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup sweet and spicy pecans, homemade or store-bought, chopped

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, spices, salt and sugar. Add in the butter and toss to coat. Rub butter in with your fingertips or a pastry blender until butter is in pieces no larger than a pea.
In a small bowl, stir together maple syrup, milk and vanilla extract. Pour into flour mixture, along with the pecans, and stir until dough comes together in a coarse, not-too-sticky ball. If mixture is too dry, add in a teaspoon or two of milk. If mixture is too wet, add in a few teaspoons of flour.
Transfer ball of dough to a lightly floured surface, divide in half and shape each half into a disc. Cut each disc into quarters and place them on your prepared baking sheet, allowing room for the triangles to spread slightly.
Bake for 14-16 minutes, until golden and set.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

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