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Easy Appies: Savory Walnut Appetizer Scones

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Party season is coming. Or is it here already? Two months of celebrating that largely revolve around food – or at the very least include it. More than any other time of year there’s a demand for easy finger foods – dainty, snacky things that are easy to pull together yet taste divine and area easy to eat and serve. These two-bite scones are the perfect vehicle for all sorts of tasty toppings, and don’t need to be kept warm – perfect party fare. If you’re going for something more substantial on your buffet table, try a whole roast ham with a batch of these biscuits and pot of grainy mustard – people can serve themselves, still eat with their hands, and it will appeal to kids as well as to grown-ups.

The addition of California walnuts and thyme add a distinctive holiday twist to these fluffy, buttery scones. The dough can be prepared a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator – all you have to do is pop them in the oven when your guests arrive, then serve with your favorite fillings or toppings. (Suggestions below!)

Savoury Walnut Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup California walnuts, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, frozen
1 cup milk
finely chopped California walnuts, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, walnuts, sugar, baking powder, salt, thyme and pepper.

Using a coarse cheese grater, grate frozen butter directly into dry ingredients, stirring occasionally to prevent butter from sticking together.

Pour milk into the mixture and stir gently with a wooden spoon until mixture just comes together to form dough. Turn the dough over a few times to gather up any remaining bits of flour. Dough should not be sticky. If it is, add a bit more flour.

Transfer the dough to a floured cutting board and divide into 4 equal pieces. Working quickly, using your hands, shape each piece into a round, flat disk, about 3/4-inch thick. Cut each disk into 8 even-sized wedges. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with milk. Sprinkle with finely chopped walnuts.

Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and cool slightly. Gently pull tops off the scones or cut horizontally. Fill with desired fillings or top half with desired toppings.

Makes 32 servings.

Filling/Topping Suggestions:

Cranberry and brie:

Dollop cranberry sauce
Thinly sliced brie cheese
Fresh watercress or baby arugula

Smoked salmon and cream cheese:
Room temperature cream cheese
Finely chopped red onion or finely chopped cherry tomato
Thinly sliced smoked salmon
Sprig of fresh dill

Apple, sage and goat cheese filling:
Thinly sliced green apple, skin on, dipped in lemon juice
Softened goat cheese
Fresh sage leaf

Per serving* (1 wedge): about 88 cal, 2 g pro, 6 g fat (2 g sat. fat), 8 g carb, 0.5 g fibre, 9 mg chol, 127 mg sodium. %RDI: 1% calcium, 4% iron, 3% vit A, 0% vit C. * Includes extra 1/4 cup walnuts used to sprinkle over dough (1 tbsp per round).

Thanks to walnutinfo.com for the recipe and photo!

Photo credit: walnutinfo.com

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