Maple. Butter. Scone.
One sweet and adored syrup, one coveted and loved spread, and a dessert that always leaves me wanting more. This maple butter scone recipe with a graham cracker streusel is worth its weight in gold.
Buttery, flaky layers, adorned with caramel pieces, infused with Caramel Brittle Pu-erh, and topped with a maple graham cracker streusel—need I say more?
The Refined History of Maple Syrup
The sweet history of maple syrup began long ago before colonists even settled in the Americas. Native Americans discovered and utilized maple tree sap to create this sweet syrup we’ve come to know and love.
Native Americans would carve out a “v” into the maple tree and hang carved-out baskets, made from wood or bark. Depending on which was used, some were used again and again each year, such as the wooden baskets. The bark baskets were only used for the current season. Following collection, the sap was boiled down to make beautiful maple syrup.
When the colonists arrived, they learned from the Native Americans how to harvest the sap and make syrup, but they began to utilize different methods to collect and boil it down. Instead of making a “v” in the tree, they drilled a hole, inserted a spout, and used a bucket to collect the sap.
When they would boil the sap, they would not only make syrup, but they would also make maple sugar. Since cane sugar was so expensive to import, this became a great way to have it on hand and save on costs.
How To Make the Perfect Brown Butter
This recipe requires us to make beautiful brown butter. Believe it or not, there is a right way to do this, and if it’s not done right, you can quickly find yourself in ‘hot water’. Let’s learn how we can properly make perfect brown butter!
First up, I want to note that brown butter cooks quickly, so when making it, it’s important to keep a close eye on it and keep stirring, making sure not to overcook it.
It helps to have your butter at room temperature and to use a light-colored pan, so you can see your butter color as it browns. You will be able to see the beautiful little brown flecks of flavor develop against the lighter backdrop.
Place your butter in a saucepan over medium heat, making sure that it cooks evenly. Stir the butter the entire time using a silicone spatula. Once the butter is melted, you’re going to see it start to foam around the edges. This is good!
Keep stirring as it sizzles and foams. Depending on how much butter you’re browning will depend on how long you cook it, but it will be several minutes.
You want to see the butter begin to turn golden brown, the foam begins to subside, and the little nutty brown flecks at the bottom of the pan. The butter should smell nutty and toasty and decadent!
You’ll immediately want to remove the butter from the pan to a heat-safe bowl. There you go! Now you know how to make perfectly browned butter!
Decadent Tea Pairings
If you really want to ramp up the maple and have some maple-on-maple flavor, then our Heritage Blend black tea made with real Vermont maple syrup is the perfect choice for your cuppa!
It’s a beautiful dark, flavorful black tea, with natural sweetness from the incorporated maple syrup. It’s a great pick-me-up, as it has plenty of caffeine as well. You can enjoy this one hot, iced, and even with cream. It’s a fun, versatile, delightful drink!
Are you an Earl Grey lover? Well, I am! This one has skyrocketed to the top of my favorites list! The Picard black tea blend incorporates everything we love about an Earl Grey, with fresh pecans. It’s homey, with a touch of sweetness, and smells satiating.
One other I’d temp you to try is Oregon Breakfast black tea. This black tea incorporates honeybush, orange peel, and hazelnuts. It’s a great tea to start the day, but also a great pairing with this dessert. The citrus flavors of this tea pair beautifully with the sweetness, while also cutting through some of the heavier layers. What’s even better is that it comes in a decaf option as well if you’d prefer to go this route.
I’d like to leave you with a couple of other fun and fabulous recipes if you’re a maple and scone lover. I think you’d love our spiced maple oatmeal scones or our maple walnut scones. Both wrap up in the sweet goodness of all things maple!
Maple Brown Butter Scone with Graham Cracker Streusel Recipe
- 1 cup cold whole milk
- 3 teaspoons Caramel Brittle Pu-erh
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 and a 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 10 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup soft caramels, chopped
Graham Cracker Streusel
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
Tea Mixture for Scones
On low heat in a small pan, while stirring consistently, bring the milk and Caramel Brittle Pu-erh to a simmer.
Just before the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat, and add in your 1/4 cup sugar and stir to dissolve. Let steep until it cools at least 30 minutes.
Once cool, strain the tea mixture through a sieve and use a wooden spoon to squeeze out all the steeped milk. Place the milk and sugar mixture in the fridge to let it cool for at least 30 minutes, until cold.
Graham Cracker Streusel
In a medium bowl, add your graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar. In a separate smaller heatproof bowl, add your pure maple syrup. Set aside.
On medium heat in a small saucepan, add your 1/3 cup room temperature butter. Continually stir your butter as it begins to bubble and brown.
Once you’ve browned your butter, immediately remove it from the heat and place it into the same bowl as your maple syrup. Stir to combine. Then slowly drizzle over your mixture of graham cracker and brown sugar. Use a fork or spoon to mix until well blended and there aren’t any dry areas left.
Set aside for now.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix the milk-tea mixture and salt. Stir until well combined and the salt has dissolved. Set aside.
In your electric stand mixer, using your pastry cutter attachment, whisk together flour and baking powder until combined. Then cut in 10 tablespoons of 1/2 inch cubes of cold butter. You may also do this by hand, or use a pastry cutter. Blend well until evenly coated in the flour mixture and most of the butter is the size of peas.
Add in the milk tea, sugar, and salt mixture and stir until large chunks form. Now it’s time to transfer to your work surface.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and fold the dough gently a few times. Take a lightly floured rolling pin and roll the dough into a 14”x8” rectangle, with the long side facing you.
Next, spread 2 tablespoons softened butter (leaving one remaining) evenly over the dough with your fingertips then sprinkle the chopped caramel pieces on top and press to adhere.
Fold up the bottom third of the dough over the center, then fold down the top third to meet the bottom edge, as if folding a letter.
Now, take your last tablespoon of butter and smear over the top of the folded scone with your fingertips. Take your graham cracker streusel you prepared earlier and add it (in bountiful heaps) to the top of the scone, using all of the mixture.
Cut dough in half crosswise and then again on either side to form 8 even rectangular scones. Carefully transfer to your prepared pan, spacing 2" apart, to leave room for the expansion of the scones. *Don’t worry if you lose a little of your graham cracker streusel along the way, it’s okay, as we added plenty!
Bake until scones are golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Once the scones are done, cool the scones on the baking sheet on a wire rack.
You may serve them hot, warm, or at room temperature. Store them in an airtight container, single layer.
*Don’t be surprised if some of your streusel falls off when moving these around, just be gentle, but no worries as we loaded them up! One of the best parts of these maple butter scones is biting into the mounded top of graham cracker brown butter streusel. Enjoy!
*Recipe adapted from Ultra-Buttery Irish Scones