A couple of weeks ago I was in Madison, WI and got to visit the awesome farmer's market there. I was really excited to find (among other things) hickory nuts. I actually squealed, I was so excited.
But, honestly, I'd never even had hickory nuts before.
I had an idea of what they might taste like, though, from hearing descriptions of them and loving the smell of hickory wood. So I shelled out six bucks for a little baggie of nuts that I didn't really know if I liked or not. I LOVE finding locally grown nuts, even if they're unfamiliar.
Lucky for me, I loved them. They taste like richer, woods-ier pecans. I'm sorry to have to make up words like that. There's just no other way to say it.
But how to use them...
They'd been sitting on my shelf for weeks and I kept saving them for something special. So this morning I decided to make something special.
I mixed up a batch of plain scones from Vegan with a Vengeance and added 1/2 cup (maybe a bit more?) of the coarsely chopped nuts. A happy accidental deviation from this recipe is that I was out of any type of milk except light canned coconut milk. So I used coconut milk for all the milk/cream called for in the recipe. I also reduced the oil by about 2 Tbsp. (because the light coconut milk still has a good bit of fat) and added 2 Tbsp. maple syrup to compliment the earthy nuts.
And because I feel pretty strongly that scones in wedges are far superior to the round variety, I patted the dough out and cut it into triangles (Follow the instructions for the orange scones for this shape if you're already looking up the recipe. Just turn the page.).
These babies baked up pillow-y and studded with hickory nuts throughout. I mixed up a little coconut-maple glaze for the top (sifted powdered sugar, maple extract, vanilla bean paste, and just a couple drips of coconut milk to form a thick liquid) and then sat down to breakfast.