Banana Macadamia Praline Scones

These scones were adapted from my Simply Scones book.  Instead of using 100% all-purpose flour, I split it in half using whole wheat pastry flour as well.  If you love banana bread, then these scones will hit that "curl up on the couch-with a cup of coffee-sitting in your pajamas" spot. 

¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tb brandy or water
¾ cup lightly salted macadamia nuts
1 ¼  cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 large bananas)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Lightly oil a 10-inch diameter circle on a baking sheet or put down a silipat.  In a small heavy saucepan, stir together the granulated sugar and brandy (or water).  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil.  Cook without stirring for 4 minutes, or until the mixture turns amber and caramelizes.  Immediately stir in the macadamia nuts and stir to coat the nuts with the syrup.  Immediately scrape the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet or silipat. Cool for 20 minutes or until hardened.  Transfer the mixture to a cutting board and chop the praline.

In a large bowl, stir the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Cut the butter into ½-inch cubes and distribute them over the flour mixture.  With a pastry blender or two knives used scissors fashion, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  In a small bowl, stir together the bananas, eggs, and vanilla.  Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine.  The dough will be sticky.  Stir in praline.

Take the dough and drop it on the parchment lined baking sheet (about baseball size).  Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Once you start smelling the wonder that comes from banana bread take it out and set it on a cooling rack.  Serve warm and be careful to not eat all of them too quickly. 

Makes 8 scones