Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pumpkin Scones

Allow me to explain something folks.  My husband loves pumpkin.  I believe I've mentioned that before on this blog... oh yeah, on the Pumpkin Dessert Squares post.  So yeah, he loves pumpkin.  I know that as soon as September rolls around, I'm going to start hearing Ryan ask, "So when are you making something pumpkin?"  He usually asks for pie but he's figured out that I enjoy baking lots of other things (no clue where he'd get that idea from!) so now it's just "something pumpkin."  I enjoy scones.  I love me a good cinnamon scone (that was my very first post, remember?).  So I figured, why not make a pumpkin scone?  Not to mention the fact that my best friend Erin had asked me, "When are you going to make pumpkin scones?"  (Geez, these people seem to think I like to bake!) 

A side note about your butter.  To make your life easier, cut your butter into small pieces so it'll be easier for you to incorporate into your flour.  I usually cut my butter into Tbsp size pieces and then cut them into two or four smaller pieces.  When you cut in your butter with knives, you'll need to cut the butter crosswise (like you're cutting up spaghetti).  You want your butter to be about the size of peas and smaller.  But you certainly don't want the butter to be completely gone - that's what makes scones so good.

Pumpkin Scones
courtesy of King Arthur Flour

2 3/4 c. All Purpose Flour
1/3 c. Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
3/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 c. COLD Butter (I used salted, if using unsalted, please add 3/4 tsp salt)
1 cup Cinnamon Chips (or chocolate chips, they'd work too) - add more to taste, if you prefer
2/3 c. Pumpkin* 
2 Eggs

(Where's the preheat temp?  Down below - you don't want to preheat your oven just yet.)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and spices (and salt, if you're using it).
Using a pastry blender or two knives, work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly (it's OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated).
Stir in the cinnamon chips.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs till smooth.
Add the pumpkin/egg to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.
Line a baking sheet with parchment; if you don't have parchment, just spray your baking sheet with cooking spray (but parchment makes life easier).
Scrape the dough onto the parchment or pan, and .... here's where life can get interesting.  You can do one of two things - divide the dough in half, rounding each half into a 5"-6" circle.  (The circles should be about 3/4" thick.) ... OR ... You can leave the dough as one large round piece, giving you bigger scones.  Your circle should still be around 3/4" thick.
(If you want to make your scones look pretty, you can brush your scones with milk and sprinkle course sparkling sugar {aka Sugar in the Raw} over the top.)
Using a knife that you've run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges. (Why cold?  Makes it easier for the dough not to grip your knife so you come away with clean edges.)
Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2" space between them, at their outer edges.
Place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered.  (This will help them rise!)
While the scones are in the freezer, preheat the oven to 425°F.
Bake the scones for 22 to 25 minutes, or until they're golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, with no wet crumbs.

(See the lovely cinnamon chips which are full of cinnamon-y goodness?)

* - Your 2/3 c. of canned pumpkin... that's an odd measurement.  Most recipes call for the whole can!  Well, the lovely people are King Arthur Flour have a little note on their recipes that if you use a SCANT 2/3 c. of pumpkin, you'll be able to make THREE batches of theses scones!  Don't want to make another batch of scones?  Here are some ideas from the wonderful folks at KAF:
Pumpkin Muffins
Pumpkin Cake Bars
And remember, you can always make half a recipe of your favorite pumpkin item to use up that can.  This recipe will leave you more than half.  How do you save your opened pumpkin?  I froze 1 Tbsp of pumpkin in ice cube trays.  They'll defrost in my fridge overnight and be ready to use the following day :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Virtual Cookie Exchange!

Some of you may notice that I edited my last page (for the choc-peanut butter cookies recipe) to include a link for a virtual cookie exchange!  Cookie exchanges are great fun and a festive way to get new recipes!  I hope some of you will go check out the virtual cookie exchange link on my last post! :) :)

For those of you who want a link real quick like, here ya go!