Well, it is September . . . the month with amazingly warm, gorgeous days, flawless blue skies, and cool, crisp nights. This is the beginning blush on the perfect fruit of fall. I can’t help it . . . I adore fall, and when the weather starts to hint that cool evenings are coming, I dream of cozy flannel sheets, giant stew pots full of piping hot comfort bubbling merrily on the stove on chilly nights . . . and pumpkin. I dream of everything pumpkin.
I love everything about pumpkin . . . its incredible fall colors– in everything from ghostly white to glorious, burnt orange. I love the smell of pumpkin spice, and the merry grin of a Jack ‘O Lantern. And, of course, I love it woven into fragrant, spicy baked goods.
Today, we are going to take one of my favorite treats– scones– and dress them up in their autumn best. Starbucks recently debuted Pumpkin scones, and I thought, “I can make that!”
And you can, too.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
Pumpkin Spice Scones:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 tbsp. cold butter
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup mix-ins, optional (chocolate chips, nuts, craisins, etc).
1 packed cup powdered sugar
1 scant tsp. pumpkin pie spice (not quite a tsp.)
2 tbsp. milk
Whisk together your dry ingredients. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or 2 butter knives until your butter is the size of small peas. Add wet ingredients and stir until combined. Place in a scone pan (or pat into a circle and cut into wedges) and bake on parchment at 400 degrees until a toothpick comes out clean– roughly 20-25 minutes. When scones have cooled, drizzle with spiced glaze and serve with a piping hot cup of coffee or tea. Daydreaming optional. 😉
Now, in pictures! 🙂
First, whisk your dry ingredients together in a bowl. The dry ingredients are flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon.
Now, it’s time to “cut in” the butter. All scones, at their heart, are a quickbread– that is, basically a butter/flour mixture with wet ingredients added and baked at a high temperature. I have heard all these “miracle tips” about how you should freeze your butter, or grate it, or use a food processor . . .
But, at the end of the day, our great, great grandmas made phenomenal biscuits and other quick breads, and they didn’t have any of those things. So I know that amazingly light, fluffy biscuits and scones can be made without all that stuff.
You can cut in butter with 2 butter knives, or even with a fork, but I prefer to use a pastry blender. I got it from King Arthur flour here, and it’s the best pastry blender, ever. It has a flat bottom so that I can push my ingredients right into the bottom of the pan, as opposed to a traditional pastry blender which has a curved bottom.
Cut in your cold butter until you have small crumbs of butter remaining– they should be about the size of a small pea. These little pockets of butter will make your scones scrumptious and light 🙂
Now, mix in your wet ingredients– your pumpkin, egg, and sour cream. Mix these ingredients until they are well blended. At first, it will seem like you don’t have enough liquid, but just keep stirring, and it will come together into a shaggy dough. If you absolutely cannot get it to combine, add a tbsp. more pumpkin.
At this point, you can decide if you want to add anything to your scones. I am going to add 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips. Toss them with 1 tsp. flour so the chips don’t sink to the bottom of the scones while baking.
Stir your chocolate chips into the dough. It should be firm and very sticky. I have a scone pan, so I used a cookie scoop to plop scoops of dough into my pan. If you don’t have a scone pan, you can lightly flour and roll out a circle and cut it into wedges. Separate the wedges and bake them on parchment paper until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
I baked at 400 for about 20 minutes, but each oven is different, so keep an eye on your scones and make sure you don’t overbake. When they are finished, let them cool on cooling racks.
When the scones are completely cool, go ahead and pipe a few strings of spiced glaze over them, if you want. Alternatively, you can place your glaze in a bowl and dip the entire top of the scone in the glaze to cover.
Aren’t they cute? Let them dry (overnight, if possible) and give them away to friends and neighbors. I don’t think anything says “I’m so glad we are neighbors” like a batch of these fragrant little beauties.
Don’t give them all away, though, Keep a few for yourself.
Because you did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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