Pumpkin Scones

Sunday, December 27, 2009

For our family brunch yesterday, I needed to bring something that could be prepared ahead of time but would travel well. I decided that scones would be perfect because I could make them the night before, freeze them, and they would be ready to go right into the oven when we arrived at Michael's sister's house.

I have come across a lot of scone recipes that I want to try, but chose these simply because I had some pumpkin puree in the refrigerator that I had to use up.

I've seen a couple of variations of these pumpkin scones from Joy of Baking, but decided to go with Annie's version. The only thing I did differently was to cut the dough into the scone wedges prior to baking, instead of afterward. I've made that change in the instructions below. Oh, and I didn't bother with the glaze, but I've left that information in the recipe in case you'd like to use it. I will say that I don't think the scones needed it... they were great by themselves!

These had the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor, and were nice and fluffy. The butterscotch chips were an awesome addition and really made the scone, in my opinion.

Pumpkin Scones
(Source: Annie's Eats, adapted from Joy of Baking)

For the scones:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 8 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/3-1/2 cup butterscotch chips (or white chocolate or cinnamon chips, if you prefer)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the glaze:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Dash of ground nutmeg
- Dash of ground ginger
- Dash of ground cloves
- 2 tbsp. milk

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk just to combine.

3. Add the cold butter chunks to the bowl and stir with a fork to combine. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and the largest butter pieces are no bigger than peas. Mix in the butterscotch chips.

4. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir together gently just until the dough comes together. If necessary, knead a bit with your hands, but be careful not to overwork the dough or you will end up with a tough scone. (You may have to add more flour here; I did. The dough was simply too sticky to even handle with my hands. You want it to be somewhat sticky, but you should be able to knead it/form the round without too much of it sticking to your hands! Just add the flour a little bit at a time and work it in, trying not to overwork the dough in the process. I had to work with mine quite a bit and my scones still turned out just fine!)

5. Transfer the sticky mass of dough to a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough into a 8 or 9-inch round. Cut the dough into 8 wedges. Arrange wedges on a baking sheet, leaving an inch or two between each one. Bake immediately, or you can freeze for later use. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes (may need to bake longer for frozen scones). If you are omitting the glaze, you can serve while warm (which I highly recommend!).

6. If you will be drizzling with the glaze, allow to cool to room temperature. To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and spices in a small bowl. Add the milk and whisk to combine, until a thick glaze is formed. (If necessary, add a bit more milk to achieve a consistency good for drizzling the glaze.) Use a whisk to drizzle the glaze over the finished scones (or use a plastic baggie with a tip cut off). Allow the glaze to set before serving.


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