Where has the summer gone? It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating the 4th of July. Now, Labor Day is just around the corner. The kids are headed back to school and college. And here in Southwestern Pennsylvania, we have had much cooler than normal weather this week with highs in the low 70s and nighttime lows in the 50s. Wow! It really feels like fall.
When the weather starts to turn at this time of year, I get really excited to bake (well, more than I usually am!) because the classic autumnal flavors are my absolute favorites to work with. Apple, cranberry and pumpkin; cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. It doesn't get any better than this.
There are so many ways to use these wonderful ingredients. You'll find that I use pumpkin and cranberry more than apple in my harvest baking. It's not that I dislike apple. Quite the contrary. I love apples but when it comes to my baking, I just tend to gravitate to pumpkin and cranberry. Today, I am going to talk about a couple of my favorite harvest baking recipes and yes, they feature pumpkin.
Have you ever baked scones? If not, you may want to start and the first recipe I would recommend is one of my favorite King Arthur Flour recipes - Harvest Pumpkin Scones. These scones look and taste fabulous. A lovely harvest gold from the pumpkin, these scones also include both cinnamon chips and crystallized ginger which take the warm, comforting spiciness of the scones over the top. When I make harvest pumpkin scones for my friends and family, there are NEVER any leftovers.
FYI - Scones are easy to mix together and shape. And unbaked scones can be frozen. So if you want to surprise loved ones with freshly baked scones when they wake up in the morning, mix them up the night before, shape them on the baking sheet and put them in the freezer (sheet and all). In the morning, slide the scones into a preheated oven to bake (no need to thaw them!). Just add 5 to 15 minutes to the baking time depending on the size of your scones.
I have always loved pumpkin quick bread and I have the most wonderful recipe which I found on King Arthur Flour's website about 7 years ago. Chock full of the pumpkin friendly spices cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, this quick bread also boasts dried cranberries, crystallized ginger and cinnamon chips. Pumpkin quick bread is moist, spicy and just delicious. In fact, it deserves a post of its own so count on seeing pumpkin quick bread here on The Peel as we move into fall.
I have many, many other harvest baking recipes that I will be featuring on The Peel in the weeks to come. I hope that you are inspired to give one or more of them a try. As the weather gets cooler, there is nothing more satisfying than a home baked treat with a mug of hot coffee, tea or cider. Happy Baking one and all!
Sharing this post on Between Naps on the Porch's Metamorphosis Monday.