A few weeks ago, I gave you a preview into my fall baking plans. One of the recipes that I mentioned that day was Harvest Pumpkin Scones, a gorgeous gold scone redolent of the sweet spices of fall - cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice - and bursting with both crystallized ginger and cinnamon chips. Topped with coarse white sparking sugar just before baking, eating one of these scones is like holding autumn in your hand.
Scones are easy-peasey to make. You don't even need to use your mixer. Scones can be made with a wooden spoon and your hands. Hungry for a taste of autumn gold? Let's get cracking and mix up a batch of Harvest Pumpkin Scones. (The recipe can be found on King Arthur Flour's web site.)
In a large bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients: AP flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Cut cold butter into pieces and add to the bowl with dry ingredients, working it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or your fingers. You want to work the butter in so that the flour mixture is crumbly. Some larger pieces of butter can remain. In fact, those chunks of butter will help to make your scones light.
After working the butter into the flour mixture, add in cinnamon chips and diced crystallized ginger. The recipe calls for adding either cinnamon chips, crystallized ginger or chocolate chips. I prefer to add a combination of cinnamon chips AND crystallized ginger. The cinnamon chips melt during baking leaving pockets of cinnamon goodness in the finished scone. And the crystallized ginger? This is one of my favorite baking ingredients. The chunks of ginger soften during baking and are chewy and sweetly spicy hot. Yum!!
In a separate bowl, mix together the canned pumpkin and the eggs. Be sure to use plain pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. The pie filling is sweetened and spiced. You want the plain pumpkin.
After thoroughly mixing the pumpkin and eggs, add the mixture to the flour/butter mixture and stir together. After combining the ingredients, scrape the dough together and divide it evenly into two parts.
Place each chunk of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Shape each chunk into a circle or square about 3/4 inch thick. Cut each square into either 6 or 12 scones depending on the size that you want. Separate the scones slightly from each other so that they will bake more evenly.
After you have shaped the scones, leave them on the baking sheet and put them into the freezer for about 30 minutes to allow the butter to firm up again while the oven preheats to 425 degrees. At this point you can leave the scones in the freezer to bake them at a later date. If you want to bake the scones later, remove them from the baking sheet and store them in a zip lock bag in the freezer until you are ready to bake them.
If you choose to bake the scones the day you mix them, bake the scones in the 425 degree oven for 22 to 25 minutes after chilling them in the freezer. If your scones were frozen overnight or longer, add 5 to 15 minutes to the baking time depending on the size of the scones. Before sliding the scones into the oven, brush them with milk and sprinkle on coarse sparkling sugar for a little added sweetness and crunch. Bake the scones until they are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Scones are best eaten the day they are made. Trust me, if you make a batch of these scones, there will be no leftovers. Period. Don't believe me? Just mix up a batch and see how fast they disappear.
Until next week, happy baking dear friends!