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Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

With Thanksgiving just a week away, I imagine you’re knee-deep in recipe ideas.  Well here’s one more.  No, it’s not a dish or dessert for the big meal, but rather something quick and delectable to pull together when your overnight guests wake in the morning.  Something that will make them feel warm and cozy and loved.  These pumpkin scones are fantastic, and you’d do well to remember that I’m very fussy about my scones. Too hard– forget it. Too dry– kick them to the curb. But those ones that are just right– firm on the outside and flakey on the inside– well, I could devour a whole pan. These fit into that just right, or rather “perfect” category.

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

So, through the years of playing around with different scone recipes, I’ve learned that one thing is the key.  And I’ve shared this before, but it’s so important that I’ll emphasize it again.  Use grated frozen butter.  Always use grated frozen butter.  In fact– use grated frozen butter for most baked goods– pie crusts and biscuits included.  Keeping the dough completely cold is the key to it’s flakiness.   It’s so simple to grab a stick of butter from the freezer on a whim and whip these up. Aside from the convenience, grated butter means that you don’t have to work as hard to incorporate it into the flour.  It’s already in tiny pea-sized pieces.  I’ve found that using my hands works best. Toss it around a bit and then mix in the wet ingredients with a fork or spatula. The less you work with scone dough, the better they’ll turn out.

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

Keep in mind that all of the flour does not need to be fully incorporated– it’s ok if your dough has a bit of flour on the top– in fact it’ll be easier this way. This dough is more wet than my usual scone recipe because of the pumpkin.  So be sure to sprinkle a bit of flour on your hands before you pat it out into a circle and cut it into wedges. Because it’s a wetter dough, freezing them on the pan for 15 minutes before they bake is also important to help them keep their shape.  These scones have all the autumnal spices you’d expect and taste amazing with a hot cup of coffee.  I love the addition of maple and nutmeg into the icing.  It adds character.  I hope these scones find their way onto your kitchen table one of these cold, snowy mornings.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing | Relishing It

The Recipe: Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing

(makes 6-8)

For the Scones:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (11 1/4 ounces)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup plain canned pumpkin (Farmers Market Organic Pumpkin is my favorite brand)

1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt

3 eggs, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter, coarsely grated

turbinado or demerara sugar for sprinkling

For the Icing:

1 cup confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons real maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

about 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

pinch of salt (this is important– it will enhance the flavor of the icing, so don’t be stingy)

roasted salted hazelnuts, for topping (almonds, pistachios, or walnuts would work, too)

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and cinnamon.

In a medium-sized bowl mix together the brown sugar, pumpkin, yogurt, 2 eggs, and vanilla.

In a small bowl, use a fork to mix 1 egg with 1 teaspoon of water, the the egg wash.

Coarsely grate the butter using the largest holes on a box grater.  Work quickly, so the ingredients stay cold.  Mix the butter into the flour mixture using your fingertips.  You want the butter to be coated with the flour.  Work quickly.  Then, using a fork or spatula, mix the wet ingredients into the butter/flour mixture. Do not over-mix.  It’s ok to see specks of flour that haven’t been fully incorporated.  Sprinkle countertop with flour, as well as your hands. The dough will be sticky. Place dough on the counter and pat into a 6-inch round circle. Use a bench knife or a chef’s knife to cut into 6-8 wedges.  Place the wedges on the lined baking sheet and put into the freezer for 15 minutes.

Remove from freezer and apply egg wash with a pastry brush.  Then sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until they feel set in the middle and they have developed a beautiful deep golden color. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

To make the Icing: Whisk all of the ingredients together until creamy.  Add more cream, if need be.  Dollop the icing onto the scones and smooth out.  Top with salted roasted hazelnuts, or your nut of choice.  Store leftovers in an airtight container, but they are best if eaten the first day.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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Sour Cream Apple Pie | Relishing It

I thought I’d share my husband’s all-time favorite pie with you today.  It’s an interesting twist on the typical apple pie, and it would make a great Thanksgiving-day dessert.  I’ll explain the pie in a minute, but first I want to take a moment to talk about my husband– because that’s way more fun.

Sour Cream Apple Pie | Relishing It

Radd.  Yep, that’s his real, full, first name.  The one his parents made-up and named him, though according to family lore, it was mostly his mom’s choice.  I think it’s one of the best names I’ve ever heard.  And I’ve never heard anyone else with it– it’s unique, which suits him.  Radd and I started dating in high school, a looong time ago.  He had this gangly teenage-boy body that looked too small for his large head, while I was sporting huge early 90’s hair to go with my rolled jeans, and a mouth full of braces.  We really were just kids.  We ventured off to college together and he became my home, so to speak.  You know that feeling– that wherever you are together is home and quite possibly the most comfortable place in the world.  Yes, that feeling.  Why am I writing about this now?  Well, we recently celebrated Radd’s 40th birthday.  And while I was excited to celebrate this milestone with him, I was also taken aback.  I had a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that this boy I’ve been with for 23 years is now a middle-aged man.  Where did the time go?  At any rate, I adore him.  He’s intelligent, hilarious, bizarre (in a great way), and an incredible dad.  Not to mention, he understands me– I mean really gets me.  Which is probably the most important thing of all.

Sour Cream Apple Pie | Relishing It

Now to the pie that I made Radd for his birthday.  This Sour Cream Apple pie is his favorite.  Full Stop.  The recipe comes from my Mom– she made it for him once many years ago and he’s loved it ever since.  It’s a delicious apple crumble-like pie with a lovely slightly tart sour cream custard-like filling.  There are notes of nutmeg (which is one of my favorite spices) and cinnamon.  Taken as a whole, it’s pretty amazing.  This pie is perfect for Thanksgiving, or any type of entertaining, because it actually gets better if it’s left in the refrigerator for a day.  The custard has time to set up and the flavors seem to meld even more after a bit of time.  Though, I know that some of you prefer a warm apple pie, so feel free to bake it at the last minute.  Whichever you prefer, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Need more great Holiday dessert ideas?  This Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake  and this Bourbon-Chocolate Pecan Pie remain some of my all-time favorites.

Sour Cream Apple Pie | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Sour Cream and Apple Pie

Use 1/2 of this all-butter pie crust recipe

1 cup full-fat sour cream

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I like mine to have a definite nutmeg taste so I use 1/2 teaspoon)

2 cups diced apples ( about 4 apples)

For the Crumble Topping:

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, diced

Follow the recipe and instructions from this recipe to prepare the pie dough.  Either make the entire recipe for the dough, and save half for later.  Or simply make only half of the recipe.  You decide.

Pre-heat your oven to 400°F.

To make the Crumble Topping:  In a small bowl, stir the dry ingredients together with a fork.  Then, using that fork, cut the butter into the mixture until it’s crumbly and all of the dry ingredients are incorporated into the butter.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the Pie Filling, beat together the first seven ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until smooth.  Gently stir in the apples.  Set aside.

Shape the pie dough in a 9-inch pie plate.  Pour the apple/sour cream filling into the pie.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Then reduce heat to 350°F for 30 minutes.  Remove pie from oven and add the crumble mixture to the top of the pie.  Return to oven and increase the heat to 400°F and bake for another 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a cooling rack.  Cover and place in the refrigerator if wanting to serve it cold.  Enjoy!

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Thanks for stopping by today!

Laurie

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One of the best smells in the world– especially on a weekend morning– has to be homemade caramel sticky buns baking in the oven.  The sweet scent of cinnamon wafting through the house, along with the earthy aroma of toasted pecans, is just… divine really.  Caramel sticky buns are one of my family’s favorite weekend treats, so a few years ago we began to scour the Twin Cities for the best ones.  We found a few gems, but more often than not, we were disappointed.  Many were too ‘bread-y’, others were covered in so much caramel that they were just a mess, and a few were hard, crunchy disasters.

Aside from returning to that handful of favorites that we did find, I decided to work on a version that was just right.  I try new sticky bun recipes all the time– I really do.  We’ve gone through a few that are really tasty, but this one is the best.  And it’s better than any we’ve found in local bakeries or cafe’s.  Honestly, it’s perfect.  It makes a nice tall bun that is soft and tender– not too dense– with a lightly-crunchy top.  The dough is soft, buttery, and very easy to work with.  It rolls out beautifully.

One interesting thing about this recipe is that the caramel is on the top and bottom of the roll.  This means you don’t invert the rolls when they’re finished.  Instead, you top them with another helping of caramel.  The result is an even distribution of the caramel throughout the roll.  It’s a simple difference, but it’s genius.

Another thing that makes these buns different from most recipes is that for the filling, you whip the butter along with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg (nutmeg makes everything better).  In most other versions, you just spread the butter and sprinkle on the spices.  It makes an amazing difference, so do not avoid this step.  You’re going to want to lick the mixture right off the spoon!

These buns are wonderful to prepare ahead of time.  You can do this a few ways.  First, the dough can be refrigerated (it needs to chill for at least to two hours before it can be rolled into buns, anyway).  Another option is to finish the buns, get them into the pan, and refrigerate overnight.  The rise time will be a bit longer (because the dough is cold), but it makes having a fresh sticky bun in the morning so much easier.  Finally, you can just make them the night before– including the baking– since these one’s stay soft and moist.  In the morning, just top them with the last of the caramel and toasted pecans.  Hope you enjoy these sticky buns as much as we do!

The Recipe:  Perfect Caramel Sticky Buns

(Makes 9)

For the Dough:

2/3 cup whole milk

5 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 3/4 cup (14 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces, plus a bit more melted

For the Caramel Topping:

2 cups chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Filling:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

pinch of kosher salt

flour, for dusting

1 egg, for brushing on the buns

Sea salt

Prepare the dough by heating the milk in a saucepan or microwave until the temperature registers 110-115°F.  Mix in the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar.  Let it sit for 5 minutes to get foamy.  Add the eggs and whisk until smooth.  Add the remaining sugar, flour, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment.  Give the mixture a quick stir with a whisk, then add the wet ingredients.  Turn the machine on and mix until it’s a shaggy mess.  Add the butter, one chunk at a time, making sure to wait until each piece is mostly incorporated.  When everything is incorporated, knead the dough on medium  for about 5 minutes.  The dough should be soft and silky.  Place the dough into a large bowl that has been lightly coated with melted butter.  Pour a bit more of the melted butter on top of the dough and spread evenly with your hands.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

Toast the pecans by placing them on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes, or until fragrant.  Let cool.

Prepare the caramel by melting the butter in a small saucepan.  Add the brown sugar, cream, honey, and salt.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.  Let continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes.  The glaze will be a deep golden brown.  Pour one cup of the glaze into an 8×8-inch pan.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the toasted pecans over the glaze.  Reserve the remaining glaze (refrigerate with a cover, if using much later).  Note: I’ve made these rolls by lining the pan with parchment paper so they could be easily removed and placed on a platter.  It also works just as easily to put them into the pan with nothing at all — the choice is yours.

Prepare the filling by placing the butter, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, and nutmeg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Set aside.

Form the buns by putting a light coat of flour down on a work surface.  Roll the chilled dough into a 12 x 16-inch rectangle.  Spread the butter/spice mixture on it, leaving a 1-inch plain border on the side furthest away from you.  Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the pecans over the butter (reserve the remaining pecans — put into an airtight container, if using much later).  Roll the dough into a tight log.  Cut and discard the very edges, if they are uneven.  Cut the remaining dough into 9 equal pieces.  Re-shape if they flatten out in the cutting process.  Place them in the pan and cover with plastic wrap or a light kitchen towel.  Let rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 45 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size ( 1 1/2 – 2 hours, if the dough has been chilled overnight).

After the buns have properly raised, whisk the egg with 1/2 teaspoon of water and brush onto the buns.  Place the pan of buns on a baking sheet and put into a 350°F oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 185°F in the center.    Remove from oven and let cool for a bit.  Pour remaining glaze on the buns and top with the pecans.  Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy with a hot cup of coffee.

Source:  Adapted from Bon Appetite

Thanks for stopping by RelishingIt today!

Laurie

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The title of this post might be a little misleading…mainly because it is, in fact, misleading.  These aren’t pumpkin waffles. These are Sweet Mama Winter Squash Waffles.  Aside from the fact that it doesn’t roll off the tongue, I figured ‘squash waffles’ might turn some of you away.  Here’s the thing though, these taste a lot like fresh pumpkin.  And besides, most of the canned pumpkin you find at the market contains squash.  Bet you didn’t know that.  I guess what I’m saying is, I’m comfortable with the deception.

Weekend breakfasts are one of my favorite Fall events– and yes, I consider them an event.  We aren’t in as big a rush to leave the house in the mornings as we are in the Summer.  The farmers market isn’t as picked over when we don’t get there just after sunrise.  Instead, we lounge around in the morning, watching Liverpool play soccer and drinking French-press coffee, while the kids play nearby.  My homebody boys, Aanen and Radd, really love these lazy Fall weekend mornings.

Although I was a bit deceptive at the top, I’m not when I say these waffles are near perfect.  I’ve done my best to make them more healthy by adding whole grains, smaller amounts of sugar, and just a bit of butter.  They are perfectly spiced– not too much, not too little.  I made these particular waffles from a Sweet Mama Squash, which tastes very similar to a Butter Cup.  I’ve also made them with Sugar Pie Pumpkins, as well as canned 100% organic pumpkin.  They all work well, so don’t feel that you must puree your own.  (But if you do, I have another fantastic recipe later this week for your left-over squash).  Whatever you decide to use, I strongly urge you to top them with a dollop or more (so much for healthy) of freshly whipped cream and raw turbinado sugar.  It adds such an amazing, sweet crunch.  Try these this week, you’ll end up making them all the time.

The Recipe:  Pumpkin Waffles

(Makes about 10 waffles)

1 cup white unbleached all-purpose

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for waffle iron

1/2 cup winter squash or pumpkin puree

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/4 cups 2% milk (add a bit more, if needed)

Do ahead:  To make the puree — Preheat oven to 375°F.  Quarter the squash or pumpkin if large or half it if smaller.  Remove the insides.  Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Cover with aluminum foil if quartered.  If only halved, place cut side down and you shouldn’t need to cover them.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender.  Remove from oven and let cool a bit.   Puree in a food processor until very smooth.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the waffles:  Preheat the waffles iron.  Place the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk them together.  Add the eggs, squash puree,  2 tablespoons melted butter, vanilla, and milk.  Whisk until just mixed.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Add more milk, if too thick.

Brush the waffles iron with a bit of melted butter.  Ladle 1/4 cup into each section of the waffle maker.  Make sure to smooth it out as much as possible.  Cook until a deep, golden brown.  Remove and let cool for a minute or so.  Top each waffle with real maple syrup, freshly whipped cream, toasted walnuts, and a sprinkle of raw turbinado sugar.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Laurie

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