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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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Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing It

Alright, let’s have a serious talk about scones.  I absolutely love them, but I’m amazed at how difficult it is to get a good scone at most bakeries.  They’re often too cake-y, too hard, or too dry.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve ordered a scone that looked just right behind the display, but ended up disappointed once I took that first bite.  Of course, there are those few bakeries that get it perfectly right.  I’ve tried to capture their perfect combination of texture and flavor in this recipe.

Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing It

For me, the ideal scone needs to be both dense and airy.  And no, I don’t think those qualities are mutually exclusive.  A scone should have heft, or substance, but at the same time not resemble a cake.  If I wanted cake, I’d have made one.  And I don’t want a dry scone that crumbles apart and leaves a dusty, parched feel in my mouth.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that a really good scone requires a delicate balance– and I think this receipe gets that balance just right.  Plus, you get the added bonus of whole grains and delicious blueberries that transform into something close to a jam when baked.  Delicious.

Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing It

Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing It

Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing It

Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing it

These scones take only a few minutes to mix up and about 20 minutes to bake.  The less you fuss with them, the better they tend to be.  In other words, don’t overmix these babies.  Those butter clumps will melt in the oven and result in that beautiful airy quality that you’re looking for.   Frozen butter works just as well here as refrigerated, so don’t stress if you forgot to thaw it.  So whether it’s for a weekday breakfast or a relaxing one on the weekend– these scones are what you’re looking for.  Give them a try.

Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing it

Whole Grain Blueberry Scones | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Whole Grain Blueberry Scones

Makes 6-8

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries or frozen (not thawed)

10 ounces (2 cups) white whole wheat flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 eggs, divided

1/2 cup whole milk yogurt

6 tablespoons very cold, or frozen butter

zest of one lemon

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

For the Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 –  2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat an oven to 400 °F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix 2 eggs, the yogurt, and lemon zest together.  Set aside.

In another small bowl, mix 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water for an egg wash.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt together.  Then cube or grate (with the large holes of a box grater) your cold or frozen butter.  Use a pastry blender to mix it together.  Incorporate it until the clumps are pea sized.  This will take virtually no time if using grated butter.  Just be sure to coat all the butter with the flour.  Then add the blueberries.  Use the pastry blender to incorporate by flipping/tossing the ingredients together.  Don’t smash the blueberries, for goodness sakes.  Then, add the egg/yogurt mixture and stir together with a fork or a rubber spatula.  Remember to not overwork the dough.

Sprinkle a bit of flour down on a clean surface and pour the dough onto it.  Pat it into a 6-inch round.  Use a knife or a bench knife to cut it into 6-8 triangles.  Place them on the parchment paper and use a pastry brush to lightly cover each scone with the egg wash.  Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar and bake for 20 minutes, or until a nice golden brown.  Let cool.

In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice together until your desired consistency.  Drizzle over the scones.   They keep well for days in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!

Laurie

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Oh, I do love a good a scone.  And I’m not too fussy about the style.  I love cake-like scones with a bit of icing on the top just as much as I enjoy the crumbly biscuit-like versions.  This scone falls firmly into that second category.  It’s substantial.  Dense.  Almost ‘heavy’ (in a good way!) because of all those healthy whole grains packed into such a small treat.  But it also has a nice hint of natural sweetness from the maple syrup, which marries incredibly well with those oats.

These scones come together in a flash, so they are perfect for a lazy weekend morning.  Be sure not to overwork the dough, as the irregular cold butter chunks make for a wonderfully textured scone.  When you bake these, the cold butter leaves behind empty air pockets which add a fantastic, flakey texture.  Yes, chunks of butter are a good thing.   I decided to not put any sugar in the scone (aside from the sprinkles on top), and instead let the sweetness of the maple syrup come through.  It worked perfectly.  I like to eat these treats with a smear of butter and a little maple syrup on the side.  Enjoy!

The Recipe:  Oat and Maple Scones

(Makes 7 round scones or 6 wedges)

1 3/4 cups (235 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (80 grams) whole-wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup (53 grams) old fashioned rolled oats

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 HEAPING tablespoon baking powder

1/4 cup real maple syrup

1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk or milk, (use a bit more, if necessary)

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted, cold butter, cut into small cubes

1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

About 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on the tops

Preheat the oven for 400°F.  Position rack to the middle of the oven.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the flours, oats, baking powder, and salt together into a bowl.  Whisk them together.  With a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small breadcrumbs.  (Note: a food processor can also be used, but I would recommend mixing in the oatmeal by hand at the very end, so it retains it’s shape.)  It’s ok to have some irregular chunks of butter.  In a small bowl, mix the buttermilk and maple syrup together.  Pour them into the flour mixture and either by hand, or with a rubber spatula mix it all together to form a dough.  Do not over mix.  If the mixture feels too dry, add a bit more milk.  This particular dough should not be sticky.

On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough out until it is about 1 1/4 – inches tall.  Using a 2-inch cutter cut the dough into about 7 rounds and place them on the parchment- lined baking sheet.  Or cut them into 6 larger wedges, if you don’t have a 2-inch cutter.  Using a pastry brush, top the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.  Bake them for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

These scones are best if eaten on the day they are made.  They will dry out a bit after that, but certainly nothing a little smear of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup can’t help.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals at Rose Bakery via Smitten Kitchen

Hope you’re all having a lovely week — thanks for stopping by!

Laurie

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It’s finally apple season!  Both my children and I have done our best to make a dent in the local apple harvest over the last couple of weeks by chomping on several a day.  Minnesota’s own Honeycrisp has become our household favorite, though we’ve eaten more than our fair share of Zestars, Cortlands, and Sweet Tangos.  There are so many beautiful varieties available right now– both sweet and tart.  For me, apple season arrives just in time.  Aside from getting to take the kids out to the apple orchard for a nice Saturday event, it’s the signal that cool, crisp Autumn days are finally here.  And, to be honest, it shows up just when I think I can’t possibly eat another berry.  That’s one of the things I love about eating seasonally– just when I start to tire of one type of produce, another one comes along to freshen things up.

What you’re looking at is one of my favorites little treats– apple and white cheddar scones.  Think about that for a minute– apples and cheese.  Sweet and savory complimenting one another perfectly!  My taste buds have been craving these scones every morning, but my jeans remind me that it maybe isn’t such a good idea.  Moderation, right?   These scones are nicely tender on the inside.  While the firm, crusty exterior really gets that whole contrasting-textures thing right.  Each bite starts with a nice crunch, followed by a perfect, melt-in-your-mouth center.

I like to use a nice tart apple variety for these scones.  The recipe calls for white cheddar, though I’ve made them with regular cheddar and they’ve been just as tasty.   Another convenient thing about this recipe is that it makes a fairly small batch– just six scones.  Your jeans will be thankful for that.  You’ll want to eat these scones soon after they come out of the oven.  However, if you are unable to eat them all on the day they were made (this WILL NOT be a problem), just leave them out uncovered.  They will retain a bit more of their crunchiness that way.

The Recipe:  Apple and White Cheddar Scones

(Makes 6)

2 firm tart apples (about 1 pound, 454 grams), peeled, cored, and cut into sixteenths

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (195 grams)

1/4 cup  granulated sugar (52 grams)

1/2 tablespoon baking powder (7.35 grams)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1 gram), plus extra for egg wash

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (85 grams) chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup sharp white cheddar cheese (65 grams), shredded

1/4 cup heavy cream (57 grams)

2 large eggs (96 grams), at room temperature

2 teaspoons raw cane sugar  (this adds a nice crunch, substitute granulated sugar if you don’t have any)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Position rack to center of the oven.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the cut apples  in a single layer onto the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until they develop a little color and are dry to the touch.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

Place the chilled butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Add the apples, cheese, cream, and one of the eggs.  Add the flour mixture on top of everything and mix on low until the dough just comes together.  Do not overmix.

Liberally flour a work surface and place the dough on it.  Put a little flour onto your hands and gently flatten the dough into a 6-inch circle.  Make sure the dough is even throughout, so that it bakes evenly.  Cut the circle into 6 wedges and transfer them to a lined baking sheet.

In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a pinch of salt.  Brush the egg wash onto each scone and sprinkle with the raw sugar.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until they are firm and very golden.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Bill Yoses and Melissa Clarks’s The Perfect Finish Cookbook

Thanks for stopping by today!

Laurie

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