Pumpkin Scones

I have a confession to make: I don’t really like pumpkin spice lattes.  It’s tough because I live in North Texas and when the PSL is released (in what, July?) it’s still about 85 degrees outside and it doesn’t seem very seasonal to order an iced pumpkin spice latte.  Instead, I’d rather sip some iced coffee from home and enjoy my breakfast pumpkin in the form of a scone.  These scones have a very autumnal vibe and are incredibly easy to make.  They require a few specialty ingredients, namely a can of pumpkin.  I do find that sometimes scones are too dry, too massive, and have a huge slab of icing on top – not the case here, these are moist, normally sized, and have a nice glaze.  Pumpkin season is ending, so get one last great breakfast in before it’s smoothie season.

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Pumpkin Scones

yield: 12 small scones

2 1/2 cups flour

1 T baking powder

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp ground cloves

4 T cold butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

2/3 cup pumpkin puree

For the maple glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp maple extract

2 T heavy cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and spices in a medium sized bowl.  Cut the butter into small pieces and cut into the dry ingredients (I used a fork, but you could also use a pastry cutter or your hands) and break the butter up into very small pieces.

3. Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl and fold into the flour mixture.  Don’t over mix the dough, just use a spatula to blend the ingredients until they form a soft, but sticky dough.  Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper and use your hands to make a rectangle.  Using a knife, cut small triangles of dough and separate them onto the parchment paper a few inches apart.  Put your parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake until the scones are firm, but still soft inside, 12-15 minutes (I tap the top to make sure there’s still some give).

4. Whisk the powdered sugar, maple extract, and cream together to make the glaze.  Once the scones are cooled, dip the top of the scones into the glaze.

Source: adapted from Our Best Bites

Cost-Benefit Analysis:

This recipe has 3 integral specialty ingredients: pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and maple extract.  If you don’t put cream in your coffee, you may need to purchase that as well.

1. A can of pumpkin cost $1.79 – it’s nonnegotiable in this recipe.  Fortunately, you use about a half a can in this recipe, which leaves you plenty of pumpkin to make pumpkin snickerdoodles in the same week.  You could also put pumpkin in a smoothie (with some yogurt, banana, and some spices) or feed it to little ones if you have them.  I put plastic wrap over the can and store it in the fridge for a few days.

2. Pumpkin pie spice cost $5.49, which is a lot for a small container.  It would probably cost much less if you were buying it in, say, April, but I’ve never really wanted a pumpkin scone in April.  If you have PPS, use it!  If not, it’s really easy to make your own with spices that you probably already have.  To make it easy, PPS is essentially 1 part ginger, allspice, and nutmeg to 3 parts cinnamon (so 1 T cinnamon, and a teaspoon of ginger, allspice, and nutmeg).  If you’re planning to make a lot of pumpkin baked goods, scale it up and store it in an old spice container, if you’re just using it for these scones, I would increase the cinnamon to 1 1/2 tsp and then use 1/2 tsp of ginger, allspice, and nutmeg.

3. The maple extract cost $3.59.  I really love the taste of maple extract and I use it in frostings and glazes enough to make it worth the cost, but if you don’t want to buy it, you could easily substitute 2-3T of maple syrup and get the same effect.

4. I put whipping cream in my coffee, so I always have it on hand.  If you don’t, you could certainly substitute half and half or even whole milk, but it will give you a runnier glaze.  If I were not a cream lover, I’d buy a small container, use it for this recipe, and then plan on making a pasta with cream sauce pretty soon.  Cream stays fresh in the fridge for quite a while before it goes bad, so you don’t need to use it immediately.

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