Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin Scones

This post marks my first pumpkin recipe.  Ever.
Of all time.
Up until I made these, I had never even seen a can of pumpkin before, let alone baked with it.

And no, I didn't grow up under a rock...just with parents who aren't big pumpkin people.

And now, thanks, yet again, to Alice's Tea Cup, my life is forever changed.  A Saturday morning baking session with my wonderful fianc√© led to a major pumpkin obsession!

These scones were soft, fluffy, spicy pillows of fall flavor.  While I didn't make the caramel glaze to top them (which would have depleted my entire supply of butter), I did discover that a bit of maple syrup takes these treats over the top!  It took all of my willpower not to eat the entire batch of scones right out of the oven, but since I was able to muster some self-control I've been enjoying them for days :)

If you, like me, have never baked with pumpkin before, or if you're already a die-hard pumpkin fanatic, give this recipe a try.  You'll get your hands messy, your kitchen will smell like autumn, and your tastebuds will be oh so happy.

Pumpkin Scones
Source: Alice's Tea Cup
Yield: 10-12 scones

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup ground ginger
1/4 cup ground cinnamon
1-1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree, such as Libby's (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.  With clean hands or a pastry blender (I use a combination of both), cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture has the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour the buttermilk, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract into the well.  Using your hands or a fork (hands are waaaay more fun), combine the ingredients until all the dry mixture is wet.  But don't knead!
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gather it together.  Gently pat it out to make a disk or rectangle about 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick.  Using a 3-3.5 inch biscuit cutter (or the rim of a glass or clean can), cut out as many scones as you can and lay them on a nonstick baking sheet.  Gather the remaining dough together lightly to cut out more scones - make sure you don't knead too much.
Bake the scones for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Let them cool slightly on the baking sheet, then serve with toppings of choice - I recommend apple butter or maple syrup.  Enjoy!

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