Pumpkin Scones

Oh yes my friends it is that time of year when the spicy warmth of pumpkin is everywhere.   Like a large portion of the population I love Starbucks, what I don’t always love is the prices of baked goods. For the price of two you can buy enough ingredients to make a weeks worth for two people. This is where my search began.

Trolling around the internet like I do, I wanted to find a recipe similar to Starbucks Pumpkin Scones. I found one that had rave reviews and from a tried and trusted blogger  Sweet Pea’s Kitchen.  The recipes we have tried from her before were a great success.  I knew these scones would be too.  It was a complete success with just very slight changes, due to spices I had on hand.

My husband is the scone maker in our home, but I wanted to surprise him with these.  I knew from the little tips he has told me how to make them turn out successful.  It really is just as simple as not touching the mixture with your hands, and making sure you combine the wet/dry ingredients until just barely combined.  If you over work the mixture the scones come out too cake like, and not brittle like a true scone.

It comes together quickly, and this recipe takes including cooking time less then 30 minutes.  The hardest part is waiting for them to cool before you dive in.  My husband was taunted by the smell of them cooking and picked a hot one off the tray when it came out.  Good sign of a successful recipe.

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Banana Nut Loaf

Everyone has a banana bread recipe that they swear is ‘the best ever’ and it might be true.  However, I have yet to find one as good as this.  It’s simple, moist, tender, and very flavorful.  Until a few years ago I had no idea you could freeze bananas.  I know that sounds weird but once they went over ripe I used to throw them away.  One time my husband stopped me and was shocked at what I was doing.  He explained to me that you use frozen over-ripe bananas to make bread.  I looked at him like he was speaking another language.  Then thanks to the power of Google, I was shocked – he was right!

I had enough to make the bread and I was just ecstatic at how good it was. Really the best result was as simple was freezing the blackened over ripe bananas for future use.  Just add your rapidly-darkening extra bananas to the “banana shelf” in your freezer until you have enough to make a loaf of bread.  As the fruit defrosts, the water crystals that formed during the freeze break down the flesh into a syrupy mush.  You will notice the now defrosted fruit won’t hold its shape but if you snip off one tip you can squeeze it out like toothpaste. It is the ideal texture for the bread and has an intense banana flavor.  It’s so simple!  I really cannot believe it took so long for me to know this.

Now that the cold weather is upon us and I can turn on the oven without getting heat stroke, I had to make some.  It freezes very well and defrosts quickly.  I usually make up a batch and freeze the slices individually or as mini-loafs.  Then as we head out the door to work we grab a slice and by time I get to work to settle in with my coffee it’s defrosted and delicious.  This also saves me tons of money because I don’t have to buy it at Starbucks to go with my coffee.  They own enough of my soul already with their soy vanilla latte’s.  This is one of our regular favorites and easily adapts to a loaf, mini loaves, muffins, so have fun and enjoy!

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Apple Almond Coffee Cake

Usually there is something that inspires me to cook, a memory, an event coming up.  This time it was just to get rid of ingredients in my pantry.  The bonus is it’s something that my husband can take to work for breakfast with a yogurt.  Also, it turned out a lot better then I thought, the spices were great and subtle, and it isn’t an overly sweet cake. This would make a lovely addition to your brunch table or tea/coffee with guests.  I of course made some changes, but those are shown below.  Hope you enjoy.

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Blueberry Pound Cake

This is another recipe from my Cooking Light Cookbook, that has not failed me.  I tried it a week ago and it was utter kitchen failure.  However, it was not the recipe it was the baking pan that was too small and very dark.  Which conduced the heat to the sides and made it rise faster than the center and it caused this weird concave issue in the middle.  I bought a new loaf pan and my funds were quite well spent.  I love Fat Daddio’s bakeware.

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Cranberry Lemon Scones

Having a fresh scone with your morning coffee just would brighten anyone’s mood.  If you are like us the scones at Starbucks, the grocery bakery, and other tempting locations always seem great and still often lack something.   They tend to be dry, or tough and not delicate and often either too sweet or not sweet enough.  This recipe however is perfection slight delicateness, moisture, sweetness, everything a scone should be, the flavor is perfect balance.  I hope you give these a try, you maybe surprised at exactly how easy they are to make and not intimidating as most people think or fear.

Cranberry Lemon Scones

  • 2 tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest (two whole lemons)
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 1 cups dried cranberries, chopped coarse
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 400° F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

Whisk the lemon zest, flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl until combined.  Using a dough blender cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal.  (We don’t have a food processor so we used a dough blender to mix, the trick to scones is handle as little as possible!  Melting the butter with your body heat makes the scone tough.)

In a small bowl, toss together fresh cranberries and 2 tablespoons sugar, and stir into flour mixture.

In another small bowl, lightly beat egg and yolk.  Stir in cream.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and fold in until just combined and all dry ingredients are moistened.  The dough will be tacky and sticky but try to handle it as little as possible.

Place a piece of parchment paper on your work surface.  Lightly dust the parchment with flour.  Turn your scone dough onto the parchment and with a silicone spatula, using your hands when needed, press into a large disk about 1″ thick.    Using a round biscuit cutter cut out the scone shapes and place on your baking sheet, about two inches apart.  When you get down to the little scrap bits of dough don’t repress into a disk.  Place your biscuit cutter on the baking sheet and press the dough into the cutter to form the scone, forming a 1″ thick scone.  Repeat this until all the dough is used.

Makes around 12 scones.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven about 15-20 minutes or until a pale golden color.

If desired: Brush scone lightly with milk and sprinkle with sugar before baking.

To Freeze: After you have shaped the scones on the baking sheet, place in the sheet into the freezer until frozen.  Once dough is frozen place in a freezer bag.    Add 5-8 min baking time if baking scones directly from the freezer.

Adapted: Smitten Kitchen