Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Maple Pumpkin Scones

Many years ago a friend told me that I should always mention that I like to cook in job interviews. Although I have thought about it, I never actually have done it. Well, I didn't have to when I interviewed for my present position. One of my references actually mentioned it for me. I'm not sure if it was that or the fact that I sent a thank you note after the interview. Did you know that hardly anyone does this anymore? Those who do are almost guaranteed the job.
I have made Maple Walnut Scones for my office a few times now. I even did a little scone making workshop at our staff retreat this fall. Now several of my co-workers are making their own scones. My supervisor has  made the lemon and the maple walnut, not long after she asked if I had a recommendation for pumpkin scones. I searched for a while on the internet and the only ones I could find were the Starbuck's knock off scones. So, I decided to try and make my own version. I did a test run last week and brought them into the office. My first version had oats and pecans. I felt they didn't have quite enough pumpkin and spice. This past weekend I went back to the drawing board. I upped the pumpkin and the spice and took out the oats and pecans. I liked this version quite a bit better, more pumpkin flavor. These smelled like pumpkin pie while they were baking, perfect for a snowy fall morning.
Maple Pumpkin Scones
adapted from too many places to remember

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 tablespoons maple sugar (regular sugar will also work, but you will not have the maple flavor)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree (or fresh if you are ambitious)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 425°F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture, squeezing and pinching with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal and there are no butter lumps bigger than a pea. Add the maple sugar and gently stir to incorporate.
Pour the 1/2 cup buttermilk into a small bowl and add the egg. Beat with a fork to mix well, stir in pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, and stir gently to just combine. The dough will look dry and crumbly, and there may be some unincorporated flour at the bottom of the bowl. Using your hands, squeeze and press the dough into a round mass. Turn the dough, and any excess flour, out onto a board or countertop, and press and gather and knead it until it just comes together. You do not want to overwork the dough. There may be some excess flour that is not absorbed, it does not matter. Pat dough into a round circle about 1 inch thick.
Cut circle into 6-8 wedges. Place the wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm. 
If desired top with a maple glaze. For glaze place 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl (I use a measuring cup as the spout make it easy to pour the glaze. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup while whisking to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over tops of slightly cooled scones.

8 comments:

  1. Those look delicious (and beautiful)! Perfect for a fall brunch...
    That's a funny observation about saying you like to cook in a job interview -- I didn't do that per se when I was interviewing, but the recruiter did know about my food blog and we chatted a lot about cooking and our favorite local markets. When I finally came in for an interview, I brought her a jar of homemade blackberry jam, and guess what? I got the job! I don't think it was because of the jam, but it certainly didn't hurt! :)

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  2. Great pictures. Great recipe. I'm starting to be concerned reading your blog may be fattening. Or maybe it's just that I need to be careful to only read it when I'm already very full. As it is, if I haven't recently eaten, your mouth-watering pictures and wonderful recipes inspire unseemly baking/eating binges. If I had the ingredients in the house, these would be in the oven right now. Kudos!

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  3. Jen- Thanks. I agree, it can't hurt.

    Laurie- Yes, you need to take my blog in moderation. Read all you want, but the eating can be dangerous! I try and do most of my food research after dinner, or I am in the same boat. Luckily, I have a staff of seven 20 something young boys who eat most of this stuff. The rest of my co-workers say the same thing about my blog being fattening. Today...chocolate hazelnut scones are causing groans across the office! :)

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  4. chocolate hazelnut scones? get thee behind me satan.

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  5. Nicole - I just made these and they were very wet, not crumbly like you stated....hummm what could have I done wrong...I rechecked and rechecked and did what you said, hummmm....they are in the oven now but I ended up added at least 1/4-1/2 cup more of flour just so they weren't wet????? I will let you know how they turn out...everyone in the house loves the smell of them!

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  6. ok - Keep in mind I fed them to the football guys that spend Sunday at our house - bottom line they will eat anything! The scones were edible (in my opinion) and the guys liked them, however, they were not scone consistency, nor did they have a lot of pumpkin flavor. This could be where I went wrong...I didn't have pumpkin puree so I used canned pumpkin pie mix (already has spices) - maybe it is too liquidy; I also didn't have buttermilk so had to make it myself nor did I have maple sugar - where do you get this?? So...I am headed to the store to get the correct ingredients and will try again until they work!!! Needless to say, I did eat two of these scones!!!!

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  7. Jeri-You should have called me at the Wood Center. As you suspected, pumpkin pie filling is a whole different creature. I do believe it is much more wet. David brought back the maple sugar from Maine, you could probably add a little smidge if maple extract (1/8 teaspoon) instead. I also think they would be good without it and just substitute regular sugar.

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  8. Nicole - just made the pumpkin scones from that Tea Cup Book - they called for 1/4 CUP each of cinnamon and ginger (ground!) - I thought that was a type so I ended up only adding 2 tsp each. They were very wet and very hard to cut into any shape, muchless scone shape but I did it....surprisingly they did turn out but are still more bread/cake like, not like your maple scones - needless to say everyone is eating them however! :)

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