Maple Pumpkin Scones with Maple Glaze
Despite earnest attempts and an investment in a beautifully bound leather notebook, I’m just not the journaling type. Last week’s only entry reads, “Maple Pumpkin Scones,” followed by a star and a happy face.
I’d like to excuse my journal brevity as a byproduct of being a woman of few words, but anyone who has spent more than two consecutive minutes with me will immediately testify to the contrary, including the two people who had the (mis)fortune of being seated beside me at the bar last Saturday. I love to talk, and I love to write, yet somehow I’ve never been able to channel those interests into consistent journal keeping, no matter how many pretty notebooks or fancy pens I buy.
I realize that plenty of successful individuals have managed to find their callings and make meaningful contributions to society without keeping a journal. As someone prone to over analysis and hopelessly deaf to her gut, however, I can’t seem to shake the idea that, if I only kept a journal, I’d be magically able to discern what that little voice inside of me (the one that has all the answers) is telling me.
As of now, all that voice has to share is that she likes pumpkin scones. And Pictionary.
Is it so unreasonable to consider Maple Pumpkin Scones a legitimate contribution to society? They are, after all, quite heavenly and a guaranteed way to begin any morning on a joyful note. Lightly crispy on the outside, perfectly soft and fluffy on the inside, and richly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, these pumpkin scones are the very taste of fall.
Since I’m a firm believer that any baked good sporting the word “pumpkin” in its title should and must be packed with the max amount of pumpkin possible, every tender bite of these tasty scones pops with pumpkin flavor. The pumpkin also makes the scones incredibly moist, a perfect contrast to the crunchy toasted pecans that are first baked inside, then sprinkled over the top.
To sweeten the scones, I used only pure maple syrup, and I am smitten with the way its deep, rich flavor pairs with the pumpkin. For even more maple taste, I also added maple extract to ensure that the delightful, sweet taste of maple shines in every bite.
Though eating a scone fresh from the oven beside a piping hot cup of coffee will forever be one of the most blissful ways I can imagine spending my morning, what gave me even more joy this time around was sending Ben to work with a plate of fresh pumpkin scones on his birthday last week. The old man turned 30 in the midst of an enormous work project, so the only time I saw him that entire day was when I passed him that plate of pumpkin scones, drizzled with maple glaze. He called me later that afternoon to say it made his day and was better than any slice of birthday cake.
Sharing the foods I’ve prepared with others is one of my life’s greatest joys. It’s why I treasure every comment you leave telling me when you’ve made one of my recipes, why I still turn on my oven even when our house is 85 degrees, and why I couldn’t stop smiling after Ben told me how much he loved the pumpkin scones. Though baking pumpkin scones isn’t likely to earn me a Nobel prize, perhaps there is some real meaning in them to be found.
My journal agrees.
Maple Pumpkin Scones with Maple Glaze
For the Pumpkin Scones
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter — (1 stick)
- 2 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder*
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg — freshly grated if possible
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup toasted pecan halves — chopped, divided
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring — optional but delicious
- 2 large eggs
- 1-2 tablespoons milk — for brushing the scones
For the Maple Glaze
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon maple extract — or pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 teaspoons milk — or cream
Cut the butter into small pieces (or for even easier incorporation, grate it with a box grater), then place it in the freezer while you prepare the other ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the white whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and all spice. Add the butter, then work it in with your fingers or a pastry blender, just until the mixture is crumbly. Some pieces will be the size of pebbles, others can be as large as your thumbnail. Leave some large and do not overwork. Stir 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans into the batter, saving the rest to sprinkle over the top.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, maple syrup, maple flavoring, and eggs until smooth.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients all at once. Stir into the dry ingredients until a soft, moist dough forms. Divide the dough in half, then turn one half onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat the dough into a 5-inch circle that is about 3/4-inch thick, then with a knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 6 wedges. Gently pull the wedges away from each other to separate them a little, leaving about 1/2-inch of space between the scones at their outer edges. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
Place the baking sheet in your freezer for 30 minutes. This will help the scones set, give them a better rise and texture.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Once the scones have chilled, remove them from the freezer and bake for 18 to 21 minutes, until they are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (The scones will need longer to bake the closer they are placed together, shorter if they are spread out and not touching. ) The edges of the scones when pulled away from one another should appear dry and baked through and not feel wet or doughy.
While the scones bake, prepare the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar, maple syrup, maple or vanilla extract, and 2 teaspoons milk. Add additional milk 1 teaspoon at a time as needed to make a pourable glaze. Drizzle over the warm scones, then top with the remaining chopped pecans. Enjoy immediately.
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