Pumpkin Scones

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My brother and I dedicated a good portion of this summer to the Harry Potter movie series. We called it our “Summer of Potter Festival,” and set out to watch every movie in the series over the course of about a month. When I’m having a dedicated movie night, I love to have relevant treats to snack on while I’m watching. So we drank a lot of British tea and ate a lot of popcorn and pumpkin scones.

We knew the festival would end eventually, but it was still sad when the day finally came. That doesn’t mean I can’t keep eating pumpkin scones though, right?

This recipe is from one of my favorite baking blogs and makes for totally scrumptious scones. My one deviation from the recipe was sprinkling the pecans on top at the end, rather than baking them into the scones. There’s just something I don’t like about nuts inside of baked goods … I need that crunch!

Pumpkin Scones with Brown Butter Glaze

Recipe from Joy the Baker 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup, 6 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup buttermilk, cold
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

For the Glaze:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons whole milk

Preparation:

Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and all of the spices.  Add the cold butter to the dry ingredients and toss to coat.  Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, break the butter down into the dry ingredients.  Work quickly so that the butter remains cold.  Some of the butter will be the size of oat flakes, others will be the size of small peas.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients.  Stir together until almost thoroughly combined.  Add pecans and stir until no dry flour bits remain.  Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop scones dough by the 1/2-cupful onto the prepared baking sheet.  Leave about 2-inches of space between each scone.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until browned slightly with dry tops.  You can insert a toothpick into the center of a scone to test for doneness.

Allow to cool completely before glazing.

To make the glaze, in a small saucepan melt butter over medium-low heat.  The butter will begin to crackle and pop.  After the crackling subsides a bit, the butter will begin to brown.  Continue to cook until the butter smells nutty and the butter solids begin to brown.  Immediately remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, browned butter, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of milk.  Whisk together and add more milk as necessary until your desired consistency is reached.

Generously drizzle scones with glaze.  These scones are best served within 2 days of of baking.

Note: Joy mentions this recipe makes about 12 scones, but I must have made mine quite a bit smaller because I got upwards of 2 dozen small scones. They were the perfect size in my opinion. That is, you don’t feel badly about scarfing 2 or 3 at once. I also agree with Joy that the scones are best within 2 days. They were still ok after that, but became oddly soft which I didn’t love.

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