Pumpkin Scones

If you haven't overloaded on pumpkin yet this fall, give this recipe a try. I've never made them with the white chocolate and nuts. Yet. There's always time....

Pumpkin Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup chopped white chocolate (optional)
1/4 cup toasted and chopped pecans (optional)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup fresh or canned pure pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Egg Wash:
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk or cream
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling the tops of the scones (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in middle of oven.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives.  The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.   Stir in the chopped white chocolate and pecans, if using.  In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, pumpkin puree and vanilla and then add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture.  Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix the dough.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches round and about 11/2 inches thick.  Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 3 pie-shaped wedges (triangles).  Place the scones on the baking sheet.  Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle a little Turbinado sugar on top, if desired.

 Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.   Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

Makes 6 scones.

Hot Fudge Sauce

The sky is grey today and the temperature is dropping. It's about 40 degrees colder today than it was at the same time yesterday. The rain started this afternoon and the weatherman tells us that it's likely to turn to snow before morning.

Our first snow storm. Everyone knows what that means - hot....fudge? As in Sundae?

Sure. Why not?

 Hot Fudge Sauce

1/2 cup cream
3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
pinch of salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Place cream and butter in a heavy 1 quart pan over moderate heat. Stir until butter is melted and cream comes to a low boil. Add both sugars and stir until they are dissolved. Reduce heat. Add salt and cocoa and stir briskly with a small whisk until smooth.

Drizzle it over some ice cream, and enjoy.


As I said about a month ago, my life has gotten exponentially busier (if I can put those words together that way) in recent weeks. I managed to keep up with the cooking for a while, but the past two weeks have been a  bit hit and miss - and lately, more miss than hit.

I really need to get my act together. For one thing, the complex meals I was used to back when I worked part-time no longer fit my life. At least not for now. Maybe someday I'll come home at the end of a 8-9 hour day and not need to put in another 4 or 5 (or 8) hours of work, but for now I need to plan simpler meals than I'm used to and actually follow through on it. Or at least be organized enough to spread multi-step meals over several days instead of all at once. Obviously I could do the more complex recipes on weekends, but I don't want to spend my whole weekends cooking either. I also need to do more planning and organizing and definitely do more cooking for the freezer.

First things first though - breakfast.  Weekend breakfasts are taking on new importance in our home since no one feels like eating at 6.30 which is the latest we can have breakfast and still get to work/school on time.

I decided on eggs since I had plenty of 'em. I diced up some ham, grated some cheese and chopped up a bit of green onion from the window sill. Toast would have been the usual, but Thursday night I set bread out to rise....but unfortunately, never actually put it in the oven. Oops. So I made biscuits instead.

I'm almost glad I forgot the bread the other day. Biscuits are a bit more effort than slicing a piece of bread and putting it in the toaster, but warm with lots of butter,  they were just right for a chilly and grey, fall morning.

I make them in the food processor now, so it's less effort than it used to be, and since I started making them with yogurt, they are even better tasting, too. The ones in the photo were actually a first attempt by my son when he was about 10. He wasn't too sure about the whole food processor thing, so he made them 'old school'.

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
2 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt (I use Fage)

Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Measure dry ingredients into food processor bowl, or mixing bowl if you're not using a food processor.

Cut in butter by pulsing in the food processor, or by hand with a fork, until mixture looks like meal.

Whisk yogurt into milk. Add the yogurt/milk gradually adding just enough to make a soft, pliable dough. Knead a few times, either on a floured surface, or in the processor.

Roll or pat (I pat) about 1/2 thick. Cut into rounds and bake on ungreased baking sheet, 10-12 minutes.