Pumpkin Ginger Scones

Hello hello and happy 21-days-until-Halloween-day!! Well, on the west coast it’s still 21 days away- WordPress, why you gotta say that I published this post on the 11th?!?

I LOVE Halloween for reasons like carving pumpkins, roasting seeds, dressing up in costumes, the colors orange and black (obviously), and watching movies like Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas (no scary movies here!). Tonight, I decorated my house and made these scones, and this weekend I plan on getting my pumpkins to carve later- I can’t wait!

photo 4

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 c brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1″ cubes

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs, beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix together the first seven ingredients. Add in the butter cubes and mix until butter has broken up into pieces about the size of a dime.

Add in pumpkin, vanilla, and eggs, mixing until just combined. The dough should be pretty shaggy, with visible butter pieces, but should come out of the mixing bowl in one big chunk.

Separate the dough in half, and form each half into discs about 6″ across. Cut each disc into 6 wedges, and place wedges on a baking sheet.

Bake scones 20-25 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown on top.

P.S. I’m still mulling over ideas for what to carve into my pumpkins this year, anybody have a good idea??

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Mexican Mocha Scones

Lately I’ve been reminiscing a lot on my favorite places to eat in my old college town. a Reuben from Cloud and Kelly’s, fruit-filled puff pastries from New Morning Bakery, sweet potato fries from Block 15 brewing, the usual Corvallis fare.

What I’ve been missing the most from my life though is actually a drink, a Mexican mocha from Coffee Culture. Coffee Culture only has good coffee, but there is something special about their Mexican mocha… I think their secret ingredient is unicorn tears or something, because everywhere else I order one, it’s never as good as theirs. Too much spice. Too sweet. Not sweet enough. Heaven forbid they burn the espresso!!

Because of these reasons I knew I wouldn’t be able to make a suitable replacement drink for my craving, so I decided to make a Mexican mocha in pastry form instead.

scone and paper

Fun fact: I read almost the entire paper every day, but I always start with the sports section

Now when you get to the point in the recipe where it calls for coffee grounds, don’t freak out…. It seems weird to eat what you are always throwing away, but I actually prefer the flavor you get from the actual grounds rather than using brewed coffee. Just make sure you’re using a good-quality coffee. My absolute favorite cookie is actually an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with coffee in it, but more on that later.

 

scone

I also like being able to see the pieces of coffee when I use the grounds in baking. So pretty!

Most of the pastry and dessert recipes I use I’ve adapted from The Grand Central Baking Book. These are the recipes from Grand Central Bakery (duh) which is one of the greatest bakeries in the Northwest. Seriously, if you are ever in the Seattle or Portland area you gotta check them out! (I’m looking at you Rita!!!)

Luckily, incorporating ideas from my favorite places in Corvallis and Portland led to one delicious scone!!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 c all-purpose flour

1/4 c sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground coffee (use a finely ground bean- like what you would use for an automatic drip, not a French press, which would be too coarse)

1/2 c, or 1 stick, cold unsalted butter

3/4 c chocolate chips

2 eggs

1/4 c Greek yogurt + 1/2 c milk (or use 1/2 c buttermilk)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the first six ingredients. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes. Then, using either the paddle attachment of your mixer or your hands, combine the butter into the flour mixture until the pieces of butter are about dime sized. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Whisk together the yogurt and milk until combined. Add in the eggs and vanilla.

Add half of the wet ingredients to the dry, mix, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining half of wet ingredients. Mix the dough until it just comes together, you should still have visible patches of butter and flour. Too much mixing will yield a tough scone and the chunks of butter are needed to give it it’s flaky texture.

Turn the dough out onto a cutting board or counter, gather all the loose pieces up and then break into two chunks. Form the two chunks into 2 disks, 4-5 inches in diameter, and cut each disk into 6 triangles.

Place the 12 scones onto a non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until scones are done and golden brown on top.

choco chips

This is my 10 lb bag of chocolate chips from Costco… I go through it much more quickly than I would like to admit