pumpkin scones

DSC_0698 pumpkin scone

Because it’s the weekend and weekends are for staying in your PJs for as long as humanly possible.

And because it’s winter and therefore still considered an acceptable time of the year to eat pumpkin-flavored things.

And because apparently I think everything needs to be drizzled with icing.

Everything.

And because, if you haven’t noticed, Starbuck’s fancy new bakery line wants nothing to do with their classic pumpkin spice scones that I anxiously await every year, so I was likely to start getting the shakes if I didn’t somehow consume a pumpkin scone before the end of winter. 

These scones are smaller than the Starbucks variety, meaning you won’t want to run off of a bridge (as badly) once you realize you’ve inhaled the whole thing (or two of them).  They’re also taller (and craggy-er) than the Starbucks scone, which I find to be more enjoyable, personally.

DSC_0690 pumpkin scone

And while I considered using royal icing on them (I’m half-convinced that’s what is on theirs, or some sort of concoction that can only be made with high fructose corn syrups and/or various types of hydrogenated vegetable oils), royal icing is a bit much for the morning, wouldn’t you agree?

So I did the usual mix some powdered sugar with a little bit of milk and vanilla and drizzled it on top.  Then I thought I should also do a version with some pumpkin spice mixed in, and drizzled that on top, because PUMPKIN!

To review: these are not Starbuck’s pumpkin scones.  But they ARE pumpkin scones.  And they are delicious.

I made one batch of these (for me, that was about 12 scones) and then froze them to bake at my leisure.  Now I can preheat the oven while I make my coffee, pop in a scone, and have a scone breakfast ready in no time flat.  I  don’t even have to think about it.  Which is convenient for any of you who are planning to start a diet in January, you can bake one or two this weekend, and freeze the rest to reward your post-diet self! ;)

pumpkin scones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: 12 scones

Ingredients

    For the scones
  • 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold butter
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For baking
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • Your favorite glaze* or cinnamon-sugar (if desired)

Instructions

    Make the scones
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and spice. Work in the butter until coarse crumbles form (I do this by grating the butter into the mixture, then using my hands or a pastry cutter to cut the butter in). A pastry-cutter is recommended, as you want the butter to stay as cold as possible.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla until smooth. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until moistened.
  3. Scrape dough onto a floured surface and divide the dough in half. Pat each half into a circle about 5- to 6-inches in diameter and about 3/4-inch thick.
  4. Transfer the dough circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cut each circle into 6 wedges. Cover and place in the freezer 1 hour.*
  5. To bake the scones
  6. Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Place wedges onto parchment and brush with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar (if using).
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and the side of the scone looks dry and baked.
  8. Remove scones from oven and drizzle with glaze (if desired) or enjoy as-is.

Notes

* Once frozen, you may transfer the scones to an airtight freezer-safe bag for storage. Bake from frozen for same amount of time.

* Alternatively, you could probably bake these without freezing (for when you're short on time), but I haven't tried. I would estimate they would take about 15 minutes if you don't freeze them (but you might want to start checking around 10). If baking fresh, they may not raise as high as these did.

* For the glaze, I used 1/2 cup of powdered sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir until your desired consistency is reached, adding more powdered sugar to thicken or more milk to thin.

* For a pumpkin-spice glaze, add 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to your powdered sugar before adding the milk and vanilla. Prepare the same way as the regular glaze

http://wee-eats.com/2014/01/04/pumpkin-scones/

pumpkin scone pin

 

pumpkin pull apart bread

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Thanksgiving is Thursday, and I know that we are all very busy, but I just wanted to share this one recipe.

Just really quickly.

I’d been planning on making this bread for so long but have had a long succession of extremely busy weekends, and then… we had a stormy weekend that made me want to stay in PJs all day and do nothing but bake.

So I did.

So I’ll share just this one recipe and then I’ll let you relax and then I’ll relax too, because it’s almost Thanksgiving.  And we are all very busy.

Too busy to write, too busy to read, too busy to even think sometimes.

So don’t think, just look at this warm, cinnamony, pumpkiny, pull-apart loaf.

pumpkin-DSC_0651-2.2

Now, yes, I realize it’s CALLED a pull-apart loaf and we just spent countless minutes (ALL THE MINUTES!) slicing and stacking and cutting and piling, so it is only logical that the best way to eat it would be to pull it apart.  That being said, I assure you that is just as good, if not better, sliced.  That’s right, I said it, SLICED! Sliced just like a real loaf of bread.

In fact, I found slicing the bread to be a much more efficient way of stuffing the bread into my face.  I wish I had taken a picture of how pretty the sliced bread looked, but again, the face-shoving prevailed.  Plus your fingers get sticky with the sweet sugary insides (and outsides) and who wants to handle a camera with sticky sugar fingers when the other option is to lick the sweet sugary goo off of your fingers?  Not this girl, no sir.

However, that whole pull-apart thing is much better for acting like you’re going to have “just a bite” and walk away, plus it makes a darn good-looking loaf of bread.  I mean, sure you could save all that time and just make a “swirl” bread but then it wouldn’t look this awesome.  The outside would be boring, like plain bread.  As you can see, the outside of this bread is way awesomer than regular bread.

Shall we compare?

On the left you will see a loaf of someone else’s cinnamon swirl bread that I found by googling “cinnamon swirl loaf”.  I’m sure it is perfectly delicious loaf of bread on the inside, but how do you know that it’s awesome from the outside?  You don’t.  For all we know it’s a loaf of plain bread that is just masquerading as cinnamon swirl bread.

By contrast, the bread on the right is obviously awesome or at least filled with stuff, which gives it a much greater potential for awesome.

cinn_bread_loaf_board_glam pumpkin photo 2 (6)

To review: Left = Boring; Right = Exciting.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, slicing.

I sliced the remainder of my loaf and stuck it in the freezer, so that future Natalie & Fiance can have pumpkin french toast.

(Note: To this point I have continued to refer to my beloved Fiance as “BF” out of sheer laziness, plus I kinda think the word “fiance” sounds pretentious.  It does a little bit, doesn’t it?)

I’m such a thinker, always watching out for future Natalie & future Fiance and their tummies.

I was originally going to make a filling with some spices and pumpkin puree, but then I saw a jar of pumpkin butter in the pantry so I just went ahead an slathered it on.

And it was good.

So good.

pumpkin-DSC_0655.2

Of course, I couldn’t resist a bit of a glaze on top.  Apparently I’m on a glaze-kick though.

If that’s a thing.

I think it is.

I’ll warn you now that I’m not doing a Thursday Things for this week, because it’s Thanksgiving and that would just be silly… Hopefully this recipe will help to keep you company in my place.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 2 loaves

This recipe makes 2 loaves but it can easily be halved to make just one loaf, or you can make two different kinds of loaves filled with cinnamon-sugar

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe of your favorite cinnamon roll dough (my favorite recipe below)
  • 2 10-ounce jars pumpkin butter
  • For the dough
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 4 cups + 1/2 cup all-purpose flour; divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the glaze
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons milk; plus extra if needed

Instructions

    For the dough
  1. In a large (8 cup) saucepan, mix the milk, sugar, and vegetable oil. Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is steaming. Remove from heat and cool to luke-warm (110-115F degrees), then add the yeast. Stir to combine; let sit 5 minutes to allow yeast to bloom.
  2. Stir 4 cups of flour into the milk mixture and put lid on the pot. Allow to sit for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, add remaining dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour dough out onto a large sheet of saran wrap and wrap dough tightly. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour or up to overnight. (You could also roll the dough out immediately by sprinkling the counter with flour and kneading until the dough is no longer sticky. Once the dough isn't sticky, cover with a kitchen towel for 5 minutes to allow the dough to rest)
  3. To roll the dough
  4. Pour dough onto lightly-floured surface and separate into two equal halves. Roll one half to a 12 x 20-inch rectangle and cover the other with a kitchen towel to prevent from drying out. Cut the rectangle lengthwise into 6 long 2-inch wide strips.
  5. Spoon generous amounts of pumpkin butter onto one strip of dough top with another strip and spoon pumpkin butter onto that strip, repeat until all of the strips are in a pile and smeared with pumpkin butter.
  6. Slice the strip of dough into 5 4-inch wide strips. Stack strips tall-wise into a loaf pan. It will be sloppy, they'll flop everywhere, it's OK. I actually propped my bread pan on its side to make the first few strips a little easier.
  7. Repeat steps with other half of dough and pumpkin butter.
  8. To bake the dough
  9. Cover and let rise 20 minutes while the oven preheats.
  10. Preheat oven to 350F. Once dough has risen and oven is preheated, cook bread 45 to 55 minutes until cooked through. If the top starts to get too brown, lightly tent with a piece of foil and continue cooking.
  11. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack to continue cooling.
  12. For the glaze
  13. Mix ingredients together, adding more milk if the mixture is too thick or more powdered sugar if the mixture is too thin.

Notes

*Those of you who thermom your bread want the final temp to be between 190F and 200F.

*Glaze is entirely optional, if you do use a glaze be sure to pour it on while the bread is still nice and warm.

*This recipe makes two loaves of bread. I made my second loaf into a different flavor (COMING SOON...)

http://wee-eats.com/2013/11/25/pumpkin-pull-apart-bread/

pumpkin-photo-1-5 pin

 

 

soft pumpkin cookies

pumpkin cookie 2

It’s Friday, so let’s keep this short and sweet, shall we?

These soft, cakey pumpkin cookies really don’t need a story or explanation… then again, they didn’t need any icing either, but I gave it to them anyway because… why not?  Look how pretty they are with their adorable little icing stripes.

To recap:

Soft.

Cakey.

Filled with pumpkin.

Covered in icing. (Optional, but way prettier)

If you’re still dying to read words, you can see words from me and many other talented bloggers over at A Periodic Table’s “Just One Question” project!

soft pumpkin cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: appx 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter,softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Continue beating to incorporate, another minute or so.
  4. Add flour mixture and beat just to combine.
  5. Drop tablespoon-sized cookies onto baking sheet, slightly flattening the top, and bake until set and edges begin to turn golden; about 12 minutes

Notes

If you would like to ice these cookies, I used my usual cinnamon-bun icing - Just take about a cup of powdered sugar and add a bit of vanilla extract (maybe 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, depending on your personal preference), and just enough milk to thin it to the consistency of your liking (1 to 2 tablespoons of milk should do the trick) If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add more milk. TADAA!

http://wee-eats.com/2013/11/15/soft-pumpkin-cookies/

triple chocolate pumpkin pie

photo (5)

It’s Sunday.  2013.  New year, new day, new week.  New pie?

Yeah, that sounds right.

I made this particular pie as an accompaniment to our regular pumpkin pie that I made for Thanksgiving.  I wanted to try something new, but didn’t want to start some sort of Thanksgiving mutiny all over a pie, so I figured if I made TWO pies, then I could also make this one.

I know what you’re thinking, because I was thinking the same thing, “chocolate pumpkin pie??? weeeeird.”  I know.

But at the same time, it seems like it should work, my logic was basically something along the lines of, “Chocolate?  Good.  Pumpkin?  Good.  Chocolate + Pumpkin?  Double good?”

My first bite was like “woah, definitely tastes like chocolate”… like super chocolatey.

Then the second bite, “definitely tastes like pumpkin”… as the subtle pumpkin flavor came in for back-up.

“… but it tastes good” … Bite three, “It tastes really good”

Particularly with a touch of cinnamon whipped cream.

DSC_7631

Now I realize fall is long gone, but that doesn’t mean my extreme love of pumpkin just packs its bags and goes to Florida for the winter.

Nope.  My love of pumpkin persists all year long.  So why couldn’t you make a pumpkin pie in January, or February, or even August?

I hope you can tell from the picture that this pie is amazingly creamy.  The chocolate layer on the bottom protects the crust from getting soggy, providing a nice crunch to contrast with the smooth, creamy filling.

This pie has not one but three kinds of chocolate.  Semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate.  I had to lighten it a little bit for the BF since he’s not a fan of dark chocolate.  I basically just replaced a portion of the chocolate at each step with milk chocolate.

I know a lot of you have some New Years resolutions to follow, but pumpkin is practically a health food, dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, and I’m sure your New Years diet doesn’t start until tomorrow, anyway…. Right?

Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

[ Printable Recipe ]

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 16 crackers)
  • 6 Tablespoons (3 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons (2 oz) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 (15-oz) can solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Ground cloves
  • 1 ounce milk chocolate, melted

Make the crust

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugars, salt, and cinnamon in bowl.
Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a deep, 9 1/2-inch pie dish. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Remove from oven, and sprinkle bittersweet chocolate over bottom of crust. Return to oven to melt chocolate, about 1 minute.
Spread chocolate in a thin layer on bottom and up sides. Let cool on a wire rack.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Make the filling

3. In a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt semisweet chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth.
Remove from heat.

4. Mix pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, eggs, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves in a medium bowl.
Whisk 1/3 pumpkin mixture into chocolate mixture. Whisk in remaining pumpkin mixture until completely incorporated.

5. Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into crust.
Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack.
Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours (preferably overnight). Before serving, drizzle melted milk chocolate on top.

Celebrating the New Year and Top 12 of 2012

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It’s New Year’s Eve and while some of us will be popping bottles of expensive champagne to celebrate, the rest of us will be taking a much more affordable approach.  Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine and, in my opinion, is less dry and more delicious than your usual champagne anyway.  Mix it with a little pureed fruit or, for the lazier of us, peach nectar from a can, and you’ve got yourself what’s called a “bellini”.

Simple, delicious, bubbly.  Just like New Year’s Eve should be.

Making bellinis is super easy.  Just one part fruit juice or nectar to two parts prosecco.

Bellinis

  • 2 oz fruit juice or nectar
  • 4 oz Prosecco (the sommelier at our local grocer recommended La Marca brand)

Pour 2 oz fruit juice into champagne flute.

Add prosecco and let the bubbles mix it for you.

Drink, enjoy, pour another, drink more.

Happy New Year!

The Top 12 Posts of 2012

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moc

basil

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scc

peanut butter truffle brownies

gooey butter cake

chocolate peanut butter cake

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btc brownie

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