Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones and Pumpkin Buttermilk Biscuits

It occurred to me on Saturday that I hadn't baked anything in some time.  Since fall is finally here I knew exactly what I wanted to bake with!  So I went through the cupboard and found a can of pumpkin puree that I knew was in there (and have been saving).  Then I had to decide what to make.  I originally wanted to make some pumpkin whoopie pies with maple-flavored cream cheese frosting, but I didn't have everything I needed.  I thought about making pumpkin bread, but that seemed a little boring.  So I decided to bake some pumpkin scones and some pumpkin biscuits.  What can I say - I go a little crazy sometimes.  This is what happens when I haven't had time to bake in awhile.  

Out of these two recipes, both Alex and I preferred the scones.  I thought the combination of spices really worked and it came through very clearly, without being overpowering.  I also thought the crumb was nice - soft and crumbly, without being dry.  And I liked the crunchy sweetness of the turbinado sugar topping.  I think that bittersweet chocolate is perfect for these scones.  The bittersweet chocolate gave the scones a really nice deep, chocolatey flavor that worked really well with the pumpkin and the spices.  Semisweet chocolate would work too I guess, but I don't think I would use milk (or white) chocolate because it would be too sweet.  The biscuits couldn't seem to decide if they were supposed to be sweet or savory.  Topped with butter and honey they were pretty good, but we thought they needed more salt to both accentuate and balance out the sweetness of the honey and sugar in the biscuit batter.  And I thought the texture wasn't as flaky as I would have liked.  They almost seemed a little doughy and heavy in the centers, rather than flaky and light.  I'm thinking that I might not have mixed the batter as evenly as I could have.  Oops.  The blog where I found the recipe suggested serving them with butter, some bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup.  That might be enough to really make me love the biscuits, but I'm not there just yet.

Recipes after the jump!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
4 tbsp heavy cream, separated
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with flour.

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (with the exception of chocolate chips).

In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, cream, egg and vanilla extract.

Cut butter into the dry ingredients with forks or a pastry cutter (alternatively you can use a food processor). Continue cutting (or pulsing) until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, then form the dough into a ball. The dough will be wet and a little sticky. Pat out dough onto the baking sheet and form it into a 1-inch thick 9x3-inch rectangle. Use a large knife cut the dough into three equal squares (ours were rectangles instead of squares). Cut through the three squares diagonally so that you have 6 triangular slices of dough. Gently pull the triangles apart, leaving about 1-inch of space between each scone.  Brush scones with the remaining tablespoon cream and sprinkle lightly with turbinado sugar.

Bake until scones are golden, about 14-16 minutes.

Pumpkin Buttermilk Biscuits 
Available on Jolly Mom

2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp kosher salt 
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg 
5 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces 
1/3 cup reduced-fat buttermilk 
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
3 tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or forks until mixture resembles coarse meal. You can also blend the dry ingredients together in a food processor.
Whisk together buttermilk, pumpkin and honey. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture; blend until just combined. 

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 4 times to bring the dough together. Using your hands (or a rolling pin) press dough into a 1/2-inch thick 9×5-inch rectangle. Dust top of dough lightly with additional flour. Fold dough crosswise into thirds (like you're folding a letter). Reform dough into a 1/2-inch thick, 9×5-inch rectangle. Repeat rolling the dough out and folding it once more.  Gently roll or pat to a 3/4 inch thickness. Cut dough with a 3-inch biscuit cutter. Place biscuits, 1/2-inch apart, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 F for 12-15 minutes or until golden. 

Serve warm. With honey and butter (or honey butter).

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