Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I haven't forgotten...

...that I promised you all a sweet giveaway. I'm presently in the throes of Bazaar/Thanksgiving prep and half out of my head stressing over details. You guys are on my mind, though half-buried beneath a giant to-do list, you're still there. ;)

I'm doing a food-nerd favorite things/homemade goodies themed basket, so unless I sell clean out of them between this weekend and next, you can count on some soap, scrub and washcloths in there.

I won't tease you anymore. Just hang in there with me, friends. I'll get my booty in gear....eventually.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Recipe: Spiced Pumpkin Scones (eggless)

What to do when autumn-induced baking fever hits at the same time as your hens go on strike?

Well, I could...
a) Break down and buy eggs (pish-posh! As if!),
b) Google "eggless baking" and get a lot of questionable-looking vegan muffin recipes, or
c) Throw caution to the wind and try a recipe that calls for eggs, but without the eggs.

Don't mind me, I'm just living on the razor's edge over here. ;)

I came across a Spiced Pumpkin Scone recipe that looked promising. The original recipe only called for a single egg anyway, and I'd recently seen an article that suggested that a whole mess of fairly common kitchen ingredients that could stand in for an egg in baked goods - applesauce, mashed banana, flax seed meal, whole milk yogurt, etc. So, I gave it a whirl. The result - delicious! The recipe that I used compares these pumpkin scones to those available at Starbucks. And they do taste a lot like Starbie's scones, but are actually lighter-textured and appreciably less dense than the original.

Soft, flaky, spiced and very lightly sweet - Autumn comfort in a pastry.

Spiced Pumpkin Scones
Recipe via SweetPeasKitchen.com, with my fudges noted.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves*
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger*
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (about half of a roasted, small Sugar Pie pumpkin)
3 tablespoons half-and-half**
1 large egg**

*Save yourself the trouble and substitute pumpkin pie spice instead, if you have it.
**I substituted 1/3 c. plain whole yogurt for the egg and half & half

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with fit the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Add the butter and toss with a fork to coat with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter pieces no larger than small peas.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half and egg (or yogurt). Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 4 inches by 12 inches. Use a large knife to slice the dough making three equal portions. Cut each of the portions in an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes*, or until light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

*Mine needed 20 minutes to bake through.

I'm still fiddling with a few maple/brown sugar icing recipes to drizzle on these scones. I want big flavor in an icing that dries to have a nice crunch when you bite into it, but so far, I'm not thrilled with what I've been able to come up with. Guess I'll have to make more scones...

By the way - I also added about 1/4 cup of dried sour cherries to a batch - fantastic. I plan to try some with dried cranberries and/or maybe a teensy bit of finely diced candied ginger (that stuff packs a PUNCH), just to see which tweaks, if any, bring a little something extra to an already really good, really wholesome scone.