Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Cranberry Scones

I was testing out a new recipe this morning in an effort to use up cranberries leftover from Thanksgiving that I'd stashed away in the freezer, along with a can of pumpkin that never quite made it into a pie. This holiday-spicy, pumpkin and cranberry breakfast treat was the perfect thing to make the house smell incredible and take away that winter chill.

Pumpkin Spice Cranberry Scones--right out of the oven

I have written the instructions to make these scones either as pictured or as “drop scones.” The wedge-shaped scones (pictured) have a more muffin-like texture than I’m used to for scones. The drop scones will be crisper around the edges and have a more traditional scone texture. So, make whichever version you prefer—enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Cranberry Scones

1 heaping cup of fresh or frozen cranberries
¾ cup Silk unsweetened soymilk (dairy milk or other unsweetened non-dairy milk)
4 tsp. ground flaxseed
1-15oz. can pumpkin puree
3 TBSP molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1-1/3 cups sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon*
1 tsp. ground ginger*
½ tsp. ground cardamom*
¼ tsp. ground cloves*
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg*
1 tsp. salt
½ cup (1 stick) vegan margarine or butter, cold and cubed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper or Silpats.
2. In food processor, pulse cranberries until roughly chopped. If frozen, return to freezer until you are ready to use.
3. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together milk, flaxseed, pumpkin, molasses, and lemon zest; set aside.
4. In large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Then, sprinkle the margarine/butter cubes over the flour mixture. Use your hands to break up the margarine/butter into pea sized pieces or smaller and distribute them evenly through the flour mixture.
5. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Add cranberries. Fold together until just mixed taking care not to over mix (which will make the scones tough).
6 (wedge-shaped scones, muffin-like). To make these like the picture, divide dough in half and put each half onto the center of the 2 sheet pans; shape into a circle that is about 1-inch thick. Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds if using (I did not do this for the scones pictured). Bake about 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cut into eighths, like a pizza, when finished. Place wedges on a cooling rack. This method makes very muffin-like scones.

Pumpkin Spice Cranberry Scones--ready for brunch on the deck
7. Eat while warm. Cool to room temperature before packing into a ziplock or airtight container and storing in the freezer. These are good reheated in the microwave for ~20 seconds or until warmed through; toast if desired. Serve alone or with butter.

Drop Scones (more scone-like): Instead of step 6 above, use an ice cream scoop to portion out scoops of the dough evenly onto the sheet pans. If using pumpkin seeds, brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with the seeds (I did not do this for the scones pictured). Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place scones on a cooling rack. This method makes more traditional-textured scones.

Wedge-shaped scone method makes 16, and drop scone method makes 20 scones.

*To make this faster, you can substitute 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice for all of the spices (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg).

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