I have endured this summer patiently enough. It rained almost every day until a couple weeks ago which was a boon for not having to water my wee garden. Suddenly the mornings are cool even if the days are still on the warm side. My usual favorite drink at Starbucks is chai tea latte but for a yet unknown reason, I tried the pumpkin spice latte when it came back…and they’ve made a few dollars off me in that time. In fact, it is a personal goal this week as part of my overall “reduce dependence on Starbucks plan” (similar to the American reduce dependence on foreign oil…) to cut down to just two drinks.
I’ve got pumpkinitis and I’ve got it bad.
I had been working on a version of my favorite scone recipe from GoDairyFree.org that was more carroty in nature (saving that one for when the mood strikes me which it will I’m sure). I found a can of pumpkin (just pumpkin, not pie mix) when sorting through my cupboards from the time I went tiny pie crazy (a story for another time).
I enjoy this recipe for a few reasons, the silliest is that it uses all of my favorite red mixing cups and spoons except the tablespoon. It gives me a sort of OCD pleasure to stack them from biggest to smallest when they are all dirty. Oh well.
The other is that it can be easily adapted to all sorts of variations and is quite forgiving in form. For example, I’m sure some people enjoy rolling out the dough and cutting into the triangle shape. Since I disguise my inherent laziness as efficiency, I typically just shape the scones in my hands or like this time since the dough ended up being a bit wetter, using a spoon to get them on the pan drop biscuit style. I also skip the step with powdering the coconut sugar.
Although it is vegan (I believe) and perhaps even ended up gluten free this time, that wasn’t my ultimate goal. However, the recipe is flexible enough that if you need to adapt it for your dietary needs, from the times I’ve played with it, it can handle it.
If you’ve never worked with coconut oil before, depending on if the weather is still hot where you are, just don’t be surprised if it’s solid one day and liquid the next. It goes liquid around 76 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is liquid just go ahead and measure and use the same. By the time you get it in your mix and add whatever you are using as milk it will have likely solidified a bit.
1/4 c. coconut / palm sugar (plus a bit more to sprinkle on top of scones before baking)
2 c. oat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon or pumpkin spice (and next time I’m going to use probably a tablespoon…)
1/3 c. coconut oil (substitute margarine or shortening, or butter, just need something that can be solid)
1 c. pumpkin
1/2 c. almond milk (or any other kind of milk, coconut milk is used in original recipe)
Additional fun things: walnuts, golden raisins, chia seeds, hemp, cacao nibs
1. Oven at 425 degrees F, prepare lined baking sheet (silicone mat, parchment paper, aluminum foil with a quick oil spray)
2. Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon (or pumpkin spice) until well-mixed.
3. Add coconut oil and cut in until looks like coarse crumbs. (I was using Kitchenaid mixer so I just let it go until crumbly).
4. Add pumpkin and almond milk. Because the pumpkin is so wet, the mix will be a bit gloopy. I added about 1/4 c. more oat flour at this point but made a decision to drop onto the baking sheet with a spoon so didn’t add any more.
5. Add your additional fun things if desired. I added a small handful of chopped walnuts, a big handful of golden raisins, a tablespoon each of chia and hemp for some interesting crunch texture. I put cacao nibs on the list because when baked, they take on a deeper dark chocolate taste that I think would really go well with pumpkin.
6. With a spoon, scoop out a decent size plop onto your baking sheet. I went big for these scones and ended up with about 6 per sheet. If you go smaller, just watch your baking time. Sprinkle a bit of the coconut sugar on top.
7. Depending on the size of what you ended up with, bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until some of the peaks have a bit of brown to them. They will be a bit squishy if you gently press on the top but will continue to bake for a bit once you pull them from the oven.
My first reaction when tasting one when warm is that they have that core-filling warmth that the taste of pumpkin has come to represent for me — but that it needed more of the pumpkin spice. I only used one teaspoon so next batch I would probably bump that up to a tablespoon. The pumpkin spice blend I have has cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
The pumpkin gave the scones a wonderful velvety texture and the random walnut + golden raisin + chia crunch were nice surprises. If you are concerned about looks, you may want to spend more time with yours so they don’t have an interesting “straight from the soft serve machine” appearance. To me, that added a whimsy and a back story where a pumpkin fairy squeezed them out from her stem or spout. Yes, I’ve got pumpkinitis.
I also decided that my Starbucks goal doesn’t officially start until tomorrow so enjoyed my first one with a pumpkin spice latte….and it was pumpkinly.