king arthur flour holiday table: harvest pumpkin scones

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

Too often I feel like scones get the short end of the stick in the coffee shop scene. Maybe it’s because they sit out behind the glass for a little bit too long by the time that they make it into a wax paper bag, ending up just a little too dry and flavorless, unsatisfyingly crumbly, and thus under-appreciated. I’ll admit that before I tried making them at home, I succumbed to that belief, too, thinking that the way I wanted scones to taste was something that existed only in my mind: little puffy triangles that were craggy on the outside, but tender and moist within, with just the slightest springiness to them to distinguish them from cakes or cookies. But in actuality, I think a homemade scone, fresh and warm from the oven, is just that. Slight crunch on the outside, soft inside, with a subtle resilience to the crumb. And they’re, surprisingly, so very easy to make!  We should all have homemade scones in our kitchens. (At least on the weekends.)

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

When King Arthur Flour asked me to pick a KAF recipe to make and bring to their Holiday Table, I had a feeling that their Harvest Pumpkin Scones, like most recipes they develop, would take that craggy-yet-soft paragon of my perfect scone and make it even better. I was right. The pumpkin in these scones lends both moisture and structure, giving them that perfect chew that I idealize, not to mention a burnished orange radiance and subtle fall flavor. There’s a generous dose of spice to give them that unmistakable holiday warmth, and plenty of crunchy sugar on top for contrast. Then, if you choose to use them, which I hope you do, a full cup of cinnamon chips melts into the dough and leaves pockets of spiced happiness throughout, and a handful of candied ginger adds lively snap and even more delightful texture. They need no extra jam or butter to be enjoyed, with all the flavor and texture that they pack. They’re good enough to warrant sharing pumpkin recipes for two weeks in a row.

For all that praise, these pumpkin scones, just like most scones, are stunningly easy to throw together. A couple of bowls and a little stirring, some gentle patting and shaping and a quick chill in the freezer, and you’re ready to bake them for a scant 20-some minutes and make your weekend morning brighter and cozier. I bet, in fact, that there’s still plenty of time this Sunday morning to make these happen. When Monday rolls around, they freeze beautifully and can be reheated, wrapped in foil, in the oven, or covered in the microwave. Not that we had very many that made it that far — I brought them into work a few weeks ago, and they disappeared from the break room within the hour. (And I promise, only one of them was eaten by me.)

In case you don’t believe me when I say how easy they are (although, as with most everything, I promise that if I can do it, you can too), King Arthur Flour invited me to do a little bit of a step-by-step tutorial here. And for more of my favorite KAF pumpkin recipes and a few baking tips, you can hop on over to their Holiday Table! Thank you to KAF for sponsoring this post and bringing these pumpkin scones into my life. They have me wishing it could be fall year-round. And thank you, as always, to you for reading.

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

To make these scones: First, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large mixing bowl.

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

Next, work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly. I like grating frozen butter into the flour, just so it’s already fairly crumbly by the time it’s tossed in and I’m not worried about warming the butter up too much. Either way, working with cold butter will make this easier, and it’s totally fine for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

Stir in any add-ins you’re using — I used about 1 cup of cinnamon chips and 1/2 cup candied ginger. The ginger can be quite strong, so can be used sparingly if you’re sensitive to it.

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs until smooth.

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and fold the two together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until everything is just moistened and holds together.

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

Be gentle as you mix; some floury bits are okay.

Line a baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle a bit of flour across it. If you don’t have parchment paper, the bare baking sheet will work too, with a bit of flour.

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half.

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

Gently pat and round each half into a 5- or 6-inch circle, larger if you’ve used add-ins. The circles should be about 3/4″ thick.

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

Using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges.  (You can also dust the knife with a bit of flour, which works just as well.)

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2″ space between them, at their outer edges. (My little pow-wow of scones on the right were hanging out a tad farther from each other than that; don’t stress the exact distance too much.)

For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F. Bake the scones for 22 to 25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, with no wet crumbs. If you pull one of the scones away from the others, the edges should look baked through, not wet or doughy. Remove the scones from the oven, and serve warm. Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature. Reheat very briefly in the microwave, if desired. Enjoy!

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

kaf harvest pumpkin scones | two red bowls

Harvest Pumpkin Scones

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. First, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Next, work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it's OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.
  3. Stir in any add-ins you're using — I used about 1 cup of cinnamon chips and 1/2 cup candied ginger. The ginger can be quite strong, so can be used sparingly if you're sensitive to it.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs until smooth. Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and fold the two together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until everything is just moistened and holds together. Be gentle as you mix; some floury bits are okay.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle a bit of flour across it. If you don't have parchment paper, the bare baking sheet will work too, with a bit of flour.
  6. Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half.
  7. Gently pat and round each half into a 5- or 6-inch circle, larger if you've used add-ins. The circles should be about 3/4" thick.
  8. Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.
  9. Using a knife or bench knife that you've run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges. You can also dust the knife with a bit of flour.
  10. Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2" space between them, at their outer edges.
  11. For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.
  12. Bake the scones for 22 to 25 minutes, or until they're golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, with no wet crumbs. If you pull one of the scones away from the others, the edges should look baked through, not wet or doughy.
  13. Remove the scones from the oven, and serve warm. Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature. Reheat very briefly in the microwave, if desired.

Notes

I like grating frozen butter into the flour, just so it's already fairly crumbly by the time it's tossed in and I'm not worried about warming the butter up too much. Either way, working with cold butter will make this easier, and it's totally fine for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.

I found these to be quite moist, but for those who found them dry, I would perhaps take care not to overbake them, and ensure that your flour weights are accurate. If you don't use a scale to measure the flour, I find the spoon and sweep method to be most reliable -- fluff the flour, spoon or sprinkle it into your measuring cup, then level it (by "sweeping").

Finally, I drizzled some of the scones with a maple glaze similar to the one used here, but found them just as delicious without.

http://tworedbowls.com/2016/10/30/pumpkin-scones/

29 comments

  1. says:

    October 30, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    yay for homemade scones! my mom used to be very anti-scones because she thought they were super dry, and every time i’d try to prove her wrong with a storebought scone or bakery scone, it’d backfire. she finally liked them when i started making them (:

      • says:

        November 7, 2016 at 4:51 pm

        Ah, it isn’t in England though Jacqueline and that’s all I can really base it on. I didn’t notice them when I visited Aberdeenshire, but I wasn’t really looking.

        I say scone=gone too, scone=moan just sounds strange! 😁

        • Jacqueline Bethea says:

          November 7, 2016 at 5:43 pm

          i have heard that scones in england are different than those made in scotland, but i have never known what the difference is. most of the scones that i see are similar to what i have always called a white oven scone (of course, now they come so many ways that they are really no longer white). drop scones, like a thick pancake, done on a griddle are round of course, but that’s the only round scone i can think of.

  2. says:

    November 2, 2016 at 10:46 am

    You’re right, I think the reason why scones don’t get much love from me is because they usually tastes bland, looks dry, and unappetizing but these look fantastic!..and the step by step visuals are great! Baking scones seems like such an intimidating thing..

    Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe! Will need to try it this weekend for some good eats! 🙂

  3. says:

    November 5, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Nothing bland or dry looking about these! They look amazing!! And perfect for our girls brunch next weekend! Do you think they would still be flavorful enough if I omit the cinnamon chips and maybe up the candied ginger? I am weird and not a fan of cinnamon chips.

  4. loosecannon2 says:

    November 6, 2016 at 9:21 am

    We are definitely going to make these for our Sunday evening “mis-mash” for dinner. We so enjoy these evenings with spur of the moment recipes that often become a must in our recipe file. I’m sure these Pumpkin Scones will find their “nestle space” there. Thank You ever so much.

  5. Patricia Houser Goehrig says:

    November 6, 2016 at 9:28 am

    I want to make these gluten free using KA all purpose flour. Do I need to add xanthan gum? These look awesome!

  6. Anonymous says:

    November 6, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Homemade scones are absolutely the best, especially right from the oven. I’ve got to make these pumpkin ones today! They’re gonna rule.

    Thank you, Miss Two Red Bowls!

  7. Anonymous says:

    November 8, 2016 at 11:21 am

    thought the flavor was good, but scones were quite dry…and I didnt see the glaze listed on the recipe until I looked back on here at the pictures.

  8. Anonymous says:

    November 8, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Do you think that I could mix and shape the night before and put them in the fridge overnight instead of the freezer for 30 minutes? I know my family isn’t going to wait an hour for breakfast and I’m not getting up at 5:30 a.m. for them, either.

    • Anonymous says:

      November 13, 2016 at 11:04 am

      Did exactly that (refrigerated over night) and baked them after church. Turned out wonderful!. Rose to right height. Family said they were the best scones ever – not dry at all -just moist enough.

say hello!