Pumpkin Scones with Maple Cinnamon Butter

Although most of the leaves have fallen from the trees by now (tear), I'm still working frivolously to achieve my not-so-lofty goal of consuming as many pumpkin flavored things as possible before the season ends.

Luckily, I can easily achieve my goal, especially when I have: 

1) a solid two weeks left before the winter solstice
2) 8 pumpkin scones freshly baked with maple cinnamon butter sitting in my kitchen

Forget all those dry, crumbly scones you've begrudgingly eaten in the past. These are soft and chewy with a crisp crust; when you slather them with maple cinnamon butter, they make you forget that the polar vortex is on its way again.

At first, I was not sure I'd be able to pull these off (since I'm not the best baker in the world). They ended up being kind of fun to make and pretty simple, too. Once the dough is made, it's transferred to a lightly floured surface and patted into a 1½”-thick disk. 

The disk is cut into 8 wedges and doused in buttermilk — which soaks into the scones, giving them the soft center. Top with raw sugar for an extra sweet crunch.

The maple cinnamon butter is so simple a snowman could do it. Speaking of, do you want to build one? Or ride our bikes around the halls? Or mix butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt together in a small bowl? If you're on board with the Frozen references, the butter is to the scones what Anna is to Elsa — necessary.

So as you're preparing your holiday menus, I hope these make the nice list. Even the naughtiest holiday houseguest in the world would want these for brunch. 

Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Butter

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) chilled unsalted butter
  • ½ cup chopped fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries OR pecans (optional)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup canned pure pumpkin
  • ¼ cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

Cinnamon Butter:
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1. Mix butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.*

2. Whisk granulated sugar, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, cloves, baking soda, and 2 cups flour in a large bowl. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate in butter, tossing to coat in dry ingredients as you go; toss in cranberries or pecans, if using. Mix in egg, pumpkin, and ¼ cup buttermilk.

3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and pat into a 1½”-thick disk. Cut into 8 wedges; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm, 25 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 400F. Brush scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake until golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Serve with cinnamon butter. Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature. Reheat very briefly in the microwave, if desired.

*DO AHEAD: Cinnamon butter can be made 4 days ahead. Cover with foil or wrap and chill.


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