On the evening of Halloween, I found myself stretching at a familiar pace during my regularly scheduled yoga class. Arms up, forward fold, flat back, jump to plank. Somewhere between upward dog and downward dog, my mind started wandering. What happened to my favorite holiday? Why hadn’t I dressed up this year? Inhale, exhale. Where are the Halloween parties? If I’m not hearing about the parties, does that mean I’m doing something wrong with my life? Or am I just too old for them?
There I was, hanging upside down on my hands and feet, flashing back to college. At this time five years ago, I thought, I’d be asking my roommate Grace for help with my Princess Leia buns. Later that night, I’d be dancing around to Thriller with my friends—each a different character with a sloshing red Solo cup in hand.
I went home feeling all stretched out and sentimental. I poured myself a glass of wine and nibbled on a dark chocolate mini peanut butter cup. That wasn’t cutting it. I missed my roommates and our three-day Halloween extravaganzas. I briefly considered taking a shot of whiskey for old time’s sake (bad idea). Then I recalled that Grace wanted a pumpkin scone recipe. She mentioned it when I went to visit her in Minneapolis this summer. Grace loves to spend quiet mornings with a cup of black coffee and a scone.
I set down my glass of wine, got up and made pumpkin scones at midnight. Two batches later, I ended up with a whole wheat, vegan pumpkin pecan scone topped with a sweet maple glaze. I think you’ll like these, G.
I know some people try to avoid powdered sugar, whether it’s because the store-bought kind is usually cut with corn starch or simply because it’s refined sugar. I thought you might like to know that you can make your own in a blender or food processor. I used fine organic cane sugar (see above photo, left side) but read that you can also make it with turbinado sugar or sucanat. Just pulse the sugar until it’s nice and fluffy (see above photo, right side)!
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves or allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup solid coconut oil or 5 tablespoons cold butter
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup milk of choice (almond milk, low fat milk, etc.)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil or butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup good maple syrup, more if needed
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toast the nuts in the oven until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Chop the nuts into very fine pieces.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, ¾ths of the chopped nuts, baking powder, sugar, spices and salt in a bowl and whisk together.
- Use a pastry cutter to cut the coconut oil or butter into the dry ingredients. If you don’t have a pastry cutter, use a fork to cut the coconut oil into the flour, or use a knife to cut the butter into tiny pieces and mix it into the flour.
- Stir in pumpkin puree, milk and vanilla extract. At first it will seem like there isn’t enough liquid to wet the dough, but keep mixing until you have thoroughly incorporated the wet and dry ingredients. If you must, use your hands to knead the last of the flour into the dough.
- Form dough into a circle that’s about an inch deep all around. Use a chef's knife to cut the circle into 8 even slices.
- Separate slices and place on the baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
- While the scones are baking, whisk together the glaze ingredients in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. Drizzle the glaze generously over the scones (I preferred mine with a solid layer across the top). While the glaze is wet, sprinkle it with the remaining chopped nuts. Enjoy!
- Recipe adapted from my blueberry lemon scones and this maple cinnamon glaze. Glaze and chopped nut combination was inspired by Laura's gorgeous baked maple doughnuts.
- You can change up this recipe by omitting the nuts altogether, adding chopped dark chocolate. If you want a heartier, less sugary topping option, try serving the scones with pecan butter and maple syrup instead of the glaze.
In case you aren’t all pumpkin-ed out by now, here are some more pumpkin treats: pumpkin pecan polvorones, pumpkin oat pancakes, pumpkin pineapple cocktail and honey whole wheat pumpkin bread and more.