Autumn-spiced Pumpkin Cornmeal Scones are studded with pecans and chocolate chips, and drizzled with a dark chocolate glaze. All you need is a cup of tea.
In order to get away these days, a lot of orchestrating must happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s an overnight trip or a week long vacation — once children and pets enter the picture, it becomes very, very complicated. And it also doesn’t matter if they stay or if they go. The planning, the packing, the organizing, all the arrangement-making – well, it exhausts me so much that I always consider: is it all worth it?
The answer of course, almost always, is YES. If anything, by the time you get to your destination, you are so ready – SO READY – for some fun and relaxation.
I was in Honolulu last week. And yet again, the prep work leading up to my little getaway amazed me. There were lists upon lists, the goodness of saintly friends, and all the last minute work to be done before I could even think about packing my suitcase. But once I was in island mode, my skin absorbing the humidity that is such a foreign thing to California, I was rewarded. There were yummy bites, my beloved papaya, and beautiful sunsets. Most of all, there were long conversations with my husband. Uninterrupted.
I left refreshed, and wondering what I would tackle once I returned to my kitchen. It didn’t take long for a request to come in.
“Mom, can you make scones? I’m really craving scones.”
Didn’t I just make some?
Apparently, it wasn’t enough.
From the moment I woke up on Sunday morning, I made scones. Over and over again. I went through several iterations before I was pleased enough with these Pumpkin Cornmeal Scones. The kitchen smelled of pumpkin and all the fall spices — cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, and there were drizzles of chocolate everywhere. The cornmeal gives it a little more heartiness, not unlike a delicious corn muffin, and despite my family’s protests, the pecans add some crunch that I always love.
It was a long road to travel, but these scones were a worthy destination. Now, where to next?
Pumpkin Cornmeal Scones
For the Scones:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick), cut into small pieces
2 large eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup pecans, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons cream or half and half
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Glaze:
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder (I use Guittard Cocoa Rouge Cocoa Powder)
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Scones:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and ground cloves. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture, until you have course crumbs. This can also be done with two knives or a food processor.
Whisk the eggs lightly and combine with the pumpkin and buttermilk. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just moist.
Add the pecans and chocolate chips to the dough, then mix lightly. The dough will be sticky.
On a lightly floured surface, turn the sticky dough out and knead lightly until the nuts and chocolate chips are incorporated into the dough and the dough is shapped into a disk. If you find that your dough is too sticky, add more flour until the dough is malleable. Roll the dough 3/4 inch thick. Using a bisquit cutter or cookie cutter, cut out 3 inch rounds. You should have about 8 scones. Place the scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, and lightly brush with half and half. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the scones.
Place the scones in the freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Once the scones are chilled, bake for 20 minutes, or until golden. Let it cool slightly, while you make the glaze.
For the Glaze:
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar with the cocoa powder. Whisk in the milk, then slowly add the remaining powdered sugar until the consistency of the glaze is thick but still able to drizzle. Stir in the vanilla extract and stir again.
Drizzle the glaze generously over the scones and sprinkle with more pecans, if you wish.