12/07/2014

spiced butternut squash scones with cinnamon glaze

Yum

There are tons of beautiful squashes out this time of year. Butternuts, futsus, acorns, just to name a few. But, is it just me, or do these lovelies totally get dissed in the name of the humble pumpkin? Don't get me wrong, I'm not a pumpkin hater. Clearly. But you won't find me waiting around the corner for a pumpkin flavored beverage (gross) in the summertime. I like my seasonal stuff to be, well, in season. And while I'll crush a pumpkin pie with the best of them, I thought, say, why don't we give one of the other guys a chance?


Now I'm not getting too crazy, here. I'm not trying to make a spaghetti squash to fit in where it doesn't belong. I went with one of the other so-called staples of this time of year, the butternut. The butternut isn't getting picked last, by any means. In fact, it's made it into a lot of sweet varieties already, like tarts and even puddings. It responds really well to the traditional pumpkin add-ons: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg. But in my opinion, it's already packed with a lot more flavor than pumpkins tend to carry. When roasted, it gets nutty and sweet and glorious. In short, it makes the perfect scone.

For this recipe, you'll need:

For the scones:

1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup of all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons organic butter, cold and cubed
1/2 cup butternut squash purée
1/3 cup organic heavy cream
1 large organic egg

For the cinnamon glaze:

1 cup of confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons organic lowfat milk

A note on butternut squash purée: the best way (and possibly the only way, since I've never seen this option in the canned aisle) is to make your own. I halved my squash, scooped out the seeds, and roasted face down in a 400 degree oven for one hour. Next, scoop out the flesh and use a blender (hand-held or not) to get rid of any stringiness or lumps, though you don't ordinarily have that issue with this variety of squash. After that, you can refrigerate this purée for up to one week (though to use it sooner is best) or freeze for up to one year. If you freeze, get out at least a day or two before you need to use it and thaw in the refrigerator. 


Begin by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S-blade, pulse together your flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and all spices. Add your butter and pulse together for 10 seconds or with 10 individual pulses, to help break down the butter just enough but not too much. The beauty of scones are the layers created by the small butter chunks that remain.


Transfer your mixture to a large bowl and form a well in the center of your dry ingredients. In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together your squash purée, cream and egg. Pour into the center of your well and fold together until just combined but not overmixed.



Turn out your dough on a well-floured surface and quickly pat into a circle that is about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. Using a pasty cutter, cut into eight even triangles and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush for a little additional cream if you'd like them to have a pretty sheen. Transfer to the oven for about 20 minutes, rotating your pan halfway through.


As the scones bake, you can whisk together your glaze. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. When the scones come out of the oven, let them cool for about 10 minutes before you use the glaze so that it doesn't melt right off.


Scones are best served the same day (Isn't everything? Well, maybe not), but if you do everything but bake these guys, they freeze well and can be baked on demand. Feeling scone-y for breakfast? On a weekday, even? You can add about five minutes to your baking time and bake right from the freezer.

Looking for some other scone recipes?