Archive for the ‘*Wangster’ Category

A Guilty Favorite

January 15, 2008

Hello all!

I’ve been promising Kayoko I would blog for months, and now, having settled into a relatively productive cycle of cooking and baking, I thought I’d give it a go…

In the last month or so, I explored the wonders of oatmeal (oatmeal cookies, bars, and yes, oatmeal cake really does just taste like oatmeal), experimented with rugelach (try nutella as a filling instead of chocolate – it’s much smoother and adds a nice nutty balance), and just last night, I tried to replicate one of my secret fixations…last seen at my local Starbucks in Fall 2006. I’m talking, of course, about the iced pumpkin scone.

For those of you well-traveled in the scone world, I find that it’s incredibly hard finding a scone that is moist enough without leaving that unpleasantly greasy taste in your mouth, while not being so dry that you need tea to dunk it in to make it relatively edible. That said, the Starbucks iced pumpkin scone is a fantastic middle ground of sweet but not too sweet, firm without being crumbly, and autumnal without having that cloying nutmeg/clove/cinnamon spiciness.

First off, a co-worker who lives in upstate New York on a farm gifted me with three lovely cups of fresh pumpkin puree. Supposedly she just bought a big ‘ol pumpkin, roasted it, scooped out the flesh, and pureed. Here is a cup of this precious puree just out of the freezer:

It may not look all that appetizing, but it really does make a difference. I find most canned pumpkin to be suspiciously orange and a bit too sweet – have you ever looked at pumpkin flesh? It’s really more yellow than Halloween orange.

Now there’s a bunch of recipes online that claim to be the secret recipe for these scones, here’s the one I started off with:

To ensure extra moistness, I substituted Greek yogurt in for the half-and-half, and added a quarter cup more of the fresh pumpkin puree. Also, for the spiced glaze I added a bit of molasses. Here are my results:

As for my taste test, I felt that while my wannabe scones were far lighter and more subtle than the Starbucks heavyweights, they still lacked that creamy denseness that I admired so much in the store-bought variety. Next time I think I’ll go with less baking powder and more baking soda, and I might even try substituting in some whole wheat flour.

Next up: the perfect maple coffee cake.