Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin Scones

I love Charlie Brown specials on TV.  I watch them whenever I can.  One in particular that  I love is It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  The Great Pumpkin seems to be known only to Linus who waits for him every year on Halloween.  Linus and his blanket wait patiently in the pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin to appear.  Invariably he fails to show up and a humiliated but undefeated Linus vows to wait for him again the following Halloween.

A line made famous by the  TV special is “There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people:  religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin”   Well, I pretty much adhere to that rule, too, but seeing that Halloween has just passed, today is election day, and I baked pumpkin scones, I’m breaking the rule to share with you this recipe for awesome pumpkin scones.   I imagine Linus would have loved to have one while he waited for the Great Pumpkin, but you don’t have to wait that long, only long enough to whip these up and have one while it’s still warm with a cup of coffee or tea.

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PUMPKIN SCONES

Yield:  10 -11 drop sconesIMG_8448

Ingredients:

  • 2  1/4 cup all-purpose flour ( or use half white flour, and half whole wheat)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 6 Tbsp. chilled butter, cut into small  pieces
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup fat-free half and half ( plus extra for brushing the tops of the scones, if desired.)
  • In place of the half and half you can use 3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk, plus add 1/2 tsp. baking soda to the dry ingredients.

Optional Spice Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. water

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400*F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice, and pulse to blend briefly.

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Add the orange zest and better and pulse on and off. until the mixture has the consistency of fine meal.

Transfer flour mixture to a large bowl.

Transfer flour mixture to a large bowl.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in the pumpkin and half and half, mixing just until combined.

Mixing in the pumpkin and half-and-half.

Mixing in the pumpkin and half-and-half.

3.  Spoon the dough onto the baking sheet, using 1/4 cup measure or large spoon, to divide evenly.  This should make about 10 scones. (I got 11.)   Space them about 1 inch apart.

Space about 1-inch apart on parchment lined baking sheet.

Space about 1-inch apart on parchment lined baking sheet.

Brush the tops with a tablespoon or two of fat-free half and half.

Brush tops with half-and-half.

Brush tops with half-and-half.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until they are lightly browned.

4.  For the glaze:  Add powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice and water to a small ;bowl.  Whisk together well.  Drizzle over scones and serve warm or cold.

Drizzle scones with glaze.

Drizzle scones with glaze.

Light and tender.  Just right for a snack.

Light and tender. Just right for a snack.

 

SOURCE:   old recipe from the Hartford Courant

 

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Cherry Almond Ricotta Drop Scones

Cherry Almond Ricotta Drop Scones

Cherry Almond Ricotta Drop Scones

Knowing what to eat for breakfast when you are dancing in a competition is difficult.  It’s important to eat foods for energy, but equally important  to avoid foods that will make you feel full or sluggish.  In any hotel a full breakfast is always available, but it is not my habit to partake of them.  Instead I usually bring along simple foods that I can eat quickly with some coffee while I am getting ready.

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These scones  were the ones I made to take along on my trip.  They met my requirements for easy to eat, nutritious, low in fat, and a good source of energy.

Most scones fall into one of two categories:  the English version which is very dry and crumbly, a platform for slathering on jam and clotted cream; or the Americanized version that folds the cream directly into the batter, along with a hefty measure of butter and sugar.  Either way you’re starting your day with about 500 calories, and that’s way too much for me.  So I was on the hunt for a recipe for a lightened up scone that would still provide a fruity, whole-grain, buttery  biscuit.   I found it in this recipe.

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The key is part-skim ricotta cheese.  It has a richness similar to that of whipping cream with a fraction of the fat.  Whole wheat pastry flour is worked in, and some of the butter is replaced by heart-healthy canola oil for scones that bake up light and fluffy.  Dried cherries are plumped up in orange juice for a flavor boost, and nutty almonds add crunch.  If you wish you can use half the ricotta, whipped with vanilla and citrus zest, to dollop on the freshly baked scones in place of clotted cream or butter.   I felt that having one of these crumbly, cake-like biscuits early in the day got me off to a good start.

CHERRY ALMOND RICOTTA DROP SCONES

Yield:  Makes about 10 sconesIMG_7912

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp. grated orange rind
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. fat-free buttermilk, divided
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 4.5 ounces whole-grain pastry flour (about 1 cup)
  • 3.4 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.   Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  Combine cherries and juice in a small microwave-safe bowl.   Microwave at HIGH 1 minute; let stand 5 minutes.  Drain;  discard liquid.  Finely chop cherries.

3.  Combine ricotta cheese, 1 tablespoon sugar, rind, and vanilla in a medium bowl.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the ricotta mixture.  Add 1/3 cup buttermilk and canola oil to remaining ricotta mixture, stirring until smooth.

Combine vanilla and orange zest with ricotta cheese.

Combine sugar, vanilla and orange zest with ricotta cheese.

4.  Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups;  level with a knife.  Combine flours, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Cut in butter with a pastry blender.

Cut in butter with a pastry blender.

Add cherries and almonds; toss.  Add buttermilk mixture; stir just until combined.

5.  Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls 3-inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet.  Combine egg and remaining 1 tablespoon buttermilk, stirring with a whisk.  Gently brush top and sides of dough with egg mixture.

Brush tops with buttermilk-egg mixture.

Brush tops with buttermilk-egg mixture.

Bake at 425*F. for 15 to 16 minutes or until golden.  Remove from the pan and cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.

Bake till golden brown.

Bake till golden brown.

6.  Beat the reserved ricotta mixture at medium speed 3 minutes or until fluffy.  Serve with warm scones.

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As a finale to this recipe, I’m including here the photos I’ve been waiting for that show me dancing rhythm dances.  This costume has a lot of fringe that moves with the dancing, and shows the judges that you are using your hips correctly.  This will be the end of my show and tell about the competition,  I promise.

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SOURCE:  Cooking Light