Wednesday, October 10, 2012

mini pumpkin oatmeal scones, gluten-free

I'm doing it.  I'm jumping on the pumpkin bandwagon.

Even though this fall is turning out to be more of a summer in autumn clothing, I'm completely in the spirit of colored leaves and corn mazes, scare crows and spicy cider.  And as a part of my own personal celebration of the harvest season, I'm baking and making all sorts of goodies with the flavors of orangey squashes.

I know, I know.  So is everyone else in the blogosphere.

But I'm not letting the abundance of other pumpkin recipes out there deter me.  This is my absolute favorite time of year, so I plan to carpe cucurbita... you know, seize the pumpkin. Am I getting a little too cheese ball yet?

To start off this little fall festival, I have some mini pumpkin scones to share.  They're spiced and crumbly and completely gluten-free, and they're just barely sweet with maple sugar and syrup.  Perfect with morning tea or coffee.  Just as good as an afternoon or evening snack, though, I assure you.

Ever since I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition a couple of weeks ago, I've been focusing on creating treats that are a little bit better for us than the average sweet.  I'm well aware that the butter content in this recipe makes it an every once in a while splurge, but I wanted to experiment with more natural sweeteners, hence the maple.

We all know about maple syrup.  Piles of pancakes have been drenched with the sweet sap of the maple for ages.  But what about maple sugar?  I didn't know of its existence until several months ago, when I ran across it in a grocery store.  Maple sugar is simply the solid mass of sweetness that's left when maple sap is boiled for slightly longer than it takes to create maple syrup.  Wikipedia told me that it's about twice as sweet as refined sugar, and my taste buds informed me that it adds the delightful flavor of maple.

It works perfectly in these scones.

As the days continue their decline on our way to the solstice, I'll have more pumpkin dishes to share with you all.  I plan to take full advantage of the season and the flavors of fall.

Until next time, friends.

Mini Pumpkin Oatmeal Scones
makes 18 scones

1 2/3 C. gluten-free flour blend
3 T. maple sugar, separated
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 T. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. guar gum
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/3 C. + 1 T. GF rolled oats, separated
1 stick + 3 T. cold, unsalted butter cut into 1 T. sized pieces
2 T. maple syrup
< 1/3 C. buttermilk
1/3 C. pumpkin puree

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

  • Sift GF flour blend, 2 T. maple sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, guar gum and salt into a large mixing bowl.  Transfer dry ingredient mixture into the bowl of food processor, add 1 1/3 C. GF oats, and pulse 15 times.

  • Add butter to food processor, and pulse mixture into a coarse meal.  Transfer back to mixing bowl.

  • Measure 2 T. maple syrup into a 1/3 C. measuring cup, and fill the remainder of the 1/3 C. with buttermilk.  Add this mixture and the pumpkin puree to the dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly with a fork or your hands.

  • Lightly flour a work surface with GF flour blend, and turn dough out onto it. Sprinkle a bit more flour over the top & flour hands, also.  Knead the dough about 6 times, and form into a square, 1-inch thick. 

  • Cut the dough into 9 equal squares, and cut each square diagonally into two triangles.  Transfer triangles to an ungreased baking sheet.  Brush tops with buttermilk, and sprinkle the remaining 1 T. maple sugar and 1 T. rolled oats over the scones.

  • Bake 12 - 14 minutes, or until golden brown.  Transfer scones to a wire rack, and cool completely before eating.

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