Pumpkin Scones (makes 6 scones)

- 2 cups all purpose flour

- 1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar

- 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger

- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

- 1 teaspoon baking powder

- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

- 1/4 teaspoon salt

-- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (either cut into pieces or shredded with a cheese grater)

- 1/3 cup chopped white chocolate (optional)

- 1/4 cup  toasted and chopped pecans (optional)

- 1/3 cup buttermilk

- 1/2 cup fresh cooked and puréed pumpkin (or butternut squash)

- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Egg Wash: 1 large egg, 1 tablespoon milk,

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling the top of scones

(1)     Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in middle of oven.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

(2)   In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Blend cut/shredded butter nto the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives.  The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.   Stir in the chopped white chocolate and pecans, if using.  In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, pumpkin puree and vanilla and then add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture.  Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough.

(3)     Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick.  Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 3 pie-shaped wedges (triangles).  Place the scones on the baking sheet.  Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle a little Turbinado sugar on top, if desired.

(4)     Place the baking sheet inside another baking sheet to prevent the bottoms of the scones from over browning.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.   Transfer to a wire rack to cool.