Pumpkin Scones
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I first tried this recipe in 2014 for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner.  They were a big hit, with their firm crust texture and holiday pumpkin spice flavor.  They did not last long on a table filled with many other delicious dishes. For the Cinnamon Butter: ½ cup (1 stick) room temperature unsalted butter 2 teaspoons maple syrup 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon non-iodized salt, such as sea salt or kosher salt For the Scones: ½ cup sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling 2 teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground ginger (sneak in some finely chopped fresh ginger if you can) ½ teaspoon nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon non-iodized salt ½ teaspoon ground cloves ½ cup chopped fresh cranberries 2 cups all purpose flour ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled or frozen) 1 egg ½ cup canned pure pumpkin ¼ cup buttermilk, reserve some more for brushing onto the scones. Parchment sheet for baking Optional: 2 tablespoons raw sugar for sprinkling For the cinnamon butter, just mix together all four ingredients.  You can make this days ahead and just it sit and let it come to room temperature before serving. For the scones: Chopping the cranberries is kind of fun.  They can fly all over the kitchen if you move too fast.  They seem tough and hard and so unappetizing but don’t worry since they will soften well during baking. Combine the first ten (all dry) ingredients.  Chill or freeze the butter so that it will flow easily though a box grater.  Grate or chop the butter into the combined dry ingredients so that it will distribute well.  Grate in the butter, combining as you go.  Then mix in the buttermilk, pumpkin and the egg. Spread a little extra flour over a clean flat surface and use your hands to flatten the dough into a round flat shape so that it is about 8-10 inches in diameter and about 1 ½ inches thick.  Cut the dough into 8 equal triangles.  Place the triangles on a baking sheet covered with a sheet of parchment paper.  If you do not have parchment paper you can grease the sheet with some extra butter or shortening.  It’s just that cleanup is much easier with the parchment paper.  Remember that waxed paper is never a good substitute since it will melt and burn. Take the baking sheet with the triangles set on it and place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes just to set up the dough.  Remove it when ready and brush the scones with some extra buttermilk and sprinkle them with the granulated sugar or the raw sugar if you have it. Place in a well-preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, being careful not to burn the bottoms of the scones.  Your oven may be cooler or hotter than mine, so this may take some practice. Serve hot with the cinnamon butter at room temperature or slightly chilled, and enjoy!