FALL FOOD: pumpkin scones

I made these at the beginning of September and am just now getting around to posting them. I actually made two batches of these they were so good!  I enjoy scones way more as an adult, as a child I found them dry and bland. Even still sometimes they are. These however are much more cake like, a little soft, the recipe describes them as more like Starbucks Scones.

The recipe is from this website and goes as follows:

Combine in a large bowl:
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
7 tbsps granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼tsp ground cloves

Cut in:
6 tbsps cold, unsalted butter, cut into chunks

In a separate, small bowl whisk together:
½ cup cooked pumpkin (I used the stuff that I went crazy and bought 50 million cans of last Thanksgiving. I don’t KNOW why!)
3 tbsp half & half (I just used 1 tbsp heavy cream to 2 tbsps 1% milk, because that’s what I had.  I imagine whole milk would work okay, too.)
1 large egg

Combine wet ingredients with dry, being careful not to overwork the dough. This is tricky because they really don’t want to combine. I used a cutting motion with the side of my plastic spatula that is probably so not approved by the Culinary Institute of America but screw them, because these are the bomb anyway.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, pat to 1 inch thick and cut in the shape of your choice. Bake at 425˚ for 16 – 17 minutes. When done, remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

I iced them first with confectioners sugar blended to a thick glaze with cream and milk. No exact measurements, just mess with it till you get the consistency right. Not to thin, though! Then, when that had hardened up a little, I mixed even MORE confectioners sugar with the spices in the scones to an ever THICKER consistency, and drizzled it over the top. It looks like a lot of icing, but honestly it’s…

a lot of icing. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it. Happily, that’s one component you can leave out or adjust to your liking.

Now that the weather is SLOWLY creeping out of the 80’s and 90s’ (don’t EVEN get me started on how pissed off I am at Colorado for ruining my LAST fall here! No one wants 96 degree weather in September!) I plan to do more fall baking! I even bought Rachel Ray’s magazine that has so many yummy fall recipes in it! I’m also craving chili like you wouldn’t believe! As soon as it’s a nice 65 degrees I will be having Mr. Gaunt crock-pot some!

Tie-Dye Cupcakes

Ms. G turned 60 last month, so we threw her a big Sweet Sixty – 1960’s Themed Party on Saturday! It turned out great, everyone in costume with fun decorations and retro food! I might do a post later with pics. I volunteered to make her cake (which I switched to Cupcakes because they are much easier to serve) and new I wanted to make a Tie-Dye Cake (some call it a rainbow cake, but we’re doing the 60’s here) that I have seen floating around the web.

The Cupcakes are actually pretty easy to make, and SOOO cool to eat! They do take a fair amount of time, and dishes, but not too much talent.

I bought basic Yellow Cupcake Mix (I think Duncan Hines, but anything will do) and mixed it up per box instructions. You could make your own cake batter too, it works the same. After your batter is all mixed, divide it evenly into 6 small bowls (RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, PURPLE) I also used 6 disposable spoons to save on cleaning.

To dye your batter you need a high quality Food Coloring. I have always like Wilton’s Icing Colors, they are slightly more expensive but WAY worth it. I got mine at Michael’s Crafts. Start with a small amount, stir in, and add more until you get the colors you want. The Brighter the Better!

You will need to use cupcake liners for this project and have some napkins ready for dripping. To get the layered look, I suggest putting your bowls in order of the rainbow. You will spoon about a tablespoon (just enough to cover the bottom) of the first color into the bottom of each liner. Then move onto the next color, and spoon that color on top of the previous one. Continue with each color. This does NOT need to be perfect. Be aware of how much you are putting into each liner, you don’t want to overfill or not have room for all the colors.

At the end I made a few ugly mix ones with the last bits of color, they turned out fun too.

Then you just bake as usual. Let cool. Frost. Sprinkle. Done!

You can also make a whole cake like this too. Here is the directions for that.

Clean Eating Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Cookies

I was craving cookies/baking something, and spent the morning searching for a healthy recipe. I found a yummy looking one in my Clean Eating magazine, but later realized it called for an entire cup of butter (two sticks) and that is just too much butter, even if it is clean. No thanks. I even searched Food Gawker but couldn’t really find anything that was low fat. Last resort I remembered that The Clean Eating Mamma had a recipe tab on her blog, and sure enough she had an Oatmeal Cookie Recipe. Best part is NO butter! Love it! I followed this recipe to a T except that I didn’t have baking soda (only powder) so I just left that out…ha! I also added chopped raw almonds, because almonds are delish and everything should have almonds in it. The batter tasted VERY sweet like honey and I was worried that it would be too sweet, but it must have baked out because these are very light on sweetness. More like an oatmeal breakfast cookie rather than a buttery cookie. I love em! Mr. Gaunt wasn’t so sure about the dark chocolate. I used a Green and Black Dark Chocolate bar (80% I think) from Whole Foods.  I like Dark Chocolate, but I would guess small children wouldn’t be huge fans either.

Tree and Cookies

I wont lie, the day has been less than perfect. Just a number of dumb things, and both of us being in crappy moods. We had made plans earlier this week to get our tree tonight and go see a movie, the movie didnt happen but the tree did. As a kid growing up in Washington and having multiple Christmas Tree farms within 5 minutes of our house we always went and cut out own. I remember they would always have the blue tin cookies and hot apple cider. Tonight we just went to The Home Depot to get our tree, but I insisted we stop and get both cookies and cider! Of course in real life they are not “blue tin cookies” they are Danish Butter Cookies, and yeah Im sure they are AWFUL for you…yum!

Mr. Gaunt picked a movie to watch while we decorated the tree.

Hula is ready for her first Christmas!

Dear Caramel Apple Pops,

At 60 calories you’re a delish little treat…unless I eat 5 a day for a week. Halloween candy is obviously NOT allowed in this house.

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Tonight’s Biggest loser was a good one, except for crazy bug-eyed Tracy who needs to take about ten chill pills…gross! SPOILER: She totally should have gone home instead of the red team! None the less Biggest Loser is such great inspiration and I went to the gym right after and worked my butt off, Jillian screaming in my head. Good times! I’m hoping to lose 3lbs this week, which is actually next week because I didn’t do my weigh in until Monday so I cant re weigh in until next Monday, which is ok because I have a craft fair on Saturday. I’m kind of having anxiety about my job thing because the whole driving record STILL hasn’t been resolved..ugg…so poor, hopefully fingers crossed all gets taken care of by the end of the week (or sooner) and my weight loss goes well and the craft fair is awesome! An exciting busy week!