Remember when I was obsessed with chocolate? Like back when I wrote my very first blog post ever, and up until, umm, a few days ago? Oh wait, that's right, still obsessed. But now I have a second obsession - caramel. Sweet, creamy, rich, luscious, caramel. Ever since I learned how to make it, I keep dreaming of recipes involving caramel. It's become my inspirational ingredient. Is that a good thing? The caramel-loving side of me says yes.
When fall rolled around and I started baking a lot with pumpkin, I kept thinking that I really needed to make some pumpkin scones while they were "in season". A trip to Starbucks and a glance at their double-glazed Pumpkin Scones pretty much confirmed that it needed to be done. The only thing is, when I actually got around to making some, I came up with this idea of making the second "glaze" a caramel drizzle, and an idea like that has to be put to action. That's how I ended up with Spiced Pumpkin Scones topped with a glaze and a drizzle of caramel - ridiculously over-the-top, I know, but seriously worth it.
You see people, caramel is dangerous. It makes you do things like bake crazy-intense scones.
And did I mention it's amazing?
These mini scones are like little firecrackers; they trick you with their cute little appearance but explode with rich flavors. The pumpkin and spices in the scones work perfectly with the sweetness and depth of the caramel, which is at its best cooked to that magical point when the color is at its darkest and the flavors at their most complex, just before it burns. The scones are brimming with so much taste that you can't really appreciate it all before you find that one scone has already disappeared in your mouth. Then you want to go for another, all the while thinking that you should have just made each one twice the size. Like I said, this is dangerous territory here. Some self control is essential if you don't want things to get out of hand.
Now go make some spiced pumpkin scones, glaze them, and top them with a caramel drizzle. Eat and repeat. And don't say I didn't warn you!
Glazed Pumpkin Scones with Caramel Drizzle
Spiced pumpkin scones topped with a thin vanilla glaze and a drizzle of rich caramel - a perfect fall indulgence!
- Yield: 8 scones 1x
- 4 ¼ ounces all-purpose flour (1 cup, spoon and sweep)
- 2 ⅛ ounces whole wheat flour (½ cup, spoon and sweep)
- 1 ¾ ounces granulated sugar (¼ cup)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground all spice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6 ounces canned pumpkin (¾ cup)
- 2 ounces butter, frozen and cubed (4 tablespoons)
- 3 ½ ounces granulated sugar (½ cup)
- 4 ⅛ ounces heavy cream (½ cup, 4 fluid ounces)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ¼ ounce butter (½ tablespoon)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ounces confectioner's sugar, sifted (¾ cup)
To make the Pumpkin Scones:
- In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices). Cut in butter until only small pieces remain, creating a coarse meal texture. Add pumpkin, folding in briefly, and then using your hands to gently knead all of the ingredients together into a ball. At first it may look like the dough is too dry, but it should come together. You can add a bit more pumpkin if needed.
- Place the ball of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten into a round disc, about ¾" thick. Place in the freezer to chill for about an hour. Meanwhile, make the caramel drizzle.
- Once scones are almost done chilling, preheat oven to 375 F. Remove scones from freezer and slice, pizza-style, into 8 triangles. Separate the scones on the baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Allow scones to cool before glazing.
To make the Caramel Drizzle:*
- Place sugar in a tall pot over medium-low heat and let sit until the sugar begins to melt, turning a golden color. While the sugar is heating up, right around the time that it begins to change color, microwave the heavy cream for 45 seconds. Set aside, nearby. Once sugar starts melting, use a heat-safe spatula to gently push the melted sugar over the unmelted sugar, continuing until all of the sugar has melted. Stir melted sugar until it turns a rich, dark copper color. At this point, remove the sugar from the stove immediatley and stir in the warm cream in a slow, steady stream; the mixture will bubble a lot, so be careful. Stir until the bubbling stops. Return the caramel to the stove on low heat and cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring constantly, until the caramel is pretty thick. Remove from the heat and stir in sea salt and vanilla until smooth and evenly combined. Transfer to a heat-safe container, preferably something with a pourable spout like a Pyrex measuring glass, and allow to cool.
To make the Vanilla Glaze
- Make the glaze once the scones have cooled. Combine milk and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 20-25 seconds, just until the butter melts. Add vanilla extract and confectioner's sugar and stir until smooth.
To finish the scones
- Brush vanilla glaze onto cooled scones (keep them on the parchment) and let set. Microwave caramel at 15-second intervals until it is thin enough to pour. Drizzle on top of the scones. Allow drizzle to set. You may need to microwave the caramel again while topping scones if it gets too thick to pour. Extra caramel can be saved for topping some other sort of treat, or you can just do what we did: pour it onto parchment, let it set, and eat it like candy. :)
*If you've never made caramel before and want more detailed instructions, you might want to check out this post. The recipe is slightly different, but the same instructions still largely apply and should help a lot.