A Breakfast in Bed: Pumpkin Scones with Maple Glaze

I write fiction novels in my head about my childhood, about who I am now. I forget that being twenty-four means I fit somewhere in between the liminal spaces of a God Complex and existential nausea. I have a week's worth of dishes still soaking in the sink and I fixated on a hangnail all morning instead of just cutting it off.

I was exhausted this week, I let myself be exhausted. I laid down on two chairs I pushed together and took a nap in my boss's office during a lunch break. One day I ate nothing but Greek yogurt and a Reese cup. I either drank too much coffee or not enough. I let a mug of green tea sit on my desk for four hours before dumping it all down the sink. I had good intentions, but I wasn't feeling very intentional that day.  

I'm slowly realizing that Deucalion and Pyrrha were real, and the stone they threw behind their backs to create me was pyrite. Beautiful to some, but called a fool all the same. I've panned all of my luck out. I shine in crags, in riverbeds. I still consider myself a novelty.

I was exhausted this week, I let myself be exhausted. My mother would have said I probably just needed to get more sleep.

And she would have been right, but it's hard to stay asleep when the ritual of the morning is what keeps you excited. How the reliability of my ten dollar coffee pot calms me. How the blanket my mom crocheted me in college has kept me warm for six cold seasons now. How every branch that scratches the window in the morning sounds like a bird that's struggling to sing. How the dogs stay tired and I think how romantic it would be to run away.  I found an old pack of cigarettes in a bag from Pittsburgh. I thought how romantic it would be to smoke them all on the steps of the back porch, too. In the grey light that blooms before dawn, it all seems so romantic, even the toxic or the mundane. And I love that about the morning, how balanced the limns seem. How it's full of promises it can't keep. It's all fiction, rewriting itself every morning.

I held onto those moments for as long as possible today. I let my coffee cool by my bedside while I avoided emails and read a book. I heard the same familiar branch hit the window and I recognized it for what it was. I refilled my coffee and ended up pouring out the rest. I ate two scones with my hands and stretched until my elbows cracked in agreement. Dogs scratched at my door and the predawn grey light desaturated my pink palms until all the lines disappeared. I had no future beyond that morning. I recognized no sound but my breathing. I had forgotten who I was this week, but I won't let it happen again.

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Icing

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup AP flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, separated
  • 4 tablespoons shortening, very cold
  • 3 tablespoons butter, very cold
  • 1 cup buttermilk, very cold
  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450*F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pulse a couple times to combine
  3. Add fats and pulse 5-6 times to cut the fats into the dry ingredients.  They should be the size of peas when combined properly
  4. In a measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, vinegar, and pumpkin until well incorporated
  5. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon and begin to pour buttermilk mixture into the middle of the well, stirring constantly.
  6. When dough is ready, it will be shaggy but firm.  Turn out onto a floured work surface and pat into a round shape, about one inch high.  
  7. Using an oiled and floured knife, cut into 8 equal slices and place on parchment, separating evenly on baking sheet
  8. Bake for 18-21 minutes or until golden brown
  9. While baking, mix together confectioner's sugar and maple syrup in a small bowl with a fork.  It will be the texture of a thick glue.
  10. Thin out with heavy cream (may need more cream, depending on your desired consistency)
  11. Allow scones to cool and pour glaze over.  Top with cinnamon.  Eat immediately or within a day for freshness

And if you want to read something in bed on this lazy Sunday morning, then check out my latest (and last!) installment I did for the Baking Society here. I write about Thanksgiving and a recipe for a Persimmon Pumpkin Pie.