Pumpkin-Spelt Scones

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I'll get right to it — here's the recipe, with a few notes. Although I used coconut oil, you could easily swap out for cold, cubed butter. If you don't have a food processor, you could use a fork or pastry cutter to incorporate the fat into the dry ingredients.

When cutting in the fat, resist the urge to over-mix. You should actually see pea-sized bits of the butter or solid oil in the dough. They will melt and incorporate into the scones as they bake, creating that elusive crumbly-flaky texture.

You can swap all-purpose flour for the spelt flour. You may use kosher instead of sea salt. For the dark chocolate, I opted for Taza 95%. Finally, you can add any mix-ins you prefer, such as raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dates, crystallized ginger... 

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons spelt flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/4 cup walnuts, divided
  • 3 heaping tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (you may sub kosher)
  • 1/2 cup cold coconut oil, cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 cup milk (dairy or alt)
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (unseasoned)
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate, chopped

Add the flour, 1 cup walnuts, brown sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the walnuts are ground finely into the flour.

Add the cold coconut oil (or butter) in small pieces and pulse 7-10 times until distributed throughout the dry ingredients, but not fully incorporated or melted. Transfer this mixture to a medium/large mixing bowl and set aside for a moment.

In another small mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and pumpkin until combined. Add to the flour/walnut mixture, and use a wooden spoon to mix until just combined. Add the remaining 1/4 cup walnuts, plus any other mix-ins you'd like.

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Transfer the dough to a clean countertop or large cutting board dusted with extra flour. It will be quite crumbly, and that's not just okay but ideal. Resist the urge to add more milk. Use floured hands to shape the dough into a 1" thick disck, patting the top and sides even with your palms, then add chopped chocolate, pressing pieces gently into the dough. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 8 pieces.

Transfer each scone to a parchment-lined baking sheet, wrap gently with a film of plastic, and place in the fridge for 2 hours or freezer for 30 minutes. This helps the scones keep their shape when baking.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the plastic from the tray and replace with a sheet of aluminum foil (this keeps the chocolate from scorching in the oven).

Place the foil-covered tray in the 400˚ oven and bake for 20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through. After 20 minutes, remove the foil, turn the tray again, and bake for 2-5 more minutes, until chocolate has softened into the scones and the bottoms are lightly golden.

Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack until firm and set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 8 scones