Chocolate-Squash Scones with Espresso-Maple Glaze

Chocolate-squash scones with espresso-maple glaze.

These scones are full of warm fall spices and melted bits of chocolate, and thanks to the addition of cream and roasted squash, they’re extra tender.

However, they do require a little planning ahead: The roasted squash needs ample time to drain out some of its excess moisture and the scones will need to be frozen before baking, which helps produce a perfectly balanced texture of a tender interior with crisp outer edges that hold their shape during baking. When paired with a hot cup of morning coffee, these scones make for an excellent breakfast.

A few tips:

  • Drain and squeeze out as much extra moisture from the squash purée as you can. This will keep the dough from becoming too wet, which will produce a chewy scone instead of a flaky, tender one.
  • Resist the urge to add more cream to the dough. It will appear dry at first, but kneading it will bring it together nicely.

Chocolate-Squash Scones with Espresso-Maple Glaze

Yields | 6 scones |

Roasted Acorn Squash Purée

  • 1 acorn squash (about 1½ lbs), halved and seeded
  • extra-virgin olive oil

Espresso-Maple Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp freshly brewed strong coffee
  • ½ tsp instant espresso powder
  • generous pinch kosher salt

Chocolate-Squash Scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¹⁄₃ cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ²⁄₃ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¹⁄₃ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup roasted acorn squash purée (recipe follows)
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • espresso-maple glaze (recipe follows)
  • pepitas, roasted and salted

| Preparation – Roasted Acorn Squash | Preheat oven to 400°F. On a baking sheet, place acorn squash halves cut side up and lightly brush cut surfaces with olive oil. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, or until very soft and edges begin to caramelize. Remove from oven and let cool. Scrape out the roasted squash flesh and mash with a fork until smooth. Place squash purée in a fine mesh strainer, set over a bowl and place in the refrigerator to drain for at least 4 hours, or overnight. When ready to use, wrap squash purée in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out any excess water.

| Preparation – Espresso-Maple Glaze | In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth.

| Preparation – Chocolate-Squash Scones | Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. Cut butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, or two knives, until the size of small peas. Mix in chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, squash purée and 1 egg. Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture. Using a spatula, mix the dough in a folding motion just until the dough comes together (there will still be dry spots). Do not over mix. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and, using a bench scraper or your hands, gently knead the dough over onto itself 4 to 5 times until it comes together and there are no remaining dry spots.

Pat the dough into a 6-inch round, about 1-inch thick. Cut into 6 wedges with a chef’s knife. Place the scones on the baking sheet and transfer to the freezer until completely frozen, at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place frozen scones on baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the scones with 1 lightly beaten egg. Sprinkle the top of each scone generously with sugar. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until deeply golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Once cool, top with a generous drizzle of espresso-maple glaze and a sprinkling of pepitas.

Teresa Floyd is a Kansas City-based food writer, editor for the online food publication feedfeed and contributing monthly columnist for Feast Magazine’s Sugar Rush. Find her current creations on Now, Forager, a pastry blog featuring seasonal desserts.

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