Saving Daylight..

Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.  ~ Alponse Karr

I have never really understood the purpose of daylight saving.  I was especially baffled by it when I was little in the early 1970’s during the “energy crisis” and my dad had to buy flashlights for us all to walk to the bus stop in the pitch black.  As an adult, I’m still scratching my head for how we’re “saving daylight” when at 5:00 o’clock it’s dark out and I’m turning lights on.  But instead of grumbling, I will embrace the morning light as I leave for school, and try to ignore the fact that now the clock in my car will be wrong for six months..

Winston Churchill had this to say about it,

“An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later”,  so I’ll roll with it.

Yesterday afternoon as many were in a flurry putting last minute touches on costumes, I was savoring the afternoon light and trying not to think about the Milky Way bar I picked up at the counter of the restaurant where I met some friends for breakfast.  Instead, I saw the can of pumpkin in my pantry and the new package of Otto’s Cassava Flour on my counter, and I knew exactly what I had to make.  Being a baker at heart, gluten-free flours have been a daunting maze of trial and error.  Immediately upon reading about Otto’s flour, I got online and ordered it.  Unlike all previous gluten-free flour purchases, cassava flour has one ingredient:  100% yuca root.  Yuca “is a delicious root vegetable that becomes the perfect alternative for wheat when dried and ground” into flour.  It is gluten-free, grain-free, and nut-free. This recipe for Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Butter blew that thought bubble about the Milky Way right out of my kitchen.  I got to work.  The original recipe calls for cranberries.  While I love the sweet goodness of cranberries, my philosophy is that if chocolate chips make sense, then why not?  It was Halloween after all…

Being straight from Bon Appetit, I have no doubt the recipe in it’s original form is perfection.  I, however, wanted to modify mine to make it gluten free, milk free and a bit lower in sugar.  So here is my adapted recipe:
SERVINGS: 8
Cinnamon Butter
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature (My favorite butter is either Kerrygold which you can find very reasonably priced at either Trader Joe’s or Costco, or Organic Valley which uses local farmers to provide their product.)
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup (Grade B packs the most nutrition)
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon (an anti-inflammatory powerhouse)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Scones
1/4 cup coconut sugar AND 1/4 cup Sugar in the Raw
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 cups Otto’s Cassava Flour
¾ cup (1½ sticks) chilled unsalted butter
½ cup dark chocolate chips
1 large egg
½ cup canned pure pumpkin plus two tablespoons to make the dough a bit softer to handle.  (Pumpkin, long considered a “superfood” is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C and riboflavin)
¼ cup nondairy milk, plus more for brushing (I used hemp milk because that’s what I always have on hand)
2 tablespoons raw sugar

Preparation:
Cinnamon Butter
Mix butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
DO AHEAD: Cinnamon butter can be made 4 days ahead. Cover and chill.
Scones
Whisk sugar, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, cloves, baking soda, and 2 cups cassava flour in a large bowl. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate in butter, tossing to coat in dry ingredients as you go; toss in chocolate chips. Mix in egg, pumpkin, and ¼ cup nondairy milk of choice.
Transfer dough to a lightly (gluten-free) floured surface and pat into a 1½”-thick disk. Cut into 8 wedges; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm, 25–30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°. Brush scones with milk and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake until golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Serve with cinnamon butter.

The cassava flour did not disappoint.  I found that I did need to moisten the dough a bit with two additional tablespoons of pumpkin puree:

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Ready for the oven.  I don’t think using a nondairy milk changed the integrity of the recipe at all:

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Fresh from the oven:

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I shared some with my neighbors, along with the cinnamon butter to spread on top.

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This was far more delicious than any snack size Milky Way candy bar:

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Pumpkin is the perfect ingredient to usher in November, and will surely make these shorter days infinitely brighter.

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