Today at church service was the first day that I didn't have either of my girls with me from start to finish. It was nice to be able to worship and take in those precious moments of simply being. Our church family is going through I Corinthians right now. Our teaching pastor, Jim, spoke about the crux in the Corinthians lives. He was relating it to his mountain climbing experience; with the crux being the challenge/obstacle in the climb to get over.
This central idea of the crux was woven throughout the message, and eventually got me asking, "What is the crux in my life's journey? What is the crux in my journey via mothering...via marriage...via my growing up family?" Sometimes the crux is only there for a season in our lives and it strengthens us for future cruxes, which are five times larger. Other times the crux is something that keeps getting brought up. In those instances, maybe the crux keeps coming up because we truly haven't dealt with it.
Just in the mountain climbing scenario, the crux is only truly conquered when we deal with it head on. We cannot ignore it, climb around, or sit beneath it; rather, we need to do the hard work and climb over it. I believe the best part about this is how Jesus is waiting for us to ask for his help. (He's only going to help when I ask for it. He never forces himself on me) The same is true for friends & family helping us get over the crux; but, only when we ask for their help.
One of my cruxes is being too helpful when people are hurting, but they're not willing to change. I take on more than I should bear and it slowly destroys me (something I am trying to climb over). It's learning to set up boundaries, knowing when to say no, and stripping off the Savior complex (not an easy task). But I'm hopeful! And with that, these yummy scones are an easy way to be helpful to anyone you meet without taking on more than you should bear (except eating a few too many).
Pumpkin Pecan Scones (printable recipe)
I was looking to create a scone recipe based on a wonderful pumpkin cookie I made from here. Now if you're one of those people who is impartial to Starbuck's Pumpkin Scones than you need to make these. Because these ones will knock your socks off and the Starbucks version will be a distant memory, while you'll be having a "define the relationship" with these pumpkin scones.
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup sugar (I use unrefined)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I seriously believe freshly grated makes a difference, but you could use the ground nutmeg from the store)
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup buttermilk (extra for brushing the tops of the scone prior to baking)
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used my own pumpkin puree, because that's what I do, but I understand not everyone has this fetish, so buy canned pumpkin)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup toasted & chopped pecans (plus some additional for topping, totally optional)
turbinado sugar for sprinkling
frosting recipe below
Preheat oven to 350. Dump both flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and all of the spices into a food processor. Process for 30 seconds (this will sift it, aerate it and incorporate all the ingredients). Dump the butter on top and pulse (for 1-2 second intervals) about 8-10 times. Dump contents into a large bowl & set aside.
Combine buttermilk, egg, pumpkin puree, & vanilla in a small bowl or mixing cup. With the dry ingredients, make a hole in the middle and pour wet ingredients into the hole. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula just till the wet & dry ingredients have been combined. You don't want to over mix, because you're aiming for a biscuit texture (which requires visible pieces of butter). Then, add the chopped pecans and combine with your hands (because that's what they're here for), once again being delicate with the dough. The dough should be a bit sticky, which is okay.
Separate the dough in half. Sprinkle flour on a flat surface and form one of the halves into a circle. I don't use a rolling pin, but use my hands to shape the dough into a circle measuring about 1/2 inch high and 6-8 inches round (really you're aiming more for the 1/2 inch height and the diameter is merely a gauge). Cut into 8 pieces. Repeat process with the other half.
Put a sheet of parchment paper on baking sheet. Place the scones on top. Brush with buttermilk & sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes. **Make frosting after your scones are baked, because the frosting has little window in terms of pliability/workability.** Top with frosting/icing & a pecan (or a some chopped pecans). Serve with some coffee.
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 teaspoons milk (I used whole milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
Combine butter, brown sugar, milk, & vanilla in saucepan over medium heat. Cook long enough to melt butter and sugar dissolves. Take off heat. Add powdered sugar and mix to combine till smooth. Use immediately by spreading on top of scones.