Scone Experimentation

IMG_2657Over the past week, the number of dreary, grey days has increased as the number of leaves on trees has decreased. Though I love apple cider doughnuts, loose and comfy chunky sweaters, snuggling into my winter comforter, and all other cozy autumn activities, it is always sad to feel the warmth of summer fade.

But autumn brings its own vibrancy, with leaves like flames and multicolored fruits and vegetables ripe for harvest. I had always associated pomegranate seeds with summer because of their “tropical” fuchsia hue and the exoticness of a fruit whose seeds shone like edible jewels embedded in bitter white pith. However, after I discovered they were in fact a fall fruit, pomegranates became a favorite fall time treat (though of course, apple cider doughnuts will now and forever be the best part of fall).

After a week of drab, depressing days drained of color, I needed something delicious, sweet, and visually striking, even borderline garish. Enter my favorite breakfast pastry, the scone, combined with my favorite exotic flavors, green tea and pomegranate seeds. Matcha imparts an earthy, slightly bitter taste, while the pomegranate seeds provide small sparks of juicy sweetness. Paired with a mug of hot tea, these scones are rays of light on rainy fall days.

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Snickerdoodle Pumpkin Bars

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Autumn has always been a fickle season. With autumn comes fresh-picked apples and butternut squash and trees swathed in beautiful fiery colors, but then there’s also sweltering days and frigid nights and those weird indian summers that fool you into thinking maybe this year, winter won’t be so cold.

Alas, in Boston, the winters are always cold.

Autumn this year has been particularly confusing. One day it was so incredibly hot that not even the professors couldn’t last until the end of class, another day, so cold, we had to turn on the heater. Just today, I was wearing shorts to the supermarket, but by nighttime, I had to change into jeans and a sweater because the temperature had dropped to 40 degrees.

In between the constant wardrobe changes and the insane amount of schoolwork, I’ve been savoring one of the quintessential symbols of autumn – pumpkins. A couple weeks ago, I made pumpkin lasagna, which came out delicious, but massively unphotogenic. And yesterday night, I made some fantastic, super easy snickerdoodle pumpkin bars. They’re sweet and soft and completely satisfying.

Speaking of pumpkin, it’s funny, canning has really made traditionally seasonal vegetables easily accessible at all times of the year, and yet, I rarely think to use pumpkin unless it’s autumn. I love pumpkin – it’s savory and sweet and hearty – but eating a pumpkin pie in spring just does not bring the same joy as a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. Trust me, I tried last year. It felt almost sacrilegious.

Despite it all, I still love autumn. If I had to sum up my affection for autumn in two words, I’d probably have to go with “apple cider.” But in all seriousness, despite the few days of intense heat and the many days of dead brown leaves and biting cold wind, those few beautiful days with the cool breeze and the red-orange trees make it all worth it.

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