Ellen Clifford
December 14, 2014 10:35 am

Once upon a time, I snacked on some delightful pumpkin scones from a vegan New York bakery. What can I say? My love of the orange stuff runs deep, far past the Thanksgiving pie. These scones were sweet and had a light touch to them, yet were dense and toothsome, if I may use that word. They had a delicate crumb near the perimeters, yet were thick and moist (yeah, I’m gonna use that word too, DEAL) in the middle. These were scones I needed in my life. Problem is, I live in Los Angeles, and am not jetting from coast to coast with any sort of frequency. However, a cookbook saved the day. The Vegan Divas Cookbook was my hero, rescuing me from a sad world plagued with lack of treats.

The Diva behind this book, as well the brick-and-mortar Vegan Divas Bakery, is Fernanda Capobianco. She is quite the unlikely vegan. She was born and raised in Brazil, which between its cattle ranching and churrascarias is essentially the capital of carnivores. She became a vegetarian as a child, and went full-on vegan at the age of seventeen at the advice of a naturopathic doctor. Like any sensible diva, she had a need for classic pastry treats. Traditional pastry technique is heavy on the cream, butter and eggs, so it took some work, but she figured out vegan versions of her favorite things. She had a catering business in Rio and eventually went on to open her own bakery in New York City.

So what makes her a diva? I’d say it is because Capobianca created her life on her own terms. Her husband is owner of the famed Payard restaurant and bakeries. She could have just followed in his floury footsteps, but no, she stuck to her vegan guns and started her own thing. I dig it. She is an awesome woman and thoroughly deserves the title of the Vegan Diva.

Beyond health benefits, there are some solid reasons to eat vegan. Did you realize seventy percent of land in North America that is farmed on is to feed animals? Meat is essentially the greatest contributor of carbon dioxide. And that is not even getting into the methane. That is a lot of holes in the ozone. So by eating this scone, you’re doing your part! Climate control is tasty.

“Let’s Do Brunch” is where I located my precious scones, and there are other delicious recipes in this section too, like tofu yogurt and pancakes. From that, we segue into Afternoon Pick-Me-Ups or as I call it, cookies and more cookies. I recommend the gingersnaps. Then comes Diva-licious Desserts which includes a lot of cakes, followed closely by Let’s Have a Party which is a smattering of show-off puddings and such. Only after brunching, breaking, and partying does the book get to the sensible chapter of Soups, Sandwiches, Salads and Such. But whether you visit the bakery or get cooking yourself, I suggest starting with these scones. Who knows? You might just achieve diva-hood yourself.

Pumpkin Scones from The Vegan Divas Cookbook by Fernanda Capobianco

Scones:

  • 2 cups (250 g/8.8 oz) whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup (50 g/1.75 oz) evaporated cane juice sugar
  • 1 Tbsp (15 g/0.5 oz) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (1 g/0.035 oz) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (1 g/0.035 oz) ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp (0.5 g/0.017 oz) ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp (0.75 g/0.025 oz) kosher salt
  • 4 Tbsp (56 g/2 oz) vegan butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup (120 g/4.2 oz) canned pumpkin purée
  • 1/3 cup (77 g/2.7 oz) soy creamer

Glaze:

  • 1 cup (114 g/4 oz) vegan confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tbsp (37 g/1.3 oz) maple syrup
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp (14 to 28 g/0.5 to 1 oz) soy creamer

Drizzle:

  • 1 cup (114 g/4 oz) vegan confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (28 g/1 oz) soy creamer
  • ¼ tsp (0.5 g/0.02 oz) ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt. Scatter the vegan butter pieces over the mixture and, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut them into the dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of peas and the rest resembles coarse meal.

In another large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and soy cream. Stir this mixture gently into the flour mix just until the dough comes together (you may have to knead it very gently a few times).

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and lightly dust it with more flour. Shape it into a 9-inch disc (use a rolling pin to lightly roll the dough, if necessary, but the scones will be more tender if you pat it out with your hands). Cut the disc in half, then cut each half into 3 wedges for a total of 6 wedges quarters. Transfer the wedges to the baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden around the edges. Transfer the scones to a baking rack with a piece of parchment paper underneath and cool just while you make the glaze.

For the glaze, whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. Spread about 1 tbsp of the glaze over each warm scone.

For the drizzle, whisk together all ingredients in another medium bowl until smooth. When the scones are cool, drizzle the mixture over the scones with a fork. Store the scones in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. Enjoy!

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