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Whisks + Whiskey: Episode 2

Welcome back to Whisks + Whiskey, a column in which I get mildly to moderately intoxicated and try to bake delicious things. (If you need a refresher on the basic overview of the column you can checkout Episode 1 here.) It’s October which means we have officially entered ~*~THE PUMPKIN ZONE~*~

Personally, I am a huge fan of pumpkin at any time of the year. Pumpkin anything is usually amazing and I will rarely pass up the opportunity to eat something made from the beautifully orange squash—pumpkin seeds, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie (one of the only pies I actually enjoy), pumpkin cookies, ect. However, the one thing I do not appreciate pumpkin-themed is the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte, aka the “PSL,” from Starbucks.

Mini PSL rant: For the life of me I cannot grasp why this drink continues to be a phenomenon every single year. I get that most of it is due to the hype and everyone’s romanticized view of fall, but what I don’t get is why the masses suffer through such a mediocre coffee drink year after year. I will usually get one PSL, just one, every year at the beginning of the season solely to remind myself exactly how bland and disappointing the drink really is so that I don’t make the mistake of ordering it later in the season.

I suppose I also add to the “movement” by participating in it, but I can’t support it. The only hint of pumpkin in the drink is the potent orange color and the “spice” is tragically nonexistent. If Starbucks found a way to pump up the natural pumpkin flavor and infuse the drink with tangible spices, I would whole-heartedly support the movement; but until then I just can’t. Mini rant over.

Anyways, for this month’s installment of the series I decided to make a pumpkin chocolate chip scone recipe I found on Pinterest by a blog called Baker By Nature.

Here’s a quick refresher of the rules:

  • I have to consume 2 drinks before I start, but I can’t drink more than a total of 4 throughout the process just to keep the level of overall danger relatively low.
  • I have to come out with a finished product; I can’t just make the batter and be like “tadaaa.”
  • I have to get someone to taste test it and give their opinion.

Time started: 9:30 p.m.

booze

What I’m drinking: To honor the pumpkin theme even further I picked up a pumpkin ale made by New Belgium, called Pumpkick. I loved the packaging and was intrigued by the description saying that it had a splash of cranberry juice with the classic pumpkin and spices of pumpkin ale. It took me a couple of sips to taste the spice flavors, but once I did it was pretty surprising how potent it was without being overwhelming. Not sure if I’ll buy it again but it was certainly something different. After finishing my first beer, I took a shot of my Toasted Caramel Black Velvet I finally replaced. Then during the baking process I took one more shot of whiskey with my friends.

Estimated difficulty level: 3/5

I’ve never made scones before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Also for some reason I always associate a recipe calling for an egg wash with being more intensive.

Challenges (besides being intoxicated): Most of the measuring utensils in my apartment were dirty, which is saying a lot because we seem to have an excessive amount. I ended up making due with just a ¼ cup and ½ cup measuring cup which worked fine, but I had to measure the flour twice because I lost count the first time. Also, I only realized when the scones had 2 minutes left in the oven that I forgot to put on the egg wash and cinnamon and sugar topping. To improvise I pulled them out as soon as I remembered, added the topping, let them finish cooking for the last couple minutes and then turned the broiler on until the tops had a nice caramelized coating.

Results

scones2

My drunk opinion: They’re super tasty, not a lot of pumpkin flavor though.

Julia’s opinion: “Yooo, they’re good! They’re really moist which is hard to do in a scone. I’d buy them.”

Rylee’s opinion: “I can’t really taste anything right now.” (Her and Julia had shared a bottle of wine at dinner.)

My sober morning opinion: I really, really like these. They are moist like Julia said, without not being scone-like enough and the mini chocolate chips add a perfect balance to the overall less sweet flavor. They are also much more orange than I expected from only half a cup of pumpkin. Maybe the PSL isn’t so unnaturally orange after all.

Final deliciousness rating: 9/10

I love this recipe, definitely going to add it to my favorites.

If you want to test out the recipe for yourself you can find it here.

Check back next month in November for something steeped even deeper in the essences of fall.


Previous Episodes:

Episode 1: Orange Chili Brownies