A recipe for cinnamon scones featuring a buttery, miniature snickerdoodle-style scone with a dusting of sparkling cinnamon-sugar on top. These scones are perfect for breakfast on the go and would make a precious addition to any brunch!
Round here in the Anthony Kitchen, we hanker for Christmas pretty much all year long. I know, I know. Some of you are cringing. It’s a problem. We’re aware of it, but sadly I must report — we are doing absolutely nothing to fix it. I kinda like it that way.
My little girls and I love to bake, and come December we ring in the most wonderful time of the year with a bounty of cookies and sweet treats. We pull out all the stops and it’s thumbprints, biscotti, and sugar cookies galore. But, likely one of our families most favorite Christmas treats of all is the Snickerdoodle, a buttery golden cookie, dusted with a topping of cinnamon and sugar. And really, what’s not to love about that? Butter. Cinnamon. Sugar. It’s pretty much the trifecta of all that is sweet and glorious.
I got to thinking about that Snickerdoodle not so long ago, and for the life of me could not conjure up a reason why we only pull out the recipe at Christmas time. No, this just wasn’t going to do. In fact, I thought I should just go ahead and do it one better by turning it into a breakfast treat. One that could be enjoyed not only come our beloved December but all year ’round… and at just about any point in the day. Cookies for breakfast? Yes, please. And, the best way to get away with eating a cookie for breakfast is to simply turn it into a scone.
Sure, a scone has far less sugar than a cookie, and yes, it’s much closer to the biscuit family — but really, who cares. Cause it’s a sweet treat with butter, sugar, and cinnamon, and we get to eat it first thing in the morning. That, my friends, is a win.
HOW TO MAKE CINNAMON SCONES
Making scones at home is easy, and if you’ve ever made a homemade biscuit, you’ve essentially made an American scone.
WHAT GOES IN A SCONE
Similar to other baked goods scone ingredients typically consists of flour, baking soda, salt, sugar (if making a sweet scone), butter, milk and an egg are all that’s required.
COLD BUTTER MATTERS
Scones begin with cold, unsalted butter. Cold butter is essential for a flaky scone, as the butter begins to steam from within the scone once in the oven. That steam creates air pockets in between the layers of dough, that not only helps the scones to rise, but also promotes a flaky texture to the scone. You can read more about that in an informative article about butter and baking from TheKitch’n.com.
THE DRY MIX
Scones are simple, and they don’t require a whole lot of ingredients. Bonus on the ol’ wallet, ‘eh? Flour, baking powder (or possibly baking soda), and salt are found in just about all scone recipes. For a sweet scone, just a touch of granulated sugar is added, and for these precious little cinnamon scones, a dash of cinnamon (duh).
THE WET INGREDIENTS
So butter counts as a wet ingredient, but we’ve already covered that base so let’s keep moving, shall we? Often times buttermilk is called for in a scone recipe. The acidity in buttermilk gives baked goods a tender crumb. However, I usually don’t keep buttermilk around. I don’t use it all that often, and it goes bad fairly quickly. Instead, I use whole milk and a squeeze of lemon. This is an excellent substitute for buttermilk and a purchase that is much more practical for our household.
Eggs are also considered a wet ingredient. For most scone recipes only one large egg is called for, and it serves as a binder.
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT SCONE
The perfect scone is just the right amount of sweet with a tender crumb. So how do you ensure your scone has a tender crumb? Simple. Take it easy on the dough, people. The more you work a dough, the more you develop the gluten. The more the gluten forms, the tougher your scone will be.
Here’s how a scone comes together: The dry ingredients are mixed together. Then, the butter is cut into the dry ingredients, and the wet ingredients are then stirred in. Once the wet ingredients have been incorporated and the dough has come together, it is then transferred to a floured work surface, patted out into a rectangle or circle, and cut into triangles, circles, or squares.
Within this process, there are two opportunities to overwork the dough. (1) When incorporating the wet ingredients, and (2) patting out the dough. Luckily, the solution is very simple. Stop mixing as soon as the dough has come together, especially if you are using a stand mixer. Once the dough has made it to your work surface, handle it gently and as little as possible. This will also help to keep the butter cold.
For this recipe, in particular, we are making cinnamon scones…but not just any cinnamon scone — miniature, cute-as-a-button, cinnamon scones.
HOW TO CUT MINIATURE SCONES
To cut miniature scones you’ll form the dough into a rectangle on a floured work surface. Then, cut the rectangle into 2″-wide strips lengthwise. Using either a pastry wheel or a sharp knife, you’ll cut the strips into little triangles. And there you have it — miniature cinnamon scones, officially in the house. And now you can totally eat more of them. Cause, ya know, they’re miniature. Bonus.
WANT TO MAKE THEM IN ADVANCE?
Want to make scones in advance? No problem. To keep scones fresh after baking, allow them to cool and transfer them to an airtight, freezer-safe, zip-top bag. When my girls have been extra angelic and express they’re craving a sweet breakfast treat, I simply make my way to the freezer, pull out a miniature scone or two and microwave it for 30-seconds. Good as new and on the table in no-time-flat.
WHAT MAKES THEM SNICKERDOODLE SCONES
Before the cinnamon scones are cut and baked, just like the Snickerdoodle cookie, they’re dusted with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar. I throw in a little decorative sparkling sugar as well, to give these beauties a nice little glisten and an added crunch.
It’s an easy breakfast treat I can whip up any time of the year with my girls. One that fills our home with sweet notes of cinnamon, satisfies our sweet tooth cravings and tides us over until it’s once again socially acceptable to hum Jingle Bells in public. Oh, I’m sorry — What’s that? It’s never acceptable to hum in public? Hmm. Well. The verdict is out on that one. Until then, Merry (superearly) Christmas, and please, enjoy.
A recipe for cinnamon scones featuring a buttery, miniature snickerdoodle-style scone with a dusting of sparkling cinnamon-sugar on
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons sparkling decorative sugar optional
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 large egg slightly beaten
- 2 cups all-purpose flour plus a 1/4 cup for working with dough
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
Preheat the oven to 400° and have ready two baking sheets lined with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mats. For the topping, mix together 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, decorative sugar (if using), 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt. Set aside until ready to use.
Whisk together the half and half, lemon juice and eggs in a large measuring pitcher. Set aside until ready to use.
Add flour, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until evenly combined. Add the butter to the stand mixer and continue to mix on medium until the cubes are broken up into pea-sized bits.
If you do not have a stand mixer, add dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Sprinkle the butter cubes evenly over the flour mixture, and using a pastry blender, begin to break up the butter until it resembles pea-like bits, and is evenly incorporated.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly drizzle in the contents of the measuring pitcher. Alternatively, stir in the remaining wet ingredients. As soon as the dough begins to come together turn off the stand mixer, place the dough onto a floured work surface.
With floured hands, pat or gently roll out the dough into a rectangle that measures about 11” long and 6” wide. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, and pat to adhere to the surface of the dough.
Using a sharp knife or a pastry cutter, cut the dough into 3 2”-wide strips lengthwise. Then, cut each strip into small triangles. You should have about 6 triangles per strip.
Evenly disperse scones on the baking sheets, spacing them about 2” apart. If desired, place each baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes or until chilled. This will help the scones to better retain their shape in the oven.
Bake the scones for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking process. Transfer the baked scones to a cooling rack, allow to cool slightly, serve and enjoy.
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Blueberry Pie Mini Donuts
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