‘Tis the season for cups of hot cocoa, gift-giving, and out-of-town relatives. Chances are that you (or someone you love) is traveling this month. There will be brunches, dinners, parties, and overnight guests and all of those wonderful things that come with the holiday season.
What are you to do in times like this? Make scones, of course! These come in handy both as a host and as a guest, and are so easy to whip up that you can really make it from start to finish in about 30 minutes. They don’t have any tricky ingredients (except a dash of almond extract, which is totally optional anyway) and so they can be made from almost anyone’s kitchen. Or, better yet, you can make them ahead of time in your own kitchen and freeze them until you need them!
Scones are very thoughtful like that, always there when you need them.
Situations in which these scones may come in handy:
- Your brother or sister is in from out of town and staying with you and you need an easy breakfast treat.
- You are staying at your in-laws and want to surprise them with the smell of cinnamon wafting through the air in the morning.
- You’re hosting Christmas brunch and need something you can make-ahead so you aren’t running around like a crazy person on the day of.
- You have to go to a holiday party and have NO IDEA what to bring the host/hostess – Bring a batch of scones wrapped with a bow for them to enjoy for breakfast the next morning!
- You have to work on the holiday and want to do something nice for your fellow co-workers.
- You need to make something sweet but are pretty sure that if you see one more cookie you might just finally snap…
The trick to getting big and fluffy scones is to make sure they touch when you bake them. I don’t separate mine at all after cutting. You see, scones (and biscuits) are friendly treats. They like to hold hands with their brethren when they bake so they can use each other for support and grow big an fluffy. If you want flatter scones, just leave an inch or two in between the wedges and they won’t bake up quite so tall.
Since this recipe makes six large scones, I’ve also included directions on how to turn this recipe into mini-scones. Again, if you want them to bake up big and fluffy leave some of them touching (maybe in pairs) so they can use each other for support.
These scones are great because they aren’t overwhelmingly sweet. They have a delightfully cinnamony dough topped with crunchy almonds and a delectable cinnamon-sugar topping which gives them just the perfect touch of sweetness to accompany your morning coffee.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- Cinnamon-sugar (below)
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl.
- Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter cubes until the largest pieces of butter are about the
- size of small peas.
- Make a well in the center of the butter-flour mixture and add the milk and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula until a shaggy dough is formed.
- Gather dough into a ball and transfer to a your parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently pat the dough into a disk about 7 inches wide.
- Scatter almonds over the top of the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Cut into 6 wedges and place into oven - if you leave the wedges together they will get taller than if you separate them.
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Place on wire rack to cool.
To make mini scones:
You could make these into mini scones by shaping the dough into a rectangle that is about 1/2-inch thick. Cut that rectangle into 6 to 8 rectangles, then cut each rectangle in half diagonally to make triangles. Bake mini scones 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
To freeze scones:
You can freeze scones either right after cutting or after baking. To freeze before baking, place cut scones (prior to cinnamon/almond topping) on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour. Remove from freezer and place into freezer-safe baggy. Bake directly from freezer, adding an additional 2 to 5 minutes for baking. You may want to use an egg wash to get the cinnamon-sugar and almonds to adhere to the frozen scones.
To freeze after baking, cool scones completely on wire rack. Place on lined baking sheet in freezer 1 hour until firm. Place in freezer-safe baggy. Thaw and enjoy at room temperature or warm for 5 to 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
[ Recipe from: Bake or Break ]