I love mornings–especially during the holidays. And waking up to a sparkling Christmas tree calls for a special breakfast. Cocoa and coffee for warmth. Sizzling bacon or sausage. A tray of sweets for flannel-clad kids (or flannel clad Moms…). Today it holds gingerbread scones.
I used to be terribly intimidated by scones. And for no good reason. They have a reputation for being fussy, going tough as leather with over-mixing. But I haven’t had it happen. Even in my very first tries.
In fact it was my daughter-who-doesn’t-cook who first got me started. A fan of all things British and too green to be fearful, she just jumped in and succeeded. They became her go-to treats for any-occasion parties.
I started making her currant scones after this surprising revelation. But holidays call for something special and so these gingerbread scones were born. Clinching the deal was some spiced orange curd I just made, courtesy of a bunch of organic oranges. It seemed like a perfect match!
Of course they are delicious with butter… or honey… or…
After three tries, here is the recipe I ended up with based on one from Pinch of Yum (sanding sugar replacing a less healthy glaze). The batch is small (it makes 12), but I figure that just lets me do a tray with more variety. I use 100% whole wheat pastry flour, which is supposed to develop less gluten for a more tender crumb–and the stronger wheat flavor fades in the intensity of the molasses and ginger. But I wouldn’t hesitate to try the recipe with a combo of all purpose wheat and unbleached flours. Not fussy, remember?
What is your favorite holiday breakfast?
- • 1/2 cup butter, very cold
- • 3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- • 1/2 teaspoon salt
- • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- • 2 eggs
- • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- • 1/4 cup molasses
- • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
- • 1/2 cup currants
- • 1 egg for glaze (see note)
- • Sparkling sugar (optional)
- Mix flours, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, salt, and baking powder in food processor or by hand.
- Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a fork or pastry tool or blend with food processor, until butter pieces are tiny and flour-coated. Mixture will resemble crumbs but will still be a fairly floury.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup and molasses.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the flour/butter mixture until just combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead once or twice. Roll out or pat dough into a long rectangle with a thickness of about 3/4 inch. Cut squares from the rectangle, then cut on the diagonal to form triangles.
- Spray a cookie sheet with a non-stick baking spray and place scones on the sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
- Bake at 400°F for 12-15 minutes or until golden, then cool on a wire rack.
- If you can glaze very lightly, you may try removing a teaspoon or two from the eggs in the mix to use to glaze the scones instead of using an additional egg. (I have done this successfully)
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