I promised a recipe for cinnamon chip scones a couple of weeks ago, when I made cinnamon chips. I have finished my experiments (at least for now) and I think I have come up with a recipe that is worth sharing.
After much poking around the internet and my cookbooks, I still really have no firm definition of a scone. Some are really just biscuits with a little sugar, some have eggs, some have lots of cream and butter and others are just not worth making (dry, crumbly, too much flour, too much sugar – I won’t bore you with more details). I can’t say I am a fan of most scones in coffee shops – usually they have been sitting around for hours, drying out. But homemade scones are pretty much the bee’s knees.
After lots of experiments with different recipes – none of which really impressed me – I decided to start over. I began with my biscuit recipe, but used regular milk instead of buttermilk, and added a bit of sugar. I tried skim milk, whole milk, and on one memorable occasion, cream. The cream version was exquisite, but milk made perfectly delicious scones. The whole milk scones might have been slightly richer, but the difference from skim milk wasn’t huge. If you normally have only skim milk on hand, use that and your scones will be fabulous. You could add an additional tablespoon or two of butter if you want more richness.
I used my homemade cinnamon chips in these, but you could use commercial cinnamon chips, chocolate chips or raisins. I tried making some into rounds and made the rest into my usual triangles. I used both my muffin top pan, and a cake pan, trying to contain any cinnamon chip leaks (my scones were too small for this to make a difference). Really, a baking sheet is fine, as long as you make sure not to bake them too long, which will dry them out and burn the leaking cinnamon chips.
Skip the coffee shop scones that are just a way to make you buy more coffee. Make your own and pat yourself on the back while you scarf down your fluffy, anything-but-dry scones.
Cinnamon Chip Scones
From The Cook’s Life
Makes 8-10 large scones
If you are in the mood for a treat, use cream instead of milk as the liquid in these scones. You might need slightly more than ¾ of a cup – maybe a tablespoon or two. Use the larger amount of butter if you want a richer scone.
1 ¾ cups flour*
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
4-6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup homemade cinnamon chips or other mix-ins of choice
¾ cup milk (any kind you have on hand – see headnote)
1-2 tablespoons extra milk
2-3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
*I used 1 cup white whole wheat and ¾ cup all-purpose flour. Feel free to use only all-purpose flour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
Mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Cut in butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs, with a few larger pieces of butter. Stir in cinnamon chips. Add milk, mixing gently until most of the flour is moistened and a shaggy dough forms. Add an extra tablespoon of milk if there is a large amount of dry flour left.
Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead a few times, no more than ten turns, adding sprinkles of flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Divide dough in half and pat each half into a circle about 1 inch tall. Cut each circle into 4-5 triangles and place on prepared baking sheet. If you want round scones, divide dough into 8-10 pieces. Gently form each piece into a ball and flatten to a 1-inch thick disk.
Brush tops lightly with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on size, until bottoms are lightly browned and tops are just starting to turn golden brown. Cool slightly. Serve warm.