04 December 2012

Cinnamon Roll Scones

Have you ever been torn between two things?  It can be tricky, particularly when they are polar opposites.  Knowing that there are two great choices, how can you pick which is best?  Do you go for soft but gooey...or tender yet flaky?  No, I am not talking about ______ (insert opposite sex here).  I am talking about cinnamon rolls and scones.  I love both for completely different reasons.  Cinnamon rolls are yeasty swirls of frosted spices while scones are tender warm pastry insides with a lightly crispy outside.  Dense and savory versus light and decadent.  There are days when I simply cannot choose.  So I decided to embrace indecision and combine the two into one glorious super-solution.  Don't you love that about baking?

Both of these breakfast breads are fabulously versatile.  Either is delicious stuffed with apples are caramel, chocolate and orange, or pumpkin and walnut.  But I must say, there is something to be said about the cinnamon and cream cheese goodness of the classic cinnamon roll.  Sweet, spicy filling is balanced by the tangy, rich frosting.  Amazing.  But have you ever tried reheating a cinnamon roll?  They're never as good left over.  I always seem to end up with a horrendously tough exterior, a terrible thing on this tender dough-ball.  Here is where scones have a one-up on their soft counterparts.

Scones, while best fresh, reheat fabulously.  Since they are individually baked rather than all buddy-buddy, cosied up next to one another, they develop lovely crispy exteriors while the inside is kept tender and flaky.  They are much more adept to a quick microwave zap the following day (or two).  Plus, they have the added tidy-factor.  Sometimes you don't want to come out of breakfast covered in goo.

Chomp.  So good.

So this is my perfect moment of indecision.  Sweet cinnamon and sugar combine with cinnamon chips under a light drizzling of cream cheese frosting, making a fabulous breakfast hybrid.  Get ready, coffee....

Cinnamon Chip Scones (8 servings)
  • 1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c old fashioned oats
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbs cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c milk or cream (yogi's choice...we use fat free milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 c cinnamon chips
  • 1/4 c white flour 
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 oz cream cheese (again, fat free in our home)
  • 2 tbs powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla 
  • 2-3 tsp milk 
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon, then stir to combine.  Add the cold butter.  With a pastry blender or large fork, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until you are left with little pieces slightly smaller than a pea.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then set the bowl aside.

Crack the egg into a small mixing bowl and whisk for a few seconds, then add the milk and vanilla, and whisk until well blended.  Pour the egg mixture into the well you made in the dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined.  Add the cinnamon chips and stir until evenly distributed.  Batter will be very sticky.

Cover a pasty mat or cutting board with the white flour.  Transfer the batter to the floured surface and kneed 5-6 times, until white flour is absorbed and exterior is only slightly dusted.  Form the dough into a circle and flatten the edges slightly to create a mound.  This will help your scones to rise.  Cut into 8-10 pie-shaped pieces, depending on how big you want them (or 6 pieces for Starbuck-sized scones).

Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper, then transfer the scone wedges to the covered baking sheet.  Be sure to leave 1-2 inches between each scone as they will rise quite a bit in the oven.  Bake for about 15-18 minutes, until the top edges are just beginning to turn golden.  Remove to a baking rack and let cool.

To make the glaze, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla in a small bowl with two teaspoons of milk.  Whisk together vigorously until the mixture is smooth, adding more milk to achieve your desired consistency.  Drizzle over the slightly cooled scones.  Serve with coffee.

If you have extra, store in an air-tight container on the counter for 24 hours.  After that, transfer the container to the refrigerator.  Scones will keep for up to 5 days.

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