If waking up to the smell of cinnamon and sugar wafting through the house makes you jump out of bed and say Good Morning, then these warm, flaky, light, cinnamon and sugar topped scones are right up your alley! And what if I tell you that the bulk of the work can be done the night before, leaving you with little to do the next morning except bake them? Perfection, right?!!!
Are you a scone fan? Not the dense, rock-like, practically tasteless kinds you find in the average deli--but the real thing, buttery and light with a tender crumb--the kind of scones I first had oddly enough on a long ago trip to Copenhagen which my sister (and her best-bakery-in-a-50-mile-radius-intuitive-nose had sniffed out!) Ever since then I've been a scone lover and can't resist baking up a batch every now and then. When I saw this recipe that combines one of my favorite cookies with a buttermilk based scone, I knew I had to try them. And I'm so glad I did!! Not only are these addictively wonderful, but you can make almost the entire recipe the night before you want to serve them!! And you know what a big fan I am of the advanced prep!!!
You start by making a simple butter/ buttermilk dough and rolling it out, scoring the circle into 8 triangles. Then you just pop the entire thing in the freezer and get yourself into bed to rest and work up an appetite!
In the morning, you simply separate the wedges, brush then with a little cream, sprinkle then with cinnamon and sugar and bake. That's it folks! Then watch how quickly the rest of your family wakes up!
The scones are sweet but not overly so and really tender and light with a wonderfully almost crackly cinnamon-sugar top--worlds better than anything you can buy readymade. Perfect for lazy weekend mornings and brunches. Or for those times when you just can't decide between a snickerdoodle and a scone!!
Overnight Snickerdoodle Scones
Makes 8 large scones
Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus at least 2 hours chilling and better yet, overnight); Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
For the scone batter
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus a bit more for rolling out the dough
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup well shaken buttermilk, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the topping
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon heavy cream, for brushing the tops of the scones before baking
1. To make the batter: sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together into a large bowl. Use a pastry blender, a fork or even just your fingers, to cut the butter into the flour until it becomes a coarse cornmeal-like texture.
2. Whisk together the buttermilk, egg and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour the mixture into the flour mixture and use a fork to gently combine the ingredients until a dough forms.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and with floured hands, lightly knead the dough 10-12 times, folding and gently pressing it together until it's nearly smooth. Form it into a ball.
4. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough out into a 1 ½ inch thick, 11 inch wide circle. If the board you are using won't fit in your freezer, transfer the dough to another pan that will. Use a sharp knife to score the circle into 8 wedges. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer the whole thing to rhe freezer for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.
4. When you are ready to bake the scones, preheat the oven to 350ºF and remove the pan from the freezer. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
5. To make the topping, mix the sugar and cinnamon together well in a small bowl and set aside.
6. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into 8 wedges using the lines you already scored. If the dough is too frozen, let it sit until you can handle it better, but don't let it get really soft. Use a wide spatula to transfer the scones to the baking sheet, spacing them a couple of inches apart. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops with the heavy cream and then sprinkle in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Gently press down so that it sticks well.
7. Bake the scones for 20-25 minutes, until they are a soft golden color. Remove from the oven. Let cool a few minutes and serve. These are best on the day you make them but taste pretty amazing a day or two later if wrapped well at room temperature.
Note: Recipe adapted from Sweet Mornings by Patty Pinner.