Finding the right breakfast food is hard. In my brain, the perfect breakfast food is the homemade doughnut: crazy sweet and rich and covered in glaze, likely stuffed with fresh pastry cream. However, have you ever eaten four doughnuts in a row accidentally (and by accidentally I mean fully aware but sneakily)? You will be on the couch for roughly the next six hours a sugar coma. Not fun. So then, one might naturally look for the reverse option: the healthy breakfast of yogurt and fruit. Not a bad call at all! But if you’re watching other people smiling at down at their breakfast pastries you will probably start to cry into your Yoplait. I know this from experience. So I’ve found a potential solution: the scone. When made properly, they are light and flaky and go perfectly with coffee. The dough also takes less than half an hour to prepare! You will not be disappointed. I took one for the team and ate four in a row (for purely scientific reasons, of course) and did not feel the least bit lethargic. Okay, maybe after the sixth one I needed to rest. But cut me some slack.
Scones are usually made with dried fruit (like currants- gross, kill me) and sometimes fresh/frozen fruit, which I find delicious. But I found a recipe that suggested using crystalized ginger in place of fruit. For those of you that have never had it, crystalized ginger is basically just candied ginger, but it’s pretty spicy. I like chopping it in VERY tiny pieces and adding it to granola. It’s strong stuff. So I was nervous about it baking with it, but I went for it anyway. And it was AWESOME. For some reason, the post-baked ginger lost any unpleasantness and turned completely sweet and smokey, with just a little bite. This may be one of my new favorite recipes. Enjoy!
Scones (from the Williams Sonoma Baking Book)
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/4 cup granulated sugar (plus 1 tsp. for topping or use raw sugar for larger crystals)
– 1 tbsp. baking powder
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 2 tsp. lemon zest
– 6 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
– 1/3 cup diced crystalized ginger
– 3/4 cup heavy cream (plus 2 tsp. for topping)
– 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking pan with parchment paper. In a food processor combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Pulse 2 or 3 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 7 or 8 times until large coarse crumbs begin to form. Add the ginger and pour in the cream. Pulse until just moistened.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface (I like to use Silpats because cleanup is super easy!) Press the dough together until it forms a ball. Pat into a round about 1/2 inch thick and 6 1/2 inches in diameter. Cut into 6 wedges and place 1 inch apart on the prepared pan.
Stir together the reserved sugar and the cinnamon. Brush the scones with the reserved cream and then sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon sugar. Bake until golden, 13-17 minutes. When eaten warm, these scones have the tendency to convince the consumer to finish off all six scones. Listen to your instincts.