Cinnamon-cappuccino-pecan scones: Let's pull out ALL the stops

A long time ago, back in the days of Wheaties and toast, America’s taste in breakfast pastry centered on muffins. Pop Tarts were the new kid on the block. Bagels had been out there forever, but only in urban pockets, where they were dense, chewy, and came in assorted varieties like plain and salt. I’m talking prehistory here, when your option for a cup of coffee was “regular” or “black.” Period.

Then came Starbucks, which in 1971 opened the first of its current 15,012 stores (in 44 countries) in Seattle. And the breakfast craze was on. Soon, Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte replaced the acrid black coffee so many of us forced ourselves to like in high school. And muffins and cinnamon rolls found themselves fighting for shelf space with… scones.

Yes, scones. I like to think we at King Arthur helped pioneer the scone craze in this country. We introduced our first scone mixes back in 1997, when they were virtually unknown among all but the most devoted and adventurous bakers. Since then, of the hundreds of mixes we sell, blueberry sour cream, cranberry orange, and cherry almond scone mixes are our three top-sellers.

Our scone mixes are a life-saver when time is of the essence. But I usually like to make my own scones. When I’m in a hurry, drop scones are easy as muffins. When I’m not in a rush, perfectly shaped wedges or circles can be a breakfast or tea centerpiece. Best of all, scones are the perfect blank slate on which to write imaginative flights of fancy.

Cinnamon-Cappuccino-Pecan Scones, anyone?

Cappuccino chips. Espresso powder. Cinnamon chips. Pecans. These scones have it all. Yet they’re still way less than half the price you’d pay for a plain cinnamon scone at the bakery. Or Starbucks.

Feeling festive? Looking for a holiday breakfast that goes way beyond Wheaties? Try these scones.

img_0052.JPG

Let’s start with my favorite scone and pie crust flour, our Mellow Pastry Blend. It’s about 1 percentage point lower in protein (about 10.5%) than King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, making it a softer, “friendlier” flour for pastry. Can you use all-purpose? Sure. Your scones may just be a bit less tender.

img_0059.JPG

And here’s another test kitchen secret (that’s not so secret since I keep talking about it all the time!): espresso powder. Notice this canister is well-used, testament to the constancy with which I grab it off the shelf

img_0053.JPG

A circle of baking friends (clockwise from bottom): cappuccino chips, espresso powder, cinnamon chips.

img_0060.JPG

One final preparation: cut cold butter into small cubes.

img_0061.JPG

So, now that we’ve staged our ingredients, let’s dive in. Mix the dry ingredients, and add the cubed butter.

img_0063.JPG

Mix till everything is unevenly crumbly; you want some largish lumps to remain.

img_0064.JPG

Grind or process pecans till they’re very finely chopped (but not pasty).

img_0065.JPG

Add pecans and chips to the flour mixture.

img_0067.JPG

Stir to combine. Add the espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon water, plus the sour cream…

img_0068.JPG

…then the ice water, enough to make a sticky dough.

img_0069.JPG

Turn the sticky dough onto a well-floured work surface. As always, I like to use my silicone rolling mat; cleanup is a breeze.

img_0070.JPG

Pat and roll the dough into an 8” to 9” circle about 3/4” thick.

img_0072.JPG

Brush with milk or cream…

img_0073.JPG

…and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar.

img_0075.JPG

Use a 2” to 2 1/4” cutter to cut out rounds.

img_0076.JPG

Take the scraps…

img_0077.JPG

…and shape them into a smooth, long rectangle. Cut the rectangle into 2 or 3 pieces, rounding the edges a bit to shape these final scones into rough circles. “Hey, you’re not supposed to cut on silicone, right?” Right. I cut just BARELY through the dough, being careful not to press hard on the silicone with my ceramic knife. You can also use a plastic knife, which is fine with silicone; I just happened to grab my Kyocera ceramic knife here, because I like it and use it for just about everything.

img_0079.JPG

All hands on deck! Er, onto a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet.

img_1529.JPG

Alternatively, you can bake the scones in a greased pan. This makes them a bit moister, as their edges won’t get quite as crusty. Twenty 2” scones will fill about three 8” round cake pans, but use whatever combination of pans you like.

img_0080.JPG

Here they are, ready to pop into the oven.

img_0087.JPG

And here they are, not QUITE done…

img_0091.JPG

…and now, fully baked. Take a peek inside the center of one of the middle scones on the baking sheet; it should be cooked all the way through, not doughy or gummy.

img_0102.JPG

Ahhhh….. a warm, crumbly scone, cinnamon chips and cappuccino chips, espresso and pecans… go all out, it’s the holidays!

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for Cinnamon-Cappuccino-Pecan Scones.

Buy vs. Bake

Avg. bakery scone: 4 ounces

Buy: Bread Basket Family Bakery, Gahanna, Ohio, Cinnamon Chip Scone, $2.00

Bake at home: Cinnamon-Cappuccino-Pecan Scones, if made in 4-ounce scones, 73¢

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. aschissler

    Tasty scones! Been looking for another use of the cappuccino chips and this was perfect. Had to twice as much water (I used some cream as well) to get the right consistency. I measured the flour by weight so not sure why it took so much more liquid. Froze half of the recipe to bake off on a Sunday morning to come when I don’t have much time to bake before church! Thanks again KAF!

    Reply

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *