We’re kicking off the holiday season in our home with warm gingerbread scones, twinkling lights and Christmas music!
I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing, and grateful Thanksgiving. We enjoyed time with family catching up and soaking in the moments together, hence the quiet around here. I am excited to get back in the swing of things with gift guides and delicious recipes for the most wonderful time of the year! :)
Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year and I get so excited about it every year. I love the music, traditions, lights, generosity and flavors that come along with it and plan my December weekends far in advance to fit in the most cheer I possibly can. One of our Christmas morning traditions is to have fresh, warm scones as we empty our stockings and sit by the fire in our pajamas, sharing gifts with each other.
We get up around 7:30am and don’t eat brunch until we are done exchanging presents with everyone and marveling over our favorite gifts, which can be near 11am. Small, warm scones are the perfect way to ease into the early morning and tide us over until the later meal (they also keep us from eating all of the candy in our stockings so early in the morning ;). In order to have fresh scones, we make the dough ahead of time and stick it in the fridge until Christmas morning. On Christmas morning my dad sticks them in the oven right when he comes down. This prevents any stale scone tasting, which no one wants.
Since the uncooked dough keeps well, we often gift rounds of scone dough to neighbors and friends, so they can have an easy and fresh treat on their December mornings as well. As I mentioned in my gift guide for hostesses, breakfast baskets are one of my favorite hostess gifts, and I love including scone dough for them to enjoy the next morning with no effort.
When I thought about gingerbread scones, I knew I wanted to make them soft, flakey and buttery, with the tastes and smells of fresh gingerbread. I tried so many variations and love how these turned out. These gingerbread scones have the warm spices of traditional gingerbread cake or cookies, but in a soft pastry that flakes apart as you break it. They are light and fluffy on the inside, but dense enough to be filling. Warm out of the oven, with a pat of butter is the most amazing way to eat them.
I love that gingerbread scones can bring joy to so many people throughout the season. They are so easy to make ahead for holiday breakfasts and brunches, coworkers, neighbors, friends and unexpected visitors. Just pop them in the oven while your coffee brews, or wrap them in a tea towel and give them away to make everyone’s mornings merry and bright.
I’m so excited about all this season brings, and excited to share recipes like these gingerbread scones that I hope can bring happiness and holiday cheer to your home this season, too.
Make sure to see the note about the molasses to get the best outcome.
Makes 12-16 scones
1 ½ cups butter (3 sticks)
4 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
4 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup plus 2 ½ tablespoons molasses*
½ cup milk
turbinado sugar, for topping
1 tablespoon milk
*I tested this recipe with Grandma’s unsulphured molasses and with store brand molasses and Grandma’s had a far better flavor. Since the molasses plays such a crucial role in the flavor of these scones I would suggest using a higher quality molasses.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture while it is still very cold. If the butter has gotten warm with the heat of your hands or from being on the cutting board too long, stick it back in the fridge for a few minutes before adding it to the flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using two knives, a pastry cutter, or breaking the pieces of butter up with your fingers (my preference). The mixture should resemble a course meal when you are done. Do not mix too much and overwork the dough.
In a small bowl, combine ½ cup of milk with the molasses. Add the liquid to the flour-butter mixture and mix until just combined and the dough starts to stick together. You should be able to work the dough into a ball. Again, do not overwork the dough, otherwise your scones will be tough. If the dough is too dry, add more milk, one tablespoon at a time.
Lightly flour a cutting board or a flat surface and transfer the dough to your surface. Split the dough in half, roll each half in a ball and pat them into 6-inch rounds that are about 1 to 1 ½ inches thick. Cut each round in half, then cut each half into 3-4 triangles (like a pie) and place the dough on your prepared baking sheets, a few inches apart from each other.
In a small bowl beat the egg and one tablespoon of milk together. Brush the egg wash on top of the dough, sprinkle with turbinado sugar and bake for 12-18 minutes (depending on the size of your wedges). The scones are done when the edges begin to get golden and the tops bounce back when you press a finger into them. They will continue to set as they cool, so they may not look fully done. If you wait until the entire scone is golden they may be overcooked. Let the scones cool on the tray for about 3 minutes, then remove them from the tray and serve immediately.
Scones don’t save very well, but one-day-old leftovers can be reheated in a microwave oven or an oven. Add some butter and they are as good as new.
These can be made ahead of time (perfect for a holiday breakfast or an unexpected guest!). Stop after you pat the dough into rounds and wrap each round of dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to bake and serve. They can be made a week in advance.
Adapted from my favorite scone recipe