It's hard to believe we're almost halfway to Christmas Day and I'm just now getting to the most important classic holiday flavor which is gingerbread!
Scones have always perplexed me. I suppose it's because I'm well studied in southern buttermilk biscuit-making and I'm accustomed to their fluffy texture. Each time I've split open a bakery-purchased scone I've had the same thought: "This is the worst, driest biscuit ever!" Perhaps I need to change my viewpoint on scones but for now I've remedied the problem with this flaky, soft gingerbread version.

These are delicately flavored. Many gingerbread-inspired confections pack a powerful spicy wallop, but these are mild with just a kiss of ginger, brown sugar and molasses. In other words, you won't feel like you're eating one big gingerbread cookie for breakfast.

The dough starts out much like biscuit-making, you cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender, and then blend the wet ingredients in. I like to knead the dough just once or twice, and then pat it into an 8-inch circle. I cut it into quarters, and THEN...

Stack the quarters on top of each other and pat them down into another 8-inch circle; cut into pieces. This creates delicate, flaky layers in the baked scone. 

The scones will both relax and puff as they bake. They look a little funny after they come out of the oven, but they are SO delicious and look bakery-made with a zig-zag of milk glaze.

These make a great edible gift, but they should be given the same day they are made for optimal freshness. They'll last a few days in an airtight container but they begin to use their charm around day three.

Gingerbread Scones

Yields 8 large scones

2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (75g) dark brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup (75g) cold unsalted butter
3 tablespoons molasses
1/4 cup (60ml)  milk plus more
1 egg, separated
1 cup (115g) powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cream or milk

Preheat oven to 400F.

[post_ads]Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until crumbly using a pastry blender or the tines of a fork. In a small bowl, combine the molasses, milk and egg yolk until smooth stir into the crumb mixture until a thick dry dough forms. Add additional milk a little at a time until the dough is still thick but not as dry and easily knead-able. Turn dough onto a floured surface knead briefly. Pat into an 8-inch circle and cut into 4 wedges. Stack the wedges and flatten them down again into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges.

Separate wedges and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Beat egg white with 1 tablespoon water and brush on top of scones. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the scones are well-browned on top. Transfer to a wire rack and allow them to cool. Combine the powdered sugar and cream or milk. Transfer to a zip-top bag with the corner snipped, or to a disposable piping bag. Drizzle glaze over cooled scones. Let stand until the glaze is set, about 1 hour.

Package scones in a festive holiday tin for gift-giving.

Courtesy: Sprinkle Bakes


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