December 24, 2009

Cinnamon Chip Scones for Christmas Morning {Naptime Entertaining}

My Day So Far: A happy relaxing Christmas Eve catching up with friends and family.

Naptime Goals: Take 10 minutes to whip up dough for Cinnamon Chip Scones tomorrow morning. Spend the rest of the day in front of fireplace.

Tonight’s Meal: Christmas dinner at a friend’s house = no cooking for me!

Parenting Lesson of the Day: There is nothing like the holidays and promises of Santa to send children into orbit!

A happy holiday season to all! I am stopping in with a quick post today because, no matter the occasion you are celebrating, you are going to need breakfast. Needless to say, given that I’ve risen at 7am or earlier for the past two years, I have become something of a breakfast expert. Pancakes in a jiffy? I’m your girl. Homemade yogurt shake with fresh berries? No problem. My daughter and I spend ample amount of time in the kitchen between the hour of 7 and 8am. She eats while I fix food for the both of us, and several cups of tea for me.

These scones are quickly becoming a traditional Christmas breakfast in our family. I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of scone recipes over the past few Christmases, even landing on one similar to what Megan wrote about earlier this month. I thought I’d stick with that recipe until my friend Nicole, a favorite source of delicious inspiration, generously contributed her own version.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a recipe to me if I didn’t spend some time tweaking the ingredients. To start with, I decided to use cinnamon chips. Mini-chocolate chips would be delicious too, of course, but cinnamon seemed like a particularly Christmas-breakfast like spice, sweet without being overly so. Then, per the suggestion of Nicole, I added some fresh orange zest and glossed the top with milk and a sprinkling of raw sugar. The result was a buttery, mildly cinnamon scone with a light flaky texture. Upon first bite I knew these were the ones I’d been looking for.

Like most good doughs, this one is perfect to make ahead of time. In fact, this afternoon I am whipping up a double batch and putting it in the fridge to bake tomorrow morning. Then I’ll be getting my daughter up from her nap and watching her tear around the house with excitement. At two years old she doesn’t quite understand that holidays yet, but she knows something fun is happening. I’m sure it will be hard to get her to sleep tonight, and, honestly, it will probably be hard for me to sleep, too. I’ll lay awake all snug in my bed, while visions of scones dance in my head.


Cinnamon Chip Scones


2 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 t. orange zest
1 t. baking powder
½ t. baking soda
6 T. chilled butter, cut into pieces
¾ c. cinnamon chips
¾ c. heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
1 t. vanilla
2-3 T. whole milk
3 T. raw sugar


1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.

2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl. Add orange zest and rub it together with some of the sugar between your forefingers to release the flavor.

3. Add the butter pieces and work it into the dry ingredients with your clean (!) hands or a pastry blender. Work until the mixture resemble small peas. Toss the cinnamon chips with a pinch of flour and then add to the butter mixture.

4. In a separate bowl whisk together egg yolk, heavy cream and vanilla. Pour in a steady stream into the butter mixture, stirring continuously until the dough becomes sticky and everything is incorporated. AT THIS POINT DOUGH CAN BE WRAPPED IN PLASTIC AND REFRIGERATED.

5. Press dough into a circle that is 1″ thick. Cut into wedges and place on baking sheet. Brush the tops of each scone with milk and scatter with raw sugar. As you can see above, I often cut them into some small pieces too – they are good for little hands!

6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

Mini-Chocolate Chips or dried cherries (or both!) taste fantastic with this recipe if you are don’t want cinnamon. Also, feel free to substitute lemon zest for orange zest – or not use any zest at all – to alter the citrus notes.

Naptime Stopwatch

Making this dough takes about 15 minutes. Then all that is left is the baking!

Naptime Reviews

This is a winner with almost everyone in my family. These scones are neither too sweet or bland, there flakey texture and cinnamon spices appeal to just about anyone and everyone!