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This gingerbread scone recipe is based off of one that I baked every holiday season to line the shelves of my bakery. Looking back, I can still see myself in the basement kitchen, scurrying around like a little elf until the wee hours of the morning, baking like mad to fill up the shop. I lost a lot of sleep this time of year.
This is gingerbread season, so do it up while you can. If you're looking for a more unique approach to the classic gingerbread cake or cookie, you simply can't go wrong with this scone. The flavors are as big as a gingerbread cookie thanks to a combination of molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and clove. But it also gets the texture that you expect from a scone: just moist enough, tender, and slightly crumbly. The best part about this recipe (well two things) are that it comes together in just one bowl, and that you get everything you love about gingerbread but without the commitment of rolling out cookies or waiting for a cake. These are fast.
For the crumbly texture that's the hallmark of a scone, you need to start with cold butter. As the butter is cut into the dry mixture, the fat coats the flour and keeps the crumb tender by preventing it from forming too much gluten. To cut the flour in by hand, I just grab my handy pastry blender. Unlike the wirey tools of my great-grandma's day (no thanks), the ones made today are super sturdy—it's practically effortless to do. I also find it slices the butter into the mix with a much more delicate touch than the paddle of a mixer, which smashes the butter.
Once the scones are baked and your kitchen smells nothing short of a North Pole bakeshop, my favorite way to enjoy them is warm and toasty (yes, lots of butter please), but if you wait you'll be rewarded as the spiced flavors meld over time. To dress them up for Santa, drizzle them with a simple confectioners' sugar icing.
About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of the new cookbook One Bowl Baking: Simple From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts (Running Press, October 2013), and available at Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Powell's, The Book Depository. Watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. Follow her Chocoholic, Chicken Dinners, Singapore Stories and Let Them Eat Cake columns on Serious Eats. Follow Yvonne on Twitter as she explores Singapore.