I have a few friends who love to make homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning. Like my friends, you might also love the idea of cinnamon rolls for breakfast, but like me, you might not love the idea of getting up super early to make them. You might also be planning to eat Christmas cookies all day and would rather not ingest millions of calories for breakfast. Either way, I have your solution, and that solution comes in the form of homemade, reduced fat (but still delicious!), cinnamon scones.
Ok, so now you might be asking yourself, “How is getting up to make one homemade bread-like product a good substitution for getting up to make the other?” Well, the answer is that these scones are super simple and come together really fast. The dough can also be made the day before (all the way through to putting it on the pan!), so all you have to do on Christmas morning is pre-heat the oven and pop them in there!
So, assuming I’ve won you over, let’s get started!
To make 8 cinnamon scones, you’ll need the following – and please note that I put full fat/sugar options in parentheses next to their reduced fat/sugar counterparts in case you prefer to throw guilt out the window on special occasions 😉
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbs baking powder
1/3 cup Splenda Sugar Blend (or similar 1/2 the sugar baking blend) (or 2/3 cup sugar)
3/4 cup cinnamon chips (or about 1/2 of an 11oz package)
5 1/2 tbs Brummel and Brown (or cold butter cut into 1/2” chunks)
1/2 cup non-fat milk (or whatever milk you have on hand)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pam (canola oil non-stick spray) and/or butter spray
First, preheat your oven to 450˚ (If you’re planning to make the dough the day before, obviously, just preheat the oven when you’re ready to bake).
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with non-stick spray (for easy cleanup – yay!).
Add all the dry ingredients (except the cinnamon chips) to a food processor. Pulse 3 or 4 times (1 second pulses) to combine them:
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl or measuring cup (preferably with a spout), whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla so it’s ready to go. Put the bowl or measuring cup in the fridge so it stays nice and cold.
Then, drop the Brummel and Brown about 1 tablespoon at a time around the top of the dry ingredients in the food processor (if using butter, just drop the chunks over the top of the dry ingredients):
Pulse 1 time (for about 1 second). Add the cinnamon chips and pulse another 2 times (about 1 second pulses) to combine the Brummel and Brown, cinnamon chips, and dry ingredients so they’re just barely crumbly:
Pour the milk/egg mixture over the dry ingredients and pulse 3 or 4 times (1 second pulses) till the dough just barely starts to come together:
Carefully remove the blade and transfer the dough to a lightly floured board.
In case you’re wondering how lightly is “lightly”, here’s an example of a “lightly floured board”:
Also, notice how I used a plastic cutting board that has rubber on the edges so it stays in place while you’re kneading. Those are the best! They can also be put in the dishwasher, which is even better! But, if you don’t have one, you can also use a smooth, clean counter top, or a wooden board, silicon mat, or pastry mat.
Once you transfer the dough to the board (using floured fingertips, as necessary), press it gently together like in the pic below (Notice that I patted a little flour on top and around the sides to help reduce the stickiness so I could work with it more easily. I also had a little pile of flour in the upper corner so that it was easily accessible in case I’d have to add more while kneading it.):
Next, GENTLY knead the dough about 10 times. To knead the dough, fold the top part of the dough over the middle and bottom part of the dough and gently press down. Then, turn all of the dough a 1/4 turn and repeat, turning the top part over the middle and bottom and pressing down. If the dough gets really sticky as you’re kneading, pat the sticky part with a little more flour, but only with just what’s needed to be able to work with it again. Also, the dough should be a bit sticky in general – you just don’t want it to be so sticky that it’s sticking to your hands and you can’t work with it.
Then, after kneading about 10 times, pat it into a rough ball shape. It should look something like this:
Next, GENTLY pat/press the dough out into a circle about 1 inch thick (making sure there’s more flour under it, and patting a bit more on top if it’s getting sticky):
Make 8 scones by cutting the circle in half with a pastry cutter (or sharp knife or pizza cutter), and then cutting each half into quarters to form 8 triangles. Transfer each triangle to the prepared baking sheet so that they are at least 3/4” apart.
If you’re making the dough in advance, spray the tops with a little Pam (non-stick spray), cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it till you’re ready to bake.
(Note: If you had the dough in the fridge overnight, take it out and let it sit out on the counter while you preheat the oven and do the next step.)
Once you’re ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap and spray the tops of the scones with butter spray or Pam. Combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Sprinkle a little of the topping evenly over the top of each scone.
Bake for 10 minutes, or till golden brown on the edges, but still just a bit doughy looking in the center (or on top). Allow to set up on the pan for about 2 minutes. Serve immediately, but remove any scones you won’t be eating right away to a rack to cool.
By the way, this recipe might seem tricky since you have to knead the dough, but it’s really easy once you get the hang of it. If you’d love to make it for Christmas, but you’re feeling unsure, make it a week or so in advance so you can work out the kinks. Also, feel free to leave a comment with any questions, and I’d be happy to answer them!!
What are your Christmas morning breakfast traditions? Or what special ways do you like to celebrate Christmas and the birth of our wonderful Savior?