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Gingerbread Scones

What Anticipation Tastes Like

I think my favorite flavor of the holiday season is ginger. Christmas wouldn’t taste or smell like Christmas without spicy notes of ginger and cinnamon wafting through the house and lingering in the kitchen.

A pinch of ginger is the perfect way to dress up favorite family recipes, both sweet and savory, for the holidays. The scent of ginger transports me, reminding me of Christmases past while promising something delicious in the present tense. Ginger introduces a subtle tension: warm spice nestled against cool freshness, bitter balanced by sweet. Ginger is what anticipation should taste like, the touchstone of the season.

Seasonal Adaptation

With a nod to seasonal anticipation I adapted the recipe for a family favorite, Buttermilk Scones, by adding a ginger-heavy blend of aromatic spices and a sweet touch of molasses. The recipe is a good one. The execution, however, was slightly, well, wanting. As often happens all did not go exactly as expected. As you can see in some of the photos my fragrant Gingerbread Scones turned out a little dark (read black) on the bottom.

That’s how it goes sometimes. You can let it get you down or you can accept it and move forward. This batch didn’t turn out as picture perfect as I may have liked but that doesn’t mean they weren’t beautiful in their own right and it doesn’t mean they weren’t delicious. These fragrant scones are something to look forward to on a cold winter morning or as a teatime or after dinner treat. Next time I will just remember not to bake them on a dark pan and to check them a few minutes earlier.

Gingerbread Scones

2½ cups flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, cut into cubes
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup molasses
1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease baking sheet. Mix flour, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt, in a large bowl.

Cut in butter until the mixture resembles course meal. Stir in the buttermilk, molasses and most of the egg (reserving just a little to brush onto the top of the scones). Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Dough will be moist.

Pat dough out into a circle 1½ inches thick. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet. Cut into wedges. Brush top with reserved egg; sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.

Bake until Golden Brown, about 15 minutes.

Serve immediately with butter or whipped cream and a steaming cup of coffee or Earl Grey tea.



Alanna Kellogg said...

Ooops! It happens...but wonder if it wasn’t the extra sugar from the molasses?

And y’know, while I’m with you on ginger as the scent of Christmas, I’ve never thought to make ginger scones! Adding it to the list ...

Lisa said...

Alanna - Thanks for your comment! It could have been the extra sugar. A dark pan can also cause the bottom to scorch. Or maybe my oven rack was a little low.
I usually bake scones on a baking stone. Unfortunately, my baking stone had a mishap and is no longer with us and the pan I used is fairly dark in color.
Next time I will try baking these on parchment paper, if I haven't replaced my baking stone, and watch them more carefully. Hopefully that will yield a golden bottom crust.
Next time I might also add some bits of minced candied ginger to the dough. Or....I might drizzle the scones with a rum glaze and scatter the ginger bits on top of that...

Debbie said...

Yum! They look good to me. Wish I was there with you eating one with a cup of tea, and having a nice convention with you.

grace said...

cinnamon is my favorite smell for most of the year, but ginger is reserved for christmas! except when it's eggnog time, then the nutmeg comes out. :)
these sound delicious!