Cinnamon bun-merely seeing the word conjures up images of dough spread with butter, sugar, and cinnamon, being rolled and sliced. You can imagine the warmth emanating from the oven filled with yeasty rolls and the smell of cinnamon from the kitchen wafting through the house. Sigh. These cinnamon bun scones are also filled with cinnamon, and smell heavenly as they bake, but don’t take nearly as long to make. Just like a cinnamon bun, they’re covered in glaze, and perfect at breakfast or brunch (topped with butter while warm-yum!), or break time with a cup of coffee or glass of milk.
I found the recipe for these delicious scones in my mom’s recipe box. Not that she was ever a scone maker. But she was a prolific cinnamon roll maker-she undoubtedly made thousands of them. So perhaps she wrote this down and tucked it away for a time when she craved cinnamon buns but just didn’t have the time or energy to make the real deal. And then forgot about it. My mom never missed the opportunity to collect a recipe from someone-or somewhere. She’s always been a prolific recipe clipper and copier, but from looking through her recipe file I think she enjoyed the thrill of the hunt more than actually trying new recipes. Even now, as she battles dementia, she often watches cooking shows on PBS and attempts to scribble down recipes as best she can. Lidia Bastianich is one of her favorites, despite the fact that my mom never made any Italian food in her life beyond Chef Boyardee spaghetti from a kit.
So where this particular recipe came from is a mystery, but the unusual addition of oatmeal (which you really can’t taste) suggests it might be the product of a cereal company. Wherever she got it from, my mom knew a good recipe when she saw it, because these scones are not only incredibly delicious, they’re simple to make with ingredients you most likely have on hand. A food processor is super handy for this recipe, but you can always use a pastry blender, or even two knives, instead.
What makes these scones similar to a cinnamon bun is that a cinnamon mixture is swirled (as best you can in a stiff dough) into the dough. There really weren’t very clear instructions on doing this, so I devised my own method: make three deep rows in the dough, pour in half the cinnamon mixture in the rows, fold over the dough, and repeat.
It kind of looks like a mess. Don’t sweat this part, just do your best and do not overstir the dough. You want to leave little bits of the sugar/cinnamon in distinctive clumps and lines. Don’t knead the dough.
No rolling pin needed here-just use your hands to pat out a circle. A pizza wheel is a terrific scone cutter-or use a sharp knife. Leave space on the baking sheet (I used a jelly roll pan) for the scones to rise and spread.
On the recipe my mom wrote “glaze:” and then…nothing. Not sure if she just neglected to get it down, or decided she didn’t need it, or what. “Make glaze and drizzle over scones” is at the bottom of the page, so evidently there was some sort of glaze recipe…somewhere. I think scones look naked-and most, frankly, aren’t that attractive-without glaze. And since obviously the original recipe called for one, I just made up a brown sugar glaze. The scones do taste good without the glaze, by the way, so if you simply don’t like sweet stuff on your scones, you can skip it. And if brown sugar isn’t your thing, you can use a plain powdered sugar glaze, or make any type of glaze that suits you.
The next time you’re craving cinnamon buns, but don’t have time for dough rising, etc., make these delectable cinnamon bun scones instead.
Cinnamon Bun Scones
- FOR THE SCONES:
- 2 c. flour
- 1 c. quick cooking oats
- 6 Tbs. sugar, divided use
- 1 Tbs. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ c. butter, cubed
- ¾ c. milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ½ c. chopped pecans, divided use
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- FOR THE GLAZE
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 2 Tbs. milk
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- 1 c. sifted powdered sugar + more as needed
- Step 1 Place the cubed butter in the freezer while you prep.
- Step 2 Heat oven to 425°. Lightly grease, or line with foil that’s been lightly greased, one large baking pan.
- Step 3 In the bowl of a food processor place flour, oats, 4 tablespoons of the sugar, baking powder, salt, and all but 2 tablespoons of the pecans. Pulse 3 or 4 times to blend.
- Step 4 Remove butter from freezer and add to flour mixture. Pulse several times until coarse crumbs are formed. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
- Step 5 Pour the milk into a measuring cup and add the egg and vanilla. Whisk with a fork. Make a well in the flour/butter mixture and pour in the milk mixture. Stir with a spoon just until all the flour is mixed in.
- Step 6 In a small bowl combine the remaining sugar, remaining pecans, and cinnamon. The cinnamon will mostly stick to the pecans-it might not look well mixed, but that’s normal.
- Step 7 With the side of a butter knife, make 3 deep rows the width of the bowl in the dough. Pour half the cinnamon mixture in these rows and gently fold the dough over. Do this again with the remaining cinnamon mixture-it should just be swirled in, not completely mixed in.
- Step 8 Put the dough on a flour covered surface, and with your hands form into a circle 7 ½” in diameter, about an inch high. Use a sharp knife or pizza wheel to divide the dough into 8 triangles. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet, leaving space for them to spread slightly.
- Step 9 Bake 11-14 minutes. After 2 minutes of cooling on the baking pan, remove directly to cooling rack.
- Step 10 Make the glaze by combining the brown sugar, butter, and milk in a medium saucepan. Heat and stir just until butter and sugar have melted. Stir in the vanilla and the powdered sugar. Add a little more powdered sugar if the glaze is too runny.
- Step 11 Pour the glaze over barely warm scones. Serve scones sliced, with butter, if desired.
- Step 12 Store completely cooled scones in a loosely covered container with waxed paper separating the layers of scones.