Scone of the Month: Spinning a new twist on cinnamon rolls

Every holiday season, even as I bake cookies and make candy, my mind is never very far from cinnamon rolls.

I’ve written here before (in my blog post of 12/17) of my mom’s cinnamon roll-making, nearly every Christmas for most of my childhood and beyond, the hours (beginning before any of the rest of us got up) that went into mixing the dough, kneading it vigorously, letting it rise, shaping the dough into long rolled rounds filled with butter and cinnamon, cutting them into spiraled cylinders, another rise, baking, frosting, packaging (with tinfoil and bows) and delivering them to lucky recipients.

The sound of it all is both exhausting and alluring. You can’t beat homemade cinnamon rolls, and once they enter your thoughts, you can’t stop thinking of them and wanting them.  

Such was my case this year…the season of being in long for the cinnamon roll. I decided I’d make them for Christmas. I could do it, though not as well as my mom (not now, not ever). Still, I had enough yeast, butter, sugar, flour and even cinnamon to get the job done.

What I soon learned I lacked was the real time and energy for it (I got a late start in my baking projects this holiday season, had to work, excuses, excuses, etc.) and what I needed was to make my scone of the month. A scone of the month for December had certainly been on my mind, and I had something in mind, but then, I thought, why not a cinnamon roll scone?!?

Sure, it would not have quite the same taste and texture, but maybe, it could come close and even be delicious. I searched for a recipe…I was sure I was not the first to come up with this concept, and sure enough, there was a recipe for Cinnamon Roll Scones on the delightful  (and recipe reliable) website, Joy of Baking:

I mixed my variation of the filling up first — brown sugar, lots of cinnamon and toasted, chopped pecans and some raisins.

The dough is simple: butter is cut into a blend of flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. Once the butter is blended to make the mixture look like coarse crumbs, buttermilk is added to bring the dough together. A few brief kneads and the dough is ready to roll.

I took a different approach than the recipe in that I decided to make mini cinnamon roll scones and assemble them into a wreath. So I divided the dough in half, rolled each half into a small rectangle, buttered the rectangle with melted butter and spread the filling across.

I ended up with two fairly even rolls and cut each into eight slices.

In my somewhat planned, but mostly scattershot way, I arranged the mini scones into a wreath on a parchment lined baking sheet.

It may have been cheating (or a shortcut, whatever you call it), but the house smelled of baking cinnamon rolls, or as close as possible without making “real” cinnamon rolls. Sometimes, I think I bake for the smell alone…

The Joy of Baking recipe did not have a glaze, but I added one to make things more festive. I went old-school with how my mom did it — no recipe, just a blend of melted butter, powdered sugar, a little vanilla and enough milk (if needed) to make the glaze thin enough to drizzle all over the rolls (I did this when they were cool, but you could also do it while the rolls are warm). Eating one, it was hard to believe it was a scone. It had evolved into as near a cinnamon roll as one could have, light buttery dough swirled around that sweet, spicy filling. And, my longing momentarily satisfied,I was as appreciative of both scones and cinnamon rolls as I had ever been.

For the recipe for Cinnamon Roll Scones, visit the Joy of Baking website;

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