Cinnamon Honey Scones

Given the number of scone recipes on this blog, you might be fooled into thinking I’m a huge fan. Not true. Don’t get me wrong, I like scones, but if you put out a spread of breakfast pastries before me, scones probably wouldn’t be a top three selection.

Cinnamon Honey Scones

That is, unless these cinnamon honey scones were somewhere on that table. I try to refrain from the hyperbole of labeling recipes the “best ever” but sometimes it just can’t be helped and such is the case with these scones. Hands down my favorite scones of all time, no doubt about it! The recipe comes from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, and though I’ve had the book since Christmas and even flipped through it a few times, I’d never noticed these scones. Luckily Josie put them on my radar a few months ago and I resolved to make them asap.

Cinnamon Honey Scones

So, what makes these scones so awesome? Butter, and lots of it, of course :) A cinnamon honey butter is made and then cut into tiny cubes which are incorporated into the dough like any other mix-in (think chocolate chips). It’s a genius idea, I want to add tiny butter cubes as mix-ins in all my recipes going forward! They give the scones so much flavor, as well as a really neat marbled appearance. Texturally, the scones are impossibly light and tender, thanks to the inclusion of cake flour in the recipe. And in case they weren’t already rich enough on their own, the scones are brushed with a honey butter glaze when they emerge from the oven. They’re an occasional indulgence for sure, but worth every single calorie!

These cinnamon honey scones would be a perfect weekend project. Though they’re easy to make, there are quite a few steps and several require hours of chill time. But once they’re assembled you can leave them in the freezer for up to a month, allowing you to pull out and bake a few scones at a time as needed. That’s my kind of weekend breakfast!

Cinnamon Honey Scones

One quick note: this recipe calls for creme fraiche, an ingredient I rarely buy or use but I do recommend splurging for it here. That said, I know there’s nothing worse than a half-empty container of creme fraiche sitting in the back of your fridge, so I found another recipe to help you use it up. I’ll be sharing it with you next week!

Cinnamon Honey Scones
just barely adapted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel (originally seen on Pink Parsley)

{Note: The recipes in this book are given in both weight and volume measurements. I made the scones using the weight measurements and would urge you to do the same for the best results.}

Cinnamon Honey Cubes
30 g (3 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
30 g (2 1/2 tablespoons) sugar
4 g (1 1/2 teaspoons) ground cinnamon
30 g (about 2 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
20 g (1 tablespoon) honey

Scones
152 g (1 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
304 g (2 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) cake flour
12.5 g (2 1/2 teaspoons) baking powder
2.5 g (1/2 teaspoons) baking soda
91 g (1/4 cup + 3 1/2 tablespoons) sugar
227 g (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
135 g (1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons) heavy cream
135 g (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) creme fraiche

Honey Butter Glaze
2 oz (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
20 g (1 tablespoon) honey

To make the cinnamon honey cubes: Add the flour, sugar, and cinnamon to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter and toss until the pieces are coated in the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until no large visible pieces of butter remain. Stir in the honey with a rubber spatula until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Turn the paste out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a 4-inch square. Wrap the mixture and freeze for at least 2 hours (or up to 1 week).

To make the scones: Sift both flours, the baking powder, baking soda, and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed briefly, just until combined. Add the butter pieces, and mix on low speed until no large visible pieces remain, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually pour in the heavy cream, then add the creme fraiche, and continue mixing for about 30 seconds, or until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. A rough dough should form around the paddle.

Remove the cinnamon honey butter from the freezer and cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Add them to the bowl with the dough and use a spoon to incorporate them by hand (it’s fine if they start to break up a bit).

Turn the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and press it together to form a cohesive mass. Place a second piece of plastic wrap on top, and shape the dough into a 7 1/2 by 10-inch rectangle, smoothing the top and sides the best you can (if the dough becomes soft and difficult to work with, just pop it in the fridge for a few minutes). Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until firm.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and using a sharp knife, cut it lengthwise into thirds and crosswise into quarters so you end up with 12 equally sized scones. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1/2 to 1-inch of space between them. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and freeze the scones until they are frozen solid – at least 2 hours, but even better if you can leave them in there overnight (the scones can be frozen for up to 1 month at this point).

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the scones you want to bake from the freezer to the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch of space between them. Bake for about 28-30 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown and slightly firm.

Meanwhile, make the glaze by whisking the butter and honey together until combined. When you remove the scones from the oven, immediately brush the tops with the glaze. The scones are best the day you make them, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day.

Makes 12 large scones