I thought it would be fun to start out the new year by baking something from the Bouchon Bakery. I know the cookbook came out way back in the fall of 2012, but it’s a pretty hefty book with so many recipes to choose from. Actually, that’s not true. I woke up one Sunday morning in December with the intention of filling the house with the aroma of cinnamon honey scones, but it didn’t work out.
You see, when I saw the recipe in Thomas Keller’s new book, I knew they’d be perfect for a Sunday morning, but I didn’t actually read the recipe all the way through. I should have known better with a recipe from Mr. Keller, because these scones required a little preparation the day before. Whoops.
Fast forward a few weeks later when I remembered to start the scones on Saturday. Despite the list of steps and ingredients, these cinnamon honey scones are no more difficult than other scones to make. The cinnamon honey cubes are the component prepared in advance, and they are worth it. Honey, cinnamon, and butter are mixed with flour to make a paste, which is frozen and cut into cubes and scattered throughout the scone dough, where they melt into pockets and ribbons of flavor.
Cinnamon Honey Scones
Makes 12 scones
Cinnamon Honey Cubes
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons + 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup + 1 tablespoon + 1 ½ teaspoons all-purpose flour (152 grams)
2 ¼ cups + 2 tablespoons cake flour (304 grams)
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder (12.5 grams)
½ teaspoon baking soda (2.5 grams)
¼ cup + 3 tablespoons + 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar (91 grams)
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes (8 ounces)
½ cup + 1 ½ teaspoons heavy cream (135 grams)
½ cup + 2 tablespoons sour cream (135 grams)
Honey Butter Glaze
4 tablespoons butter (4 grams)
1 tablespoon honey (20 grams)
For the cinnamon honey cubes:
Place flour in a medium bowl. Add the sugar and cinnamon and whisk to combine. Toss in the butter cubes, coating them in the dry mixture. Use your fingertips to break up the butter until there are no large visible pieces. Use a spatula to mix in the honey to form a smooth paste. Press the paste into a 4-inch square on a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap tightly and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. (The paste can be frozen up to 1 week.)
For the scones:
Cut the cinnamon honey paste into ¼-inch cubes and set in the fridge until ready to use. Lightly sprinkle pastry mat or other work surface with flour to use when forming the scones.
Place both flours in the bowl of a food processor and add the baking powder, baking soda, and granulated sugar. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse several times (about 12-15) to incorporate it into the dry mixture, just until it resembles a course crumble. Do not over-mix.
Add the cream and sour cream to the bowl of the food processor and pulse a few times until everything just starts to come together. There will still be a lot of loose clumps; do not over-mix. Add the sugar cubes to the mixture and pulse a few times to break the cubes into pieces scattered in the dough. There will still be loose clumps. Did I mention not to over-mix?
Use your hands to press the mixture together and carefully dump the whole mess onto your prepared work surface. Mound the dough together and, using the heel of your hand or a pastry scraper, push it all together. Knead it just a couple times. Place the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap and press it into a 7 x 10-inch block. Press the sides of your hands against the sides of the dough to straighten the edges. Wrap with an additional layer of plastic wrap. Place the block of dough on a pan or other flat surface and freeze two hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with a silpat or parchment paper. Unwrap the dough and, using a chef’s knife, cut the block of dough lengthwise into thirds and then crosswise into quarters. Arrange the desired number of frozen scones on the prepared sheet. The rest can be re-wrapped and frozen up to one month. Bake for 28-30 minutes until golden-brown.
For the glaze:
Place the butter in a microwave-safe dish and heat until it is melted. Use a spoon to carefully skim most of the milk solids off and discard. Stir the honey into the remaining butter. As soon as you remove the scones from the oven, brush the top with the glaze. Set the scones on a cooling rack and cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel.
This was originally written to be mixed in a stand mixer, so you could easily do that. I just like using the food processor to contain the flying flour.