Snickerdoodles are incredibly satisfying cookies, considering how simple they are. They’re simple sugar cookies that are rolled in a cinnamon-heavy cinnamon sugar mixture before baking. This results in a soft and chewy texture for the vanilla cookie and a crisp, somewhat spicy exterior. I’ve played with the idea before and loved the way that it translated into a french toast recipe. This time, I wanted to translate the snickerdoodle idea onto a scone. A scone is much closer to a cookie than a piece of custardy french toast, after all!
The scone is a fairly basic vanilla scone, dropped in slightly flatten balls on the baking sheet to look more like cookies than scones that were rolled out and cut. I leavened the dough with baking soda and cream of tartar in place of baking powder (although cream of tartar is often the main component in baking powder) because that is the traditional leavening combination for snickerdoodles. The mix produced a really nice rise on the scones, puffing them up enough to produce a “crackly” look in the cinnamon crust.
The finished scones looked like giant snickerdoodles. They were tender and slightly crumbly on the inside, with a crunchy cinnamon sugar crust outside. Despite the sugar coating, these really aren’t too sweet, as there isn’t much sugar in the scone dough. This makes them seem very light and it’s easy to eat a whole scone without even noticing. In other words, they’re very tasty. I like them plain, and just like the cookies, I like to serve them with a big glass of milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp butter, chilled and cut into pieces
6-8 tbsp milk or cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar. Add butter to the flour mixture and use your fingertips to rub it into the flour, breaking the butter down into pieces smaller than a pea.
Combine milk and vanilla in a small dish and add about 6 tablespoons to flour mixture. Stir with a fork until dough comes together into a slightly sticky ball. If necessary, add additional tablespoon or two of milk. Dough should not be too wet.
Divide dough into six even balls.
In a small dish, whisk together 1/4 cup sugar and ground cinnamon. Roll each ball of scone dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture and flatten slightly on to prepared baking sheet.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until scones are set and edges begin to brown.
Cool on a wire rack before serving.
Makes 6 large scones