Friday, September 16, 2011

Cinnamon-Sugar Scone Recipe & Small Sweet Treats Giveaway!

[I'm giving away a copy of Small, Sweet Treats by Marguerite Marceau Henderson. To enter to win, leave a comment on this post or follow @poeticappetite on twitter and then re-tweet information about this give-away. A winner will be chosen at noon on September 23rd.]

Memory is a funny thing. Last weekend I went to the wedding of an old friend. We didn't meet in childhood, but I can't remember exactly when we did meet. Was it college? The fateful summer between high school and college? I can't recall. All I remember is that we were working at Cucina.

In those days, Cucina, an upscale Italian delicatessen in the Avenues District of Salt Lake City, was run by my friend Sarah's mother, Marguerite Marceau Henderson. For a couple of summers I worked at Cucina taking orders, serving salads, wiping down tables and clearing dishes. On rare days I ran the cash register or made a sandwich or two.

At Cucina I tried leeks and pesto for the first time (imagine!) and learned that on a bad day a big meatloaf sandwich can be immensely satisfying. Eventually I moved on and Marguerite did too. But she's continued to instruct me in the hows and whys of cooking and entertaining through her books. There are several of them now: Savor the Memories, Small Plates: Appetizers as Meals, Small Parties, and the newest, Small Sweet Treats.

Marguerite is amazing (think Ina meets Martha) and her recipes are my go-to. She's constantly coaching me through weeknight meal making and dinner parties. In her newest book she's become my guide to all things sweet with dozens of recipes for cookies, pastries, cakes, pies and other desserts that are ideal for the holidays, entertaining, or just because. As I write this, there's a chocolate-orange bundt cake with chocolate ganache (page 146 in the book) staring me down. I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to resist cutting into it. 

The summers that I worked for Marguerite, I often took the morning shift. I arrived while it was cool and quiet, and though there was coffee brewing, I never needed it. Occasionally someone would take a broken or day-old sweet and cut it into chunks for us to eat while we did our side work. I never got more than a bite or two of Marguerite's epic cinnamon-sugar scones, just enough to make me hope that at the end of the shift there'd be one leftover for me to take home. This hardly ever happened.

For years my mother has tried to replicate the cinnamon sugar scones, best eaten warm with a bitter cup of coffee, but they've never come out quite right. The morning after the wedding I padded into the kitchen to find my mother baking from her new copy of Small Sweet Treats. Finally, she told me, Marguerite had shared the recipe for cinnamon-sugar scones. Hurrah!

The scones, packed with cinnamon-sugar ribbons and plump golden raisins, tasted exactly as they should. Just as my mom said, a dark cup of coffee helped to cut the sweetness and kept us happily munching. Best of all, they brought back vivid adolescent memories of giggling, gossiping, and trying not to sever my hand with the meat slicer.

This, my friends, is what good food should do: create and revive memories while feeding you physically and spiritually.

I'm excited to share this recipe (and Marguerite's newest book!) with you. 

[I'm giving away a copy of Small, Sweet Treats by Marguerite Marceau Henderson. To enter to win, leave a comment on this post or follow @poeticappetite on twitter and then re-tweet information about this give-away. A winner will be chosen at noon on September 23rd.]

Cinnamon-Sugar & Golden Raisin Scones
From Small Sweet Treats by Marguerite Marceau Henderson
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 heaping tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
About 1 cup of half and half or buttermilk
Cinnamon, brown sugar, golden raisin ribbons (recipe follows)
Glaze (recipe follows)

In a medium bowl combine flours, suga, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, cut into the size of peas. With a wooden spoon or heavy duty spatula mix in enough half and half or buttermilk to make the batter just moist, not too wet. The dough should hold together when formed into a small ball. Add cinnamon, brown sugar, and raisin mixture (recipe follows); mix until just combined.

Use a small ice-cream scoop or spoon to shape the scones and place them on silpat or parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake on the middle rack of a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly before glazing.

Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, and Golden Raisin ribbons:
In a small skilled, heat 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1 cup golden raisins. Mix over low heat until sugar has softened, about 1 minute. Cool for 10 minutes. Set aside while you make scone batter. Fold the ribbon mixture into the batter after the half and half or buttermilk has been added. Do not over-mix.

Glaze: 2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar thinned with half and half or milk.


amelia said...

love this story. and the book looks great!!

Sunday Taylor said...

Anne, I can't wait to get this cookbook and make these scones. Thanks for letting us know about it and including the recipe.

oh that guy said...

Always good to stroll down memory lane. Although, one without coffee seems strange to me.

Sam said...

Mmm, scones!!

For some reason I decided it would be a good idea to get rid of my baking sheets before the move, and have yet to replace them. This is something that I clearly have to fix, immediately.

Anne Zimmerman said...

Yes, Sam. Get thee to the bakeshop! {Though I completely understand. Such purging is just the sort of thing I am prone to do pre-move too.}

Lauren Haupt Estes said...

What a nice post, it looks like a fantastic collection. Adding to my bulging wish list.

Megan Taylor said...

Ina meet Martha? Sounds like a dream human! xoxo

abc said...

The scones look great. If I had not already tempted fate by heating up my kitchen roasting a chicken, I'd try them today. I bet they would be great for a mother-daughter tea party.

Heather Taylor said...

that recipe looks absolutely perfect!

Anne Zimmerman said...

Odds right now are very good that a Taylor girl will win this! Give them some competition!

wegarden said...

My daughter taught me to make delicious Lavender-Ginger Scones with white chocolate. I'm looking forward to expanding my scone repertoire. thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm just loving your blog Anne. I'm looking forward to the MLK event on Monday as well.

Anne Zimmerman said...

Hello, wischlist! I just clicked over to your blog and saw -- with just a glance -- many things I love: striped shirts, cake, boots. I will be back!

nicole said...

Those do look rather delicious -- I have not yet found a scone recipe that I *love* but I think I'll definitely have to give these a try ...

Anne Zimmerman said...

This is a great starter scone recipe. You can check over here for a version that subs lemon and blueberry for the cinnamon sugar: