Becoming Julia pt. 2 + Cinnamon Sugar Scones
A few years ago, I hit the “estate sale jackpot” when I came across an estate sale at the home of a former Home Economics instructor, cookbook author & culinary whiz – Mrs. Sullivan. The moment I walked into the living room, I was greeted with packed cases upon cases, floor to ceiling — bookcases that is. Among the many topics collected (including war history, world history, gardening, literature – both American and European & Bible history) was a wonderful, extensive collection of cookbooks.
It was too much for me to take in and my heart appropriately responded by racing. I walked through the living room into the kitchen, where my heart raced even faster. The collection of kitchenwares was very, very nice and clearly purposeful. Through all of the goodies, a little vintage stainless steel pepper mill caught my eye from across the way and I quickly determined it would be mine. I carefully, discreetly wedged my way through the masses and stretched my arm out beyond the All-Clad that was getting the majority of the attention. In one swift, purposeful motion that pepper mill became mine.
As I grabbed ahold, I noticed the ever-so-slight accumulation of grime in the crevasses of the crank-style handle. My mind’s eye immediately began watching a neatly dressed, thin framed wisp of a lady delightedly taste testing & seasoning Fish en Croûte or bouillabaisse or even a simple pimento cheese spread. After that taste she reached over, just as I had done, and grabbed ahold of the little stainless steel pepper mill. She gave the handle a few cranks and with that, her dish was seasoned to perfection and dinner was ready.
In a flash, I was jolted back into the crowded kitchen full of estate sale patrons. I determinedly worked my way back to the bookcases in the living room – to the section in the corner, filled solely with cookbooks. I had her pepper mill and I needed her recipes. It was in those hustling moments that I first laid my hands on ‘Baking with Julia’.
I opened it and to my satisfaction, I spotted page after page of microscopically neat handwritten notes. I found several additional cookbooks and a few kitchenwares that still rank among my all-time favorite estate sale treasures. The pepper mill, cookbooks and bowls neatly filled nooks and shelves in my kitchen and soon they became part of my home.
Every time I reach for that pepper mill, I think of her — hoping my food would taste good to her. But that cookbook, the Baking with Julia note-filled treasure… it remained on the shelf, so perfectly placed that it almost disappeared, until recently.
In hopes of finding the perfect biscuit recipe, I took Julia off the shelf and started reading. You can read all about my experience with Julia’s biscuit recipe HERE.
After such a successful biscuit experience – I quickly set my sights on Julia’s scones. I have made scones a few times and wow, the less you handle that sticky mess the better. Even with a light hand, the scones have come out dry, heavy and lacking flavor.
I won’t leave you in suspense – Julia Child’s Buttermilk Scones — were AH-mazing! Light, fluffy, buttery — so moist that they were almost creamy. In addition to the perfect texture & flavor, Julia’s recipe makes one dozen scones. Such little time & effort for such a great yield.
Thanks to Julia’s detailed, conversational instructions, the scone dough came together in a flash. This recipe called for butter (as opposed to shortening) and the buttery flavor came through so nicely. Julia’s scones also call for a tablespoon of orange or lemon zest. I was tempted to follow her recipe exactly, but had plans for something a little different.
I had snickerdoodle scones on my mind, so I added cinnamon chips, ground cinnamon & topped them off with melted butter and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. A simple twist to this rockstar recipe — so, so very tasty. You could just as easily add chocolate chips, nuts, chopped bits of dried fruit, fresh berries — or even take a savory turn using herbs and sharp cheddar!
I hope you enjoy Julia’s recipe as much as I have!
- 3 c AP flour
- 1/3 c sugar
- 2 1/2 t baking powder
- 3/4 t baking soda
- 3/4 t salt
- 1 1/2 sticks cold butter (I used salted*)
- 1 c buttermilk (approximately)
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- 1/2 c cinnamon chips
- 4 T melted butter
- 1/2 t ground cinnamon
- 1 T sugar
- Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda & salt - mixing with a fork to incorporate. Add the cold butter, working it in with a pastry cutter, fingertips or 2 knives. Work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mix resembles cornmeal. Leaving a few larger clumps is perfectly fine.
- Add the buttermilk, cinnamon & cinnamon chips. Work the ingredients together with a fork until everything is just moistened.
- Gather the dough into a ball, pressing it together to hold its shape, and turn it out onto a well floured surface. Working with floured hands, knead the dough briefly, only a dozen turns & cut the dough in half.
- To make triangular scones, roll one half into a 1/2"-thick 7" disc. Cut the circle into 6 triangles and place the triangles on the parchment lined baking sheet approximately 2" apart. Repeat the process with the second half of dough.
- Combine the remaining cinnamon and sugar.
- Brush the tops of the scones with butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of your preheated oven and bake until the tops and bottoms are golden, approximately 10-12 minutes.
- Once baking is complete, transfer the scones to a cooling rack, cooling slightly before serving.
- To reheat scones, place them in a 350° oven for approximately 5 minutes.
- *the recipe called for unsalted butter.