Gingerbread and scones are two of those things that really get overlooked. I mean, I’ll be the first person to admit that I’ve never been a scone person. I know they make a great on-the-go breakfast for busy days, but I always thought they would taste a little bit dry and boring. Then, I made these Gingerbread Scones for a holiday-themed brunch and I was blown away. I couldn’t have been more wrong! These delightful breakfast pastries are light, soft, and tender. Not to mention that they’re full of festive flavor, thanks to the molasses and gingerbread spices.
You can also feel pretty good about eating these tasty treats. We were able to make them without adding any processed sugar, but they taste sweet and satisfying just like your favorite coffee shop treats. Even with swapping in some healthy ingredients (like Greek yogurt, skim milk, and coconut sugar) these pastries bake up with a crisp exterior and a moist, tender crumb inside. And they’re perfectly portion-sized, too. That’s always a good thing for me around the holidays when I need to control my sweet-tooth cravings.
What is Gingerbread Anyway?
Like I said, gingerbread often gets overlooked this time of year, thanks to the more-popular flavors of Pumpkin Spice Lattes and pecan pie. People still make gingerbread houses for Christmas, but I don’t think a lot of people are baking up the flavors of gingerbread – which is a shame! It’s time for us to change that by making these Gingerbread Scones for our friends and family. They’ll be hooked after the first bite, just like me.
Originally, people made gingerbread as a way to preserve ginger during Medieval European times. To make the cakes sweeter and more edible, people started heavily flavoring the cakes with molasses. This dark, sticky substance gives a rich and slightly smoky flavor to the cake, along with a punch of nutrition. Blackstrap molasses is full of vitamins and minerals, too, like iron, vitamin B6, selenium, and magnesium. These days, it’s also a popular sweetener for those with diabetes because it helps stabilize blood sugar!
Eventually, gingerbread cakes turned into cookies, muffins, pies, and more. They’re most commonly found as crackers to build gingerbread houses during the holidays, but a recent surge in gingerbread-flavored products is making the spicy cake trendy again. We’re pretty happy about that, especially after eating these Gingerbread Scones.
A Healthier Glaze
Almost all good scones are topped with a sugary glaze. It’s usually sinfully sweet because it’s little more than powdered sugar and milk. We wanted to capture the spirit of the glaze without putting anyone into a diabetic shock. Luckily, Greek yogurt makes a perfect substitute!
By the time you whip the tangy yogurt together with the maple syrup and vanilla extract, it will be completely transformed. No one will know it used to be yogurt. If you have a hard time finding plain Greek yogurt, feel free to swap-in one of the flavored varieties. Try to find neutral flavors that will go well with the Gingerbread Scone, though, like vanilla, honey, or coconut flavors.
Yield: 8 Scones | Servings Size: 1 Scone | Calories: 259 | Total Fat: 8 g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Carbohydrates: 43 g | Fiber 3 g | Sugar: 21 g | Protein: 7 g | Cholesterol: 20 mg | Sodium: 163 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 11
- 2-3 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup black strap molasses (optional, sorghum molasses)
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon plain nonfat Greek yogurt, divided
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, coconut sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Note: add 2 cups floor, then add a little at a time until it makes a cookie dough like consistency.
- Grate the butter on a box grater and mix it into the flour with your hands until the mixture resembles lumpy, wet sand.
- Gently mix in the molasses, 1/2 cup of the yogurt, and milk. Once the mixture comes together, turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and gently knead it using your hands until a dough comes together.
- Form the dough into a large circle about 1-inch deep. Cut the circle into 8 equal slices.
- Place the slices on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned on the outside. A toothpick inserted into the center of the scone should come out clean.
- Meanwhile, make the drizzle by whisking together the remaining tablespoon of Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag.
- Allow the scones to cool for 10 minutes before drizzling the glaze over the scones.
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