Cinnamystery solved

I try not to indulge too often in money-frittering treats. But I have my rituals. If I’m picking up a sister at the airport, I’m always early enough to get coffee and a cinnamon scone at Au Bon Pain. If I want to reward myself, I go to Panera for coffee and a cinnamon scone. In fact, I find it hard to pass up a cinnamon scone whenever I see one and haven’t just eaten a 3-course meal. (Although, Starbucks’ Web site weighs them in at over 500 calories a scone! I’d be better off eating the meal.)

Gluttony aside, for years I’ve wondered just how they get those crunchy cinnamon bits that make the scones so addictive. I started seeing cinnamon chips at the store a couple years ago, but they’re like butterscotch or chocolate chips — melty not crunchy. I tried a recipe for cinnamon muffins that had you make your own crunchy cinnamon-sugar crumbles in the oven, then mix them into the muffin batter and sprinkle them on top. They were good, but time-consuming, and still not the same as my beloved cinnamon scones.

Now I think I’ve found the answer. After googling and finding others with the same question, I hit upon someone who recommended these Cinnamon Flav-R Bites® from King Arthur Flour. I swallowed hard and ordered two bags, figuring the $17.50-including-shipping would still get me a lot more scones than I could get at $2-$2.50 a pop in the coffee shop. (I still can’t believe I spent that much on baking chips, but oh well.)

scone-dough1

I picked a scone recipe off the Internet — praying it would be a true scone (crumbly) and not like the recipe I tried last time that turned out more like triangle-shaped muffins (cakey).

scones

Turns out, it was pretty good — still not as crumbly as I like, but maybe because it doesn’t use a whole cup of butter (2 sticks) like the one recipe I saw and rejected for a slightly less decadent version (using “only” 1 stick, and I used a new Smart Balance butter-blend stick to boot). I guess I’ll have to try the richer one sometime to compare. 

For now, I’m pretty content in my cinnamon-induced haze. I don’t care what the diet gurus advise. You can find happiness in pastry and coffee…at least until your fat pants don’t fit anymore.

We can often endure an extra pound of pain
far more easily than we can suffer the withdrawal
of an ounce of accustomed pleasure. 
                                                         ~Sydney J. Harris

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