Christmas scones – brandy scones with mincemeat and marzipan. A festive twist on a classic afternoon tea treat.
It’s Jon’s birthday in December and he usually likes to have a festive afternoon tea to celebrate. When I ask him what he wants to eat he always lists the traditional afternoon tea treats (scones, sandwiches and indulgent cakes) but then wants Christmas goodies such as mince pies and stollen too. We either end up with a table groaning with food, or he doesn’t get everything he’s asked for, which just isn’t right on his birthday.
In an attempt to fulfil all of his birthday afternoon tea criteria without getting carried away, I decided to combine some of his favourite festive flavours into an afternoon tea classic – the scone.
To make these scones all christmassy, I replaced some of the milk with brandy and mixed in some mincemeat and balls of marzipan. The marzipan melts during cooking and goes a bit gooey – really delicious if you eat them warm from the oven. However, the oozing marzipan can make them look a little uneven so if you like your scones neat and round, leave out the marzipan and add a slither in the middle of your scone when you’re eating instead.
- Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet with butter (or alternatively, I use a bake-o-glide sheet and greasing isn’t necessary).
- Put the self-raising flour (250g) into a large bowl. Cut the butter (50g) into cubes and add it to the flour.
- Gently rub the butter into the flour until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs.
- Cut the marzipan (50g) into small cubes.
- Add the caster sugar (30g), baking powder (½ tsp), salt (¼ tsp), marzipan, mincemeat (100g) to the flour and butter. Give it a quick stir to ensure that all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Make a well in the centre and add the full-fat milk (85ml) and brandy (50ml). I like to keep a tablespoon or two of milk back to add at the end to help collect up any stray bits of flour.
- With as little action as possible, mix the milk and brandy into the dry ingredients using your hands until the mixture has come together. If there’s any flour left at the bottom then add a touch more milk to help collect it up.
- Sprinkle a dusting of flour onto your work surface. Place the dough onto the floured surface and pat it flat, about 1½ inches thick (don’t use a rolling pin).
- Using a round cutter (I used a 6cm diameter cutter to make 9 small scones), press into the dough and carefully lift out the scone and place it onto your baking sheet. Cut as many scones as you can, ball up the remaining dough, pat flat and repeat cutting out more scones until all of your dough has been used.
- Brush a little milk onto the top of each scone.
- Place into the oven and cook for 12-15 minutes until they are cooked (I like to tap on the bottom to see if they sound hollow, as you would do with bread).
- Once cooked, remove them from the oven and place onto a wire rack to cool (or eat them while they’re still warm!).
- Large bowl
- Weighing scales
- Measuring spoons or teaspoon
- Measuring jug
- Round cutter – mine was 6cm diameter
- Baking tray (+bake-o-glide sheet or similar – optional)
- Cooling rack
Free From/Suitable For…
The ingredients I used to make this recipe are all free from the following allergens. However, please check any labels carefully for allergens you need to avoid as brands can vary and product recipes can change over time.
- Suitable for Vegetarians
- Peanut-Free (Contains almonds in the marzipan. The mincement is also likely to contain tree nuts)