Alice’s Tea Cup Peppermint Stick Scones and Cookbook Giveaway!

Like many others living in the New York area, I love Alice’s Tea Cup. I love their selections of scones and tea, I love the flavorful potato-chicken hash, and the sense of whimsy I feel each time I visit. When I read through Alice’s Tea Cup Cookbook, I was even more charmed to learn that many recipes incorporate tea as key ingredients!

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I shared these peppermint stick scones with my in-laws while visiting Indiana for Christmas. They were the perfect biscuit for the holiday, and I’ll take any excuse to have candy for breakfast. I’d also love to share a copy of this cookbook with one lucky reader! Just leave a comment on this post, telling me your favorite breakfast to share with others. You have until January 9, 2011 at 11:59PM, EST. A winner will be picked at random. One entry per person, and giveaway is limited to US residents only.

*These may look more like doughnut holes than your typical scone because we shaped and baked them in mini-muffin pans. Following the cookbook’s recipe below will give you a classic scone shape.

Peppermint Stick Scones
makes 10-12 scones

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup crushed Brach’s peppermint Star Brites (or similar candy)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream (for brushing)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
3. With clean hands, work the butter into the dry mixture until it is thoroughly incorporated and has the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. Add 3/4 cup of the crushed peppermint candy and combine well, so that it is evenly distributed throughout the dry mixture.
4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour the buttermilk and vanilla extract into the well. Combine the ingredients until all the dry mixture is wet, but do not knead!
5. Turn the mixture onto a floured surface and gather the dough together. Gently pat the dough to make a rectangle about 1 1/2 inches thick. Using a dough cutter, cut the scones into wedges measuring about 3 1/2 x 4 inches, and lay them on a nonstick baking sheet. Gather the remaining dough together lightly to cut out more scones – just don’t knead the dough too much.
6. Brush the top of each scone liberally with heavy cream, and sprinkle them with the remaining 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy.
7. Bake the scones for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.

FTC Disclaimer: I received free copies of Alice’s Tea Cup Cookbook to review/giveaway from HarperCollins Publishers.