Imagine a warm and cinnamon-y bakery treat that wasn't sticky and oozing sugar. I found one at a San Francisco coffee shop: a cinnamon biscuit. Imagine something like a scone, but not as dry, with crispy cinnamon sugar crystals on the edge and a teaspoon of icing drizzled on top.
Here's the recipe for my replica.
2 cups well sifted all-purpose flour (next time, I'll measure it in grams), plus more for dustingPreheat the oven to 425 F.
3 tablespoons white granulated sugar, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, diced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons milk, divided
1/2 confectioner's sugar (you might need more)
In a large bowl, sift or whisk together 2 cups flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the butter until you have small bits of butter throughout. It should not be a smooth mixture. You want little lumps of butter. If you literally dice the butter first, you'll have to barely work it in at all.
Stick the bowl into the refrigerator or freezer while you proceed so that the flour mixture stays very cold.
Make a runny paste with the 1 remaining tablespoon sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract, adding a teaspoon or two of water to adjust the consistency. You'll be spreading this paste onto the dough to try and leave sweet cinnamon streaks throughout the biscuits.
Bring the cold bowl back to your work area and make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour in the sour cream and 2 tablespoons of milk. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined and sticky.
Flour your work surface, dump out the dough, and pat it into a flat slab. Apply the cinnamon paste in one long streak across the center. Dust your hands in flour, and knead the dough a few times, just until streaks of cinnamon form.
Flatten the dough to about an inch and a half or two inches thick, and cut out 9 round biscuits. Place onto a cookie sheet (no grease, no paper necessary unless you don't want to have to wash the cookie sheet later), and pop them into the oven on the upper rack. If you have a convection oven, turn on the fan. Bake for about 8 to 11 minutes. The edges may burn quickly. Cool for 30 minutes.
Make the icing by combining the rest of the milk with the confectioner's sugar using a small whisk. Drizzle a small amount of icing onto each bisuit. Note that if you ice the biscuits while they're warm, the icing will melt and you won't be able to see or taste it very well.