Peppermint Latte Scones

In my last post, I shared 12 recipes with you from across the blogosphere for holiday small-bites.  

You know, like hors d'oeuvres and tiny desserts and stuff?  Perfect for parties where you want to eat some of everything.  And you probably usually end up breaking cookies in half and leaving the other half conspicuously on a plate somewhere (while you pick at something else)... not pointing fingers, but... you know who you are!

Peppermint Latte Scones are the perfect match for a hot coffee or cocoa - plus they're actually GOOD for you! (Shhh, I won't tell!) #healthyholiday

I called for submissions from my fellow healthy bloggers to be featured in one of the next ELEVEN of the 12 days of Christmas posts >> ch-ch-check it out, why doncha?  Soooo, while I'm waitin' on ya'll to give me some tasty recipes for one of those 11 categories, I baked a few things for you!

Peppermint Latte Scones are the perfect match for a hot coffee or cocoa - plus they're actually GOOD for you! (Shhh, I won't tell!) #holidaybaking
Peppermint Latte Scones are the perfect match for a hot coffee or cocoa - plus they're actually GOOD for you! (Shhh, I won't tell!) #holidayrecipes

This first one you're going to get was an instant hit with my taste-testers.  (Yes - I feed the stuff I make to everyone I can find - and I only accept 100% honest feedback!  Hit me up in the comments if you want in on this gig.)

Peppermint Latte Scones are the perfect match for a hot coffee or cocoa - plus they're actually GOOD for you! (Shhh, I won't tell!) #healthyholiday

These scones are inspired by an all-time favorite latte flavor that appears in coffee-joints throughout the land sometime around the first gust of cool air - as if to inspire thoughts of the forthcoming winter and Christmas-shopping.

Peppermint Latte Scones are the perfect match for a hot coffee or cocoa - plus they're actually GOOD for you! (Shhh, I won't tell!) #holidayrecipes

The thing about lattes - and coffee in general - is that they are SO much better when paired with pastries.  Like, have you ever been to a coffee shop that didn't serve pastries?  That would be blasphemy!  

Peppermint Latte Scones are the perfect match for a hot coffee or cocoa - plus they're actually GOOD for you! (Shhh, I won't tell!) #healthyholiday

Still, as you can imagine, I never ever buy pastries at the coffee shop.  To save myself the temptation, I researched the calorie and ingredient content of the typical "low-fat" Starbucks item.  Aside from the fact that I (ahem) have access to more freshly made baked goods + higher quality ingredients, you can expect around 400 calories and 30-75 grams of carbs in a single bakery item!  Can you say, "too much sugar"? 

Peppermint Latte Scones are the perfect match for a hot coffee or cocoa - plus they're actually GOOD for you! (Shhh, I won't tell!) #holidaybaking

When you make your own, you know exactly what did - and did not go into your baking.  So it's a lot easier to enjoy a scone with your coffee sans visions of muffin-tops dancing in your head.  Right?

Peppermint Latte Scones are the perfect match for a hot coffee or cocoa - plus they're actually GOOD for you! (Shhh, I won't tell!) #healthyholiday

Speaking of what is going into THESE scones:  The quintessential winter-coffee drink is IN the batter.  There is legitimately coffee and peppermint in the mix.  And it's amazing, in case you hadn't guessed.  A little cocoa powder contributes antioxidants and backs up the coffee flavor, but not so much so that you think it's a mocha instead!  Of course, we are using only 100% whole wheat flour in this recipe, to maximize the healthy afterglow you'll radiate (well, I feel like I do, anyway!) and the coconut oil or grass-fed butter = a healthier fat than you'd find in most bake-shops.  

Peppermint Latte Scones are the perfect match for a hot coffee or cocoa - plus they're actually GOOD for you! (Shhh, I won't tell!) #holidayrecipes

Just for fun, I had to add some peppermint and white chocolate chips to reinforce the "latte" aspect of the scones.  But hey - there's only 2 T. of actual sugar in the mix, so we still don't go overboard.  Besides, who says we couldn't do sugar-free chips?  Still, whatever you do, don't miss out on that glaze.  It doesn't add a significant amount of sugar or calories to each individual scone (about 15 calories apiece) but it makes them glisten like ice and taste like heaven.

Peppermint Latte Scones are the perfect match for a hot coffee or cocoa - plus they're actually GOOD for you! (Shhh, I won't tell!) #healthyholiday

Peppermint Latte Scones 

Ingredients:

3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 T. granulated sugar
1 T. powdered Stevia
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
8 T. cold organic, grass-fed butter chopped into pieces (or solid coconut oil at room temp)
1 c. cold almond milk
3 T. cocoa powder
5 T. instant decaf coffee granules
2 T. coffee liqueur or cold espresso
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1/4 c. white chocolate chips
1/4 c. peppermint-flavored chips
For the glaze:
2 T. coffee (or peppermint) liqueur or cold espresso
1/2 c. powdered sugar (Stevia powder would work, too, if you like the taste)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Spray two baking sheets with oil.

In a food processor (or with a pastry blender) combine flour through butter (or coconut oil) until there are no more chunks of butter left.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well until almost combined.  

The dough will be very thick, so at this point I usually use a stand mixer with the dough hook or my hands to press it together.  You'll want to knead it several times before cutting the dough in half.  Then roll each half out into a 1/2 inch thick circle.  

Cut each circle into 10 even slices and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.

Bake the scones 13-15 minutes on the center rack of the oven, until just baked through.

While the scones are baking, prepare the glaze by whisking together the coffee liqueur or espresso and sugar.  

When the scones are done, transfer them to a wire cooling rack over wax or parchment paper.

Use a pastry brush to glaze each of the [still hot] scones, and allow the glaze to set.  Serve immediately, or wait for the scones to cool to room temperature before storing at room temperature in a sealed container.

Best served with, guess what?  Coffee!  Although a good hot cocoa would do nicely, as well.

Makes 20 scones
Nutritional info per scone: 153 calories; 6 g fat (4 g saturated); 23 g carbs; 3 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 3 g protein