I’ve mentioned about a million times how we (mostly me) bake muffins or scones or some other breakfast-y foods most mornings, especially during the school year. Oatmeal, hot bran cereal, Cream of Wheat (things we call “Hug in a Bowl” and “Bowl Wheat”) are my go-to fill-ins. Rather than fall into a rut of serving the kids’ favorite baked goods on repeat, I sneak in new baked items on occasion. These nicely spiced breakfast cookies are such an item.
“Cookies” is a term I’m using loosely. The recipe from The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook (1997) called them Spicy Cake Buns. I didn’t want to throw you off with that description. Or, as the recipe reads, “These buns are a cross between scones and muffins but are quicker to make than either one, says Flo Braker.” We are calling them “scuffins” in our house for fun. Scones + Muffins = Scuffins. They ARE a cross between a muffin and a scone, and also kind of a puffy cookie (but without that cookie sweetness).
Use the Table of Contents below to jump to the recipe or stick around for a little chit chat. There are affiliate links below, so any purchase you make through a link results in a small percentage going to me at no extra cost to you.
- Cookbooks Mentioned in this Article
- Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
- The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook
- Digging into The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook (1997)
- Recipe for Puffy Cinnamon and Spice Breakfast Cookies
- Nicely Spiced Breakfast Cookies Recipe
- Cookies for Breakfast
- Related Resources
Cookbooks Mentioned in this Article
Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
Another gloomy day. We have mere days left to our Christmas break. We needed to spice things up. See what I did there? After days of cookies for breakfast, we needed something different so…breakfast cookies! I’m only kind of kidding.
The original recipe calls for raisins. We don’t do that here. I left them out. Sorry, not sorry. Feel free to add them (1/2 cup) if you so desire. The remainder of the recipe I followed to a “T.” These cookies for breakfast perfume the house while baking and give everything that cozy sort of feeling.
We did add a powdered sugar glaze. I don’t think it needs it, but the oldest (who doesn’t crave sweet cookies, cake, etc. like the rest of us) thought it needed one, so he made one. The kids both preferred them with the glaze, while my husband and I liked them either way, but tended to reach for the un-glazed cookies.
Do sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar if you have it before baking (just like you did with my cheery orange muffins). If you use the glaze, sprinkle it on after you’ve glaze the soft and puffy cookies so you can see the shine. The coarse sugar provides a satisfying crunch and a bit of a sparkle all in one go. We fancy.
The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook
I found this Flo Braker recipe in my copy of the The San Francisco Chronicle cookbook edited by Michael Bauer and Fran Irwin. Cookbooks with big compilations of recipes sometimes use a too-small font to fit everything in. Not so with this one. Read recipes without squinting or straining while cursing the cookbook publishers who do such things. In this case, browsing through 350 recipes is pure joy, zero frustration.
Columnists and contributors include Marion Cunningham (or Fanny Farmer fame), Marlena Spieler, Jacqueline McMahan, Georgeanne Brennan, Jane Benet (the late Food Editor of the Chronicle), Bruce Cost, Laxmi Hiremath, and area chefs.
I flipped through my book, finding recipes from Paula Wolfert, Copeland Marks, Niloufer Ichaporia King, Delphine and Diane J. Hirasuna, John Carroll, Jackie Mallorca, Janet Fletcher, Carlo Middione, Jeff Cox, Joanne Weir, Ayla Algar, Maria Cianci, and Carol Field. I’m sure I missed other authors and food writers, but wow. It’s a Who’s Who of California cooking in the 1990s.
Digging into The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook (1997)
Each recipe includes a little intro and, although some are super, ultra brief (as in a sentence long intro), others offer up a brief backstory ingredient substitution, or maybe a “why” of the recipe. Recipes are often given their own page (unless it’s an easy potato side or something similar), while a simple illustration takes up the remainder of the space.
Chapters include: Soups and Salads; Pasta and Grains; Meatless Main Courses; Vegetables; Meats; Poultry; Fish and Shellfish; Breads, Waffles, and Muffins; Salsas, Sauces, and Chutneys; Desserts; Glossary of Ingredients, Mail-Order Sources (this was published in 1997), Contributors’ Notes, Permissions, Index, and Table of Equivalents.
At 424 pages, measuring approximately 8 x 1.5(ish) x 9 inches, it’s a hefty paperback. Zero photos. I’m sorry. But, hey, there are some orangey illustrations to jazz up blank areas, remember? If you like an assortment of recipes, and you want a taste of late 1990s Northern California, you’ll enjoy it. I think it’s worth it for the recipes from big names and chef alone. Mogul Beef Kheema Curry (Makkai Kheema), Rosemary Roast Chicken with Onion-Garlic Gravy, Chicken in Spice-Laden Coconut Sauce, French Toast with Orange and Triple Sec, Lemon Pudding Cake, and Peanut Butter Pound Cake are on my “make NOW” list.
In fact, I have a whole chicken I bought yesterday, I will make the onion-gravy recipe I mentioned above TODAY. I roast a whole chicken at least every other week. It’s cost-effective and so homey, everyone just loves it. Our oldest loves to roast them too, all on his own. I serve it as a whole chicken the first day and then leftover chicken is pulled off and made into chicken salad, some sort of soup or stew, or pasta. I’m making myself hungry just typing all of this. Now to set a timer so I don’t forget to start the chicken early.
While I do that, why don’t you make this? These breakfast cookies are wonderful, much like what I’ve read of The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook itself. Enjoy!
Recipe for Puffy Cinnamon and Spice Breakfast Cookies
Nicely Spiced Breakfast Cookies Recipe
- 2 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening I use half a plain (not butter-flavored) Crisco stick
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Cup Buttermilk I use 1 cup water plus 4 Tablespoons Buttermilk Powder because I can't get full-fat buttermilk where I live (Boo!)
- 1/2 Cup Raisins optional
- Sprinking Coarse Sugar optional
Quick Glaze for a Little Drizzling
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Milk
- 375* oven.
- Place biodegradable parchment paper on large baking sheet. Set aside.
- Combine all the ingredients EXCEPT for brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk to remove lumps.
- Add brown sugar, shortening, egg, and the buttermilk then BEAT with an electric mixer or handheld immersion blender for a minute until smooth.
- Stir in raisins, if using.
- Using a Tablespoon and a half measuring scoop or two large spoons, drop batter onto the parchment-covered baking sheet. Leave room for expansion, so expect to make two batches.
- Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. The tops will spring back if you lightly press them, the bottoms will have a golden brown color, and the breakfast cookies will look like something you want to eat. They will have lost that glossy look.
- Let cool briefly, then glaze if desired. Serve warm.
Make the Glaze
- Combine powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl (a whisk is nice here). Add more milk in scant amounts until the glaze is stiff, yet pourable. You don't want it to run right off your cookies, but you don't want it to be so firm it won't drip off your spoon onto the cookies either. Find a good middle ground.
Cookies for Breakfast
See how simple cookies for breakfast are to bake? I used spoons to make the first few and they turned out fine, though more misshapen and larger than I like. I then grabbed my 1 1/2 Tablespoon dough scoop to make short and sweet work of plopping the batter onto my parchment paper-covered cookie sheets. They turn out roughly the same size, which also happens to be the perfect handful (these puff up and out while baking).
Note: It’s been three days now since I made the soft and puffy breakfast cookies and I am happy to report that the soft breakfast cookies stayed soft. We ate them all the morning of day 3. I stored the cookies in a reusable plastic container. They will be something we make often and are perfect for traveling.
Also, in case you were wondering, the Roast Chicken with the Onion-Garlic Gravy was SO SO GOOD. It’s going in our rotation. Our youngest made it (age 12) with minor supervision. It’s his first roast chicken (I’m so proud). Based on our successes so far, I can’t wait to make more things from The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook. What are you makin’?