Baked Sunday Mornings: Chinese Five Spice Sesame Scones

This week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe, in honor of the Lunar New Year, is Chinese Five Spice Sesame Scones. Even though we keep Chinese Five Spice in our pantry, I have never used it before and I wasn't sure how it would taste in scones -- it didn't seem very appealing, though.

The recipe is straightforward. You mix together all of the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, five spice powder, salt, and cooled toasted sesame seeds); cut in cold butter; and incorporate buttermilk and an egg yolk. The recipe says it makes eight scones but I made twelve slightly smaller ones instead; I shaped the dough into two disks and cut each one into six wedges. I brushed each scone with buttermilk and sprinkled them with demerara sugar before baking.
I was impressed that the scones held their shape perfectly in the oven, even though I didn't chill or freeze them beforehand. The baking scones filled my kitchen with an earthy, cinnamon aroma that could easily have been mistaken for oatmeal cookies. And when I tasted a scone, the hearty texture and warm spice still reminded me of an oatmeal cookie, despite the lack oatmeal.

I liked these scones quite a bit. The Chinese five spice I used is from Penzey's and contains a mix of cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, ginger, and cloves. It gave the scones a pleasantly warm and mild flavor. The scone was a bit dry -- I like scones to be crumbly, but in the sense that they should be so tender that you can break off a bit at the slightest touch. These scones were crumbly in the sense that they created a ton of crumbs and made a huge mess while you ate one. My favorite part was the interesting texture from the sesame seeds.

I have a made a lot of different types of scones and I can't say that these are on the top of my favorites list -- but they were a tasty surprise that exceeded my expectations.

Recipe: "Chinese Five Spice Sesame Scones" from Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

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Unknown said…
I also was pleasantly surprised at the taste! They look great!
Robyn said…
I just couldn't bring myself to make these...the five-spice powder was too strong for me! Yours look perfect!
Unknown said…
So cute-- I love your petite scones! Yes, they certainly are interesting. I ate mine with peanut butter, and they were SO good. This also helped to keep the crumbs together a bit.
Anonymous said…
Five-spice is usually an ingredient in prune mui (love it!), so I have some in my spice drawer; but mine might be too old? The scones you made look delicious, so it might be worth it to buy another package of the spice on my trip into Chinatown this week. Happy Chinese New Year! Raylene