I'm known around the office to start my day with a bit of "breakfast cake," my term for any manner of easy-to-eat baked goods (see: olive oil cake, pound cake, cinnamon rolls). I pay no mind to the shower of flaky pastry that invariably ends up on my lap when I bite into a particularly shatter-friendly croissant or Kouign Amann. And I've even written before about my affinity for cookies, which reached an all-time high during my pregnancy.
But of all the "breakfast cake" out there, one of the best accompaniments to my morning coffee is a simple, buttery scone. In New York, my favorite can be found at Balthazar Bakery, a tried-and-true go-to for all types of baked goods and viennoiserie, a fancy term that refers to a category of French yeast-leavened pastries made in the Viennese-style, like croissants and brioche. Balthazar's "butter scone" borders on biscuit territory (a near-transgression I happily pardon, for the record), which is to say, it's perfectly buttery, crumbly, and almost exhibits layer-ridden flakiness. The Balthazar scone is a diminutive thing, looking ever so humble, yet packed with a flavor and richness that belies its small size. (Take a look at the cuties here for reference.)