Vanilla. It can really be an overlooked flavor, don’t you think? Sure, we use vanilla extract in almost everything we bake – but it often plays more of a supporting role. And sure, rich and interesting flavor combinations, like chocolate biscoff crunch, lemon blueberry and strawberry balsamic are awesome and lots of fun. But sometimes it’s nice to give vanilla – especially good quality vanilla, complete with vanilla beans – the starring role that it deserves. Growing up, I always picked vanilla over chocolate, and when it comes to cake and ice cream, for the most part I still do. That’s why when I saw these scones over at Annie’s Eats, I got up from the computer right then, headed into the kitchen and whipped up a batch for breakfast (sometimes getting up hours before Daren does pays off in unconstrained baking time:) ). I was amazed at how fast these came together; seriously, from the time I got up from the computer to the time they came out of the oven was only about 30 minutes. As much as I love scones, I always forget how easy they really are to make. And the triple vanilla flavor really came through. These were honestly way better than I had even hoped – I thought they’d be a nice, pleasant breakfast, but they were seriously delicious! Daren came downstairs right as I was topping them with glaze (nice timing, huh?) and went back for seconds, so I have a feeling we’ll be seeing these around here again!
For the scones:
- 2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons vanilla sugar*
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/3 cup milk (reduced fat worked fine for us)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup low fat plain greek yogurt (fat free worked fine for us)
For the glaze:
- 1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 4-5 teaspoons milk
*I happen to always have vanilla sugar on hand – we like to use it in our coffee To make vanilla sugar, split a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into 1 cup of sugar. Rub the vanilla seeds into the sugar with your fingertips until well combined and fragrant. Bury the vanilla bean pod in the sugar. Cover and let stand at least 2 days to fully infuse the sugar with the vanilla flavor. I store mine in a mason jar right on the counter next to the coffee maker!
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, vanilla sugar, baking powder and salt; whisk to blend. Add the butter to the bowl, then using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the largest pieces are about the size of peas. Gently stir in the milk, vanilla extract and yogurt until a sticky dough forms (there may still be some loose flower). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly with your hands to incorporate any excess flour.
Gently pat the dough out into an approximately 7-8 inch square. Fold the dough over into thirds, like a business letter. Pat the dough back out into a 5 x 10-inch rectangle. Using a lightly floured large knife or sharp bench scraper, slice the rectangle in half lengthwise. Cut each half into 5 equal rectangles, making 10 scones total. At this point, any scones you don’t plan to eat right away can be frozen, and later baked right from frozen – just add a few minutes onto the baking time.
Transfer the scones to a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Bake, rotating halfway through the baking time, until lightly browned on top and just set, about 12-14 minutes total.
While the scones are still warm, make the glaze. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean in a small bowl. Stir in the milk a teaspoon at a time until a glaze forms that is thick, but pourable. Drizzle the glaze over the warm scones and let set a few minutes before serving.
Yield: 10 scones
Source: Annie’s Eats