Thursday, February 20, 2014

Vanilla Scones with a Vanilla Bean Glaze

I love scones for multiple reasons. First of all, they're just such a fun shape. I mean think about it... I can name multiple baked items that are circular or square, but I can't name many other ones that are triangular. Secondly, they're so versatile. You can make them savory or sweet, fruity or cinnamony (that's a word, right?). There are just no limits! And lastly, there is not one time of day that you can't find a good reason to eat a scone. You can eat them for breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, supper, dessert, and even for a midnight snack. You can't say the same for cupcakes, can you? Well, I suppose you technically could but we'll save that debate for another post...  But for now I'll give you one of my favorite scone recipes. These are sweet enough to be a nice dessert but not too sweet to eat for breakfast.

Vanilla scone:

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. soda
1/2 chilled butter
1/2 cold, plain yogurt
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a medium size bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the cold butter until the butter is in pea-size pieces. (If you don't have a pastry blender you can also you use your fingers or a fork to work in the butter. Just make sure the butter ends up in pieces and not as a paste.) Next, whisk together the yogurt, egg, and vanilla extract in a small bowl and add it to the flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Don't over mix or the scones will be tough! Place the bowl of dough in the freezer for about 5 minutes. This will help make them extra light and fluffy. Turn the chilled dough out onto a floured surface and form it into two, 6" rounds and cut each round into 8 wedges. Place the wedges onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until they are lightly golden on the bottom. Transfer them to a cooling rack and let them come to at least room temperature.

In the mean time, go ahead and make the glaze!

Vanilla bean glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tbs. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 fresh vanilla bean

In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Next, using the point of a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthways down the center and scrape the seeds into the glaze. Stir well and put a spoon full of the glaze on top of each baked and cooled scone and just watch it drizzle down the sides as you try to convince yourself to not eat all of them in one sitting... good luck!

These are super tasty when warmed up a bit and pared with a cup of tea, coffee, or milk!