Vanilla Bean "Scones"

I love The Pioneer Woman.  She's a hoot and her food always looks delicious.  However, I do have a bone to pick with her.  She posted this recipe for Petite Vanilla Bean Scones (based, I know now, on the ones from Starbucks).  I should have known: the recipe calls for glazing them.  But she has never led me astray before so I made them.  Let me tell you though, these are not scones.  They may be perfectly delicious but not scones.  Scones are light, not too sweet, fluffy, buttery and served with jam at tea.  So go ahead and make them and enjoy them, but don't call them scones.

I left off the glaze because scones aren't supposed to be glazed but I'm including it here because they aren't really scones and I think they would taste better with it as I found them a little dry.  Okay, I'm done with my rant.  But I don't blame Ree, because really I love her; I blame Starbucks and the terrible dry, sweet, crumbling monstrosities they call scones.  Alright, I'm really done now.
I got some really excellent presents this year for Christmas.  My mom gets really into holidays.  But I think the best one is a set of these beautiful dessert dishes that used to belong to my great-grandmother.  Once I find a recipe that will do them justice I will post pictures of them.
My great-grandmother was a wonderful baker.  It is her stuffing recipe that we make and devour every year.  I'm really excited about these dishes.  Anyway, my aunt who gave me the dishes also sent me a couple of recipes and some vanilla beans to get inspired for cooking.  I've never used real vanilla beans before so I decided to make these "scones".
I know I am often lazy about how I combine ingredients.  I don't like to mix the dry ingredients separately, mostly because it gets another bowl dirty.  However, with scones (and yes, even "scones") it is important to mix the flour and sugar and everything together first and then cut in the butter and then add the liquids and only mix it a little.  You want the butter to melt only once it gets in the oven.  That is what makes scones so light and flaky and buttery.
I loved using an actual vanilla bean.  I think that the little black flecks of real vanilla are so pretty in the scones.  Plus it isn't that much added work to use them.  I think really getting enjoyment out of baking is those little touches, the real vanilla beans, the garnishes etc.  I mean, it is important to make the thing taste good first (for example, try not to mix up tsp and tbsp when measuring salt, which I've totally done) but after that it's all about adding a little flare.

Vanilla Bean "Scones"

3 cups All-purpose Flour
2/3 cups Sugar
5 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoons Salt
2 sticks (1/2 Pound) UNSALTED Butter, Chilled
1 whole Large Egg
3/4 cups Heavy Cream (more If Needed)
2 whole Vanilla Beans
3 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
1/2 cups Whole Milk
1 whole Vanilla Bean
Dash Of Salt

1. Make scones: Split the vanilla beans down the middle lengthwise and scrape out the inside.  Stir vanilla into cream and set aside for 15 minutes.
2. Stir together flour, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut cold butter into pats, then use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles crumbs.
3. Mix vanilla cream with egg, then combine with flour mixture; stir gently with a fork just until it comes together.
4. Split dough into four sections.  Press one section into a ball and then on a lightly floured surface flatten into a round, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick.  It will be slightly thicker in the middle.  Cut into quarters.
5. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a 350F degree oven for 18 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.
6. Make vanilla glaze: Split one vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the insides, then stir into the milk; allow to sit for awhile. Mix powdered sugar with the vanilla milk, adding more powdered sugar or milk if necessary to get the consistency the right thickness. Stir or whisk until completely smooth.
7. One at a time, carefully dunk each cooled scone in the glaze, turning it over if necessary. Transfer to parchment paper or the cooling rack. Allow the glaze to set completely, about an hour. Scones will keep several days if glazed.

From The Pioneer Woman

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  1. I was given scones for my birthday from my English boss. They are pronounced "scahnes" and are delicious.

  2. So many things pass for scones. You really do have to hold your ground.