When I shared a recipe inspired by Pioneer Woman (my Winter Salad), one of my sweet foodie friends, Jen, from The Three Little Piglets, suggested I try Ree’s Vanilla Bean Scones. I meet up with a wonderful group of women every other Friday morning, so I tested this baked good out on them. These scones stood out since they were dipped in a sweet vanilla glaze after baking…which prevented them from drying out like regular scones. And my friends had nothing but praise for these babies.
Instead of vanilla extract, these scones utilize the seeds or “caviar” from fresh vanilla beans. Look for vanilla pods that are dark, plump and flexible. I buy mine from Penzey’s… and they are SO much fresher than what I find in my local markets. Feel free to substitute a teaspoon of vanilla extract for each bean…noting that the seeds will give a fresher, more pronounced vanilla flavor. While mixing these up, I found the dough to be a little dry, so I added a bit more cream…and I wish I had made my scones a little thicker, but the taste was extraordinary! Lots of vanilla intensity…and moist and delicious. Ree made her mini version into the more traditional triangle shape…and I will try that next.
- 3 cups flour
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 5 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter, cold and cut into pieces
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (I needed a bit more)
- 2 whole vanilla beans
- 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup milk (may add more if you want a thinner icing)
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- Dash of salt
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
- Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out the vanilla seeds. Add to the heavy cream and mix to combine. Let rest while preparing the dry ingredients.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with pastry blender or two knives, until mixture resembles corn meal. Mix egg into vanilla cream, then add to dry ingredients. Gently stir till dough comes together. Add a bit more cream if needed.
- On a lightly floured surface, pat or roll dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle. Using round cookie cutter, cut rounds from dough and place on prepared pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or till golden. Let cool a few minutes on pan, then remove to cooling rack.
- While cooling, make glaze. Scrape seeds of vanilla bean, as directed above, into milk and let sit for a few minutes. Sift powdered sugar into mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Add vanilla milk and whisk till smooth. Dip scones into glaze then let dry on rack.
- Yield varies depending on cookie cutter size.