Vanilla Bean Scones

Vanilla Bean Scones 3 Vanilla Bean Scones

I realize I’m a little scone-crazy around here. There are worse things to be. Boy band crazy, maybe.

Vanilla Bean Scones 1 Vanilla Bean Scones

Having spent the past two mornings in Edmonton in a very family-friendly hotel with fun pools and a spread of all-you-can-eat beige in the morning, including DIY waffles and those long tubes of Froot Loops you crank out into styrofoam bowls, it made me appreciate how much I value my carb calories – that is, if I’m going to eat a giant wodge of bread or a bagel or cinnamon bun, it had better be great. The coffee too, while I’m at it. Perhaps I’m turning into a breakfast snob.

Vanilla Bean Scones 4 Vanilla Bean Scones

All-you-can-eat scones are easy enough to make happen at home, so long as you have flour and butter and milk (or even sour cream or yogurt) in the house. These also call for an egg, making them richer than your standard biscuit, and vanilla beans just because I was in the mood – there’s no need to rush out and buy one, but if you, like me, hoard your beans, saving them for something special, and then find them a year later in the back of the cupboard, dried out and only good for tucking into a jar of vanilla sugar, here’s a good reason to use one. It’s a satisfying use of a dollar or two to split one with the tip of a knife and scrape out the seeds into your scone dough. Or use vanilla bean paste, which at around $12 a jar is a totally affordable alternative; cheaper than pure vanilla extracts can be, and you get all those bitty black seeds you can see in the drizzle. It doesn’t take much – a jar will last.

vanilla bean scone Collage Vanilla Bean Scones

I like to pat the dough into a circle right on the baking sheet, then cut it into wedges and pull them apart. No re-rolling of scraps, no wiping down of counters.

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These are good, basic scones you can add berries or dried fruit or nuts or chocolate to, and there’s no reason you have to drizzle a thin, vanilla-scented icing overtop, except that it takes a minute to stir together and is oh-so-satisfying to dribble back and forth overtop. It dresses them up nice. So I suppose the motivation might be similar to that which inspires one to accessorize an outfit.

Vanilla Bean Scones 5 Vanilla Bean Scones

And if you happen to have a little leftover icing from a cake or cupcakes – I always wind up with a small dish of it, not enough to frost anything with – thin it with a little milk, add a drip of vanilla bean paste and dribble it over your warm scones with a fork.

Vanilla Bean Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
3/4 cup buttermilk (or plain yogurt, thinned with milk)
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla or vanilla bean paste
extra milk or cream, for brushing (optional)
coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Vanilla glaze:
1 cup icing sugar
1 Tbsp. milk or cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla or vanilla bean paste

Preheat oven to 400F. In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the butter and blend it with a fork, whisk, pastry blender or your fingers (or do it all in the food processor, if you have one), leaving some lumps no bigger than a pea.

In a small bowl, stir the buttermilk, egg and vanilla together with a fork. Add to the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Pat the dough out about an inch thick on a parchment-lined sheet and cut into rounds or wedges; brush with milk or cream and/or sprinkle with sugar. Pull them apart, leaving at least an inch between them, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden.

To make the glaze, whisk together the icing sugar, milk and vanilla; drizzle it over the scones while they’re still warm. Makes about 8 scones.

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February 23 2013 06:56 pm | bread and breakfast

18 Responses to “Vanilla Bean Scones”

  1. Cheryl F. on 23 Feb 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    Hey, I like both scones and boy bands!

  2. CarrieM on 23 Feb 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    Julie where did you get the paste?

  3. Carol S-B on 24 Feb 2013 at 7:35 am #

    Carrie, I wanted to ask the same thing.
    Ha ha! Oh, how you make my day with your writing, Julie. “a spread of all-you-can-eat beige in the morning…” that’s EXACTLY how I feel about those “included” hotel breakfasts. I try to eat real at them and it’s darned near hopeless.
    Sometimes they have *very* hard-boiled eggs. I want the protein, but… oh, my.
    Usually, for me, it’s a piece of w/wheat tost, little peanut butter, and an orange if they have them. I am grateful for the food: I realize it’s not easy to please everyone, keep it stocked, clean, and moving along.
    But I so much prefer *your* all- you- can- eat idea! especially so beautifully accessorized with drizzled icing.

  4. Julie on 24 Feb 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Carrie – I get mine at the Cookbook Company, but it’s fairly easy to find – in fact I’ve seen it often in the baking section at HomeSense and Winners!

  5. stacey snacks on 24 Feb 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    Julie,
    Just made these, using Dannon lowfat yogurt.
    They came out light and gorgeous! Best scones we ever ate, hands down.
    I added lemon zest to the mix, and lemon juice to the vanilla icing!

    Fantastic!
    Stacey Snacks

  6. Cory Lievers on 24 Feb 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    *drool*

  7. Cheryl on 25 Feb 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    So what’s the difference between a biscuit and a scone? Richer, more sugar? I just made my stand-by baking powder biscuits and realized how similar the recipe is to this.

  8. Julie on 25 Feb 2013 at 10:54 pm #

    Yep, they’re pretty similar, and you nailed it – scones are typically made with an egg and more sugar. A little richer, sweeter and denser than a biscuit.

  9. Annie on 26 Feb 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Williams Sonoma also carries the vanilla bean paste.

  10. LeanneS on 26 Feb 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    I really enjoy your writing Julie. And you do inspire me to cook and bake more than just the same old standbys. Keep up the great job.

  11. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe on 28 Feb 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    How did I not know that you’re a fellow Alberta gal? (I’m from Edmonton)
    PS. These look fabulous. Nothing beats a good scone, in my opinion.

  12. Laura on 01 Mar 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    Love these. Starbucks has mini ones and every time I see them I am so sad because of course they sound wonderful but old scones are, well, old scones. So clearly I should just make these next time the craving hits!

  13. Marjie on 02 Mar 2013 at 5:20 am #

    Plz put me in ur email list. Wow. What fab recipes! Live the stories. Thx!!

  14. catherine on 03 Mar 2013 at 11:15 am #

    just made these on this snowy Calgary morning, husband declared them “awesome”!

  15. Kate on 05 Mar 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Oh, my!
    I’ve been looking for a Starbucks knock-off. I have wandered from following your blog of late… thanks for the open-arms welcome back with this recipe :)
    I must have been experiencing amnesia to have stayed away so long. You are hereby bookmarked!

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  17. Torsten on 25 May 2013 at 12:14 pm #

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  18. Lori on 22 Nov 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Was I the only one where the dough was sooooo sticky that I couldn’t pat it, let alone cut it? Maybe 3 cups of flour? Help!!

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