A couple weeks ago my friend Kel sent me a link for these scones from The Pioneer Woman Cooks website. She was drooling over them and said we must make them. I had to agree, they looked pretty darn good. Then, a little over a week ago Kel came to my house to catch up on a Beth Moore bible study video we had missed. She mentioned in the e-mail in which she said she was for sure coming that we should most definitely have something scrumptious to eat, like those vanilla scones...hint hint. Sweet friend that she is, offered to make them, although she didn't have vanilla beans but I knew she would be gone all day, and you see, I always have vanilla beans. So I made them, they were so good, almost like a butter cookie in consistency and taste with a glaze that tasted like Breyers vanilla bean ice cream. That being said, they were only delicately sweet. These really would be a good accompaniment to you morning coffee but are equally fit for dessert.
I have to confess, I messed up a bit. I didn't have whole milk on hand for the glaze so I substituted cream. It sounded good, but the consistency was off since cream is thicker and I had to add more and more to get it right. That meant sadly that there wasn't enough powdered sugar to cream in the ratio and so the glaze didn't harden up properly but they still tasted good! The moral of the story is use whole milk people, and you will get it right.
Petite Vanilla Bean Scones
adapted from Ree Drummond via The Pioneer Woman Cooks Website
makes 24 small scones. Serves 12
3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon 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 (note you will need another for the glaze as well)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cups whole milk
1 whole vanilla bean
dash of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Split two vanilla beans down the middle lengthwise and scrape out all of the vanilla beans inside. Stir vanilla beans into the cream and let it set, set aside for 15 minutes so the flavors can intermingle.
Put the flour, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Cut cold butter into pats, then add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbles. Alternately, you can cut the butter in the flour mixture with a pastry cutter.
Mix vanilla cream with egg, then with the food processor running pour the vanilla cream mixture in to combine with the flour mixture until it comes together. (I had to add a bit more cream to get the dough to come together). Alternately, if you have used the pastry cutter method, stir the cream into your flour mixture with a fork, gently, until it comes together.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and lightly press it together until it forms a rough rectangle (mixture might be a bit crumbly) Use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangle about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick. Use your hands to help with the forming if necessary. use a knife to trim into a symmetrical rectangle, then cut the rectangle into 12 symmetrical squares. next , cut each square in half diagonal, to form two triangles.
Transfer to a parchment or baking mat-lined cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes, removing from the oven just before they start to turn golden. Allow to cool for 15 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
To make the icing, split one vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the caviar. Stir caviar into milk; allow to sit for a while. Mix powdered sugar with the vanilla milk, adding more powdered sugar or milk if necessary to get the consistency to the right thickness. It should be thick, but still pour easily. Stir or whisk until completely smooth.
One at a time, carefully dunk each cooled scone in the glaze, turning it over if necessary. that depends on if you want he whole scone coated, front and back or just the top. Transfer to a parchment paper or the cooling rack. Allow the glaze to set completely, about an hour. Scones will keep several days if glazed.
Don't make these scones without the vanilla beans, they just will not be the same. Vanilla beans impart such a lovely, luxurious flavor that you just can't get from the bottled stuff. I know they are expensive, but I usually buy them in bulk. Sure you have to spend more money but you get a ton of vanilla beans, like 25 of them at a fraction of the price, plus they keep forever, literally, if properly stored where no air can get to them. Just google "bulk vanilla beans".
Also, these in my opinion would make a great Christmas cookie since they don't puff up a ton in the oven. Just cut them into rounds with a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter instead of making them into rectangles, glaze the same way and call them a vanilla bean butter cookies. Great idea. And if you make these, I would like to get some too. :)