There are a few different snacks my kids lived on when they were little and one of them is scones. For some reason they have always been huge scone fans, and these vanilla glazed scones were their favorite for a long time. My husband also loves scones, so everyone is happy if I make a batch, and they are such a fast and easy thing to make with ingredients everyone has in their house.
Making American style scones that come out light and flaky is a similar technique to making pie crust or biscuits. The butter needs to be cold, and it needs to be worked into the flour carefully to keep it cold and keep some pieces in tact, which helps produce the layers and flakiness when they bake.
You can use vanilla beans, vanilla bean paste, or extract for these. I like a combo of paste and extract, but any of them work. I glaze these with a simple powdered sugar and vanilla glaze. They are buttery, flaky, sweet and vanilla forward. Delicious both as breakfast or a snack, or as a dessert too. You can add in some dried fruit, chocolate chunks, lemon zest, etc to vary the basic recipe too.
Glazed Vanilla Scones
- 3 cups AP flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 5 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter cold and cut into pieces
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup cream plus or minus a bit
- 2 tsp vanilla extract or paste or a vanilla bean
For the glaze:
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup milk or water
- 2 tbsp vanilla bean paste or 2 tsp extract
- Heat oven to 350. If using a vanilla bean split open and scrape seeds into the cream. If using extract or paste, combine it with the cream. Whisk the egg into the cream as well.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Add the butter pieces to this mixture and quickly work the butter into the flour by rubbing the pieces between your fingers with some flour, making sure to only handle the butter briefly so it doesn't warm up and leaving some butter in different size chunks only partially incorporated. You should still see different sized crumbs of butter in the flour. You can also use a pastry cutter for this.
- Drizzle the cream over the flour and using a fork, toss the mixture until it starts to come together. It will be pretty crumbly. Don't attempt to get a smooth mass of dough. Dump the mixture onto a lightly floured counter and roughly press into a rectangle. Using a bench scraper or similar tool, fold over half the dough and press on itself. Do this a few times until you have a rectangular mass of dough. You want it about 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick. If you find your dough is too dry and there is still a ton of loose flour that won't stick, drizzle on a little more cream and repeat but you want to work the dough as little as possible as it will make tougher scones if you work it much.
- Cut the rectangle into 12 smaller rectangles and then cut each in half diagonally to make triangles if you are making mini sized scones (my favorite). If you want regular sized scones, make 6 rectangles and cut diagonally.
- Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes depending on the size/thickness. They should just barely be turning golden on the edges and if you break one open you shouldn't see raw dough. You don't want to overbake them so be careful. After the cool slightly, move to a rack to cool fully and to glaze.
For the glaze:
- Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Drizzle over the scones on a rack so the excess glaze drip off.