Vanilla Bean Scones

Happy Monday everyone! I've been a little preoccupied the last few days with a teething baby.  Doing anything productive in my kitchen has been a challenge but I thought I'd roll this yummy recipe out for you today while the kiddos nap. I made a double batch of these (32) last week to take to my Moms Group and there were none left by the end of the morning, so I'm taking that as a good sign!

These vanilla bean scones follow a super simple recipe, but they've been taken to the next level by real vanilla bean. Seriously, these will make your kitchen smell like vanilla for days. They're so good!
I learned how to make scones by following Anna Olson's scone recipes and methods, and the basic ratios for these scones are from her recipe that you can find here.

You'll need:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg
A few drops of vanilla extract

1 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 tbsp milk
1 vanilla bean
A few drops of vanilla extract

To make:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Start by sifting the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a clean, dry bowl using a sieve or sifter. Tap the sieve against the palm of your hand until all the dry ingredients have passed through it and you're left with the lumps. Push the lumps through the sieve with your finger tips.

Next, slice a vanilla bean down the centre lengthwise using a paring knife.

Open it up and scrape out as many of the teeny tiny vanilla bean seeds as you can using the back edge of your knife.

 Even after you've scraped out all the vanilla seeds you can, don't throw away the rest of the bean! Pit it back in its container or in an airtight bag and reserve it for another recipe that requires you to simmer a vanilla bean (ex: homemade pudding or custard), use it in tea or even a homemade latte or steamer.

Add the vanilla bean seeds to the flour mixture and blend in using a whisk. Try your best to break up the clumps of vanilla bean seeds, but if there are a few tiny clumps left that's ok. The vanilla bean seeds will probably disappear into the flour mixture, but don't worry. They'll become visible again once the wet ingredients are added.

In a liquid measuring cup, measure the milk and add the egg. Add a few drops of vanilla extract. Whisk together using a fork and set aside.

The next few steps should be done quickly, as you're working with cold butter and you want the butter to be as cold as possible when it hits the heat of the oven. This will result in a flaky scone, rather than a heavy and dense one.

Cut up your butter, right from the fridge, into little pieces and dump it into the flour mixture.


Using your hands (wash them well first and remove any rings), pick up handfuls of the butter and flour mixture, rubbing the pieces of butter and the flour between the heels of your hands to create "sheets" of butter. You should act quickly here, and don't allow the pieces of butter to sit in your hands for any length of time as the heat from your hands will cause it to soften. The goal is to create paper-thin pieces of butter, small and large throughout the mixture. Once there are no thick chunks of butter remaining, remove your hands from the mixture. Hands equal heat, so handle the mixture as little as possible.

Once the butter has been incorporated, pour in the wet ingredients and mix roughly with a fork. Do not over mix, or the result will be heavy and dense. Once the wet ingredients have been incorporated but there are still several streaks of flour, turn the dough out onto a clean and floured counter surface. Press the dough down into the counter and then fold one half over the other half like you are folding a piece of paper. Press down again and make another fold. Repeat this 2 or 3 more times, gathering any outlying dough bits and flour into your folds. Don't knead the dough like you would if you were making bread, and don't stir or mix the dough like you would if you were making muffins. Scones are technically a pastry, so the goal is flaky layers that are created by the thin sheets of butter and all the folding.

Once your dough is formed after folding several times, cut it into two equal pieces and shape each piece into a circle.

Again, be careful not to handle the dough too much, so a few little cracks here and there are fine.

Cut each circle into eight triangles.

Check out those layers...

Arrange the 16 triangles on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 16 minutes. I usually set the timer and start watching them after about 12 minutes. You want them to stay nice and white and not get too brown, especially on the narrow end of the triangle.

The photo above should give you an idea of the colour you're looking for.

Remove them from the oven when they're done and let them cool for 3-5 minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once they're completely cooled, start making your glaze:

Measure your icing sugar into a bowl and add the seeds from another vanilla bean, using the same method you used to add the vanilla bean to the dry ingredients for the scones (using the back of your knife and a wire whisk). Add a few drops of vanilla extract to the icing sugar vanilla bean mixture, and then slowly add the milk, 1-2 tsp at a time, whisking constantly. You may need to add a little more or a little less that 1 1/2 tbsp, depending on the consistency of the mixture.

It's ideal if the icing isn't too thin and drippy and ends up running down the sides of the scones.
If you think you've got the right consistency of the icing, test it by dipping the back of a spoon into the icing and turning it over. This will give you an idea of how the icing will perform once you ice the scones.

Once you have the right consistency, dip the top of each scone in the icing and place it onto a wire rack. Let the icing set for about an hour before storing the scones in an airtight container.

Enjoy a scone with some afternoon tea!

See all those flecks of vanilla bean?? Yum!

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

This recipe makes 16 petite scones and each scone is about 5 WW PointsPlus.

What's your favourite recipe using real vanilla beans?

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