I feel like scones are such happy food, don’t you think? I mean, how can you picture yourself sitting down in the morning with a fresh scone on your plate and a cup of coffee at your side and not feel happy? I dare you to try, really; it just can’t happen.
Now, there’s clearly a time and place for your more sophisticated scones – the ones with intense flavor combinations or fancy ingredients like dates and what not – but then there are times when classics need to make a comeback. And really, sometimes the best test of a good recipe is when it takes a simple ingredient that usually plays a background role (like vanilla) and gives it the leading role without leaving you wanting more. That’s exactly what happens here: there’s vanilla, vanilla, and (yup!) more vanilla, and it makes some of the best scones I’ve ever had. ← And I should note that this statement was widely agreed upon around here, aka I’m not making this stuff up. ;)
I love using vanilla to the max when it comes to these kinds of recipes, so this is the time when you pull out the vanilla beans, vanilla extract, AND vanilla sugar (if you have it) – no skimping. They bake up with slightly crisp edges but stay super-tender, light, and fluffy on the inside, and then you drizzle this sweet, creamy vanilla bean glaze allllll over so the edges soften up just a bit and the flavors elevate to the next level. And right there ➝ INSTANT transportation into a little slice of vanilla heaven. ♡
Pure vanilla flavor shines through in these simple scones with slightly crisp edges and a tender crumb, topped with a sweet and creamy vanilla bean glaze.
- 1 lb 3/18 ounces (4 1/2 cups, spoon and level) all-purpose flour
- 4 5/8 ounces (2/3 cup) vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 vanilla beans, split and scraped
- 5 ounces (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, frozen and cubed
- 8 1/4 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream
- 4 1/4 ounces (1/2 cup) buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) salted butter, melted
- 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 2 - 3 1/8 ounces (4-6 tablespoons) heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and vanilla bean. Add butter and cut in with a pastry cutter until all pieces are about pea-sized or smaller. Add cream, buttermilk, and vanilla and fold in as best as possible. Use hands to finish kneading dough together (this will take some time as the dough will seem too dry at first. However, a bit more liquid can be added if absolutely needed. Be cautious not to overwork dough.)
- Divide dough in half and flatten each half into a round disc about 3/4" thick on the prepared baking sheet. Freeze for at least an hour before baking.*
- Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a second baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a knife or pastry bench to cut each round of dough into 8 scones. Spread apart on the two prepared baking sheets and bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping and rotating trays halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into the center of scones comes out clean. Cool completely before glazing.
- Add powdered sugar and vanilla bean to melted butter and whisk together until as smooth as possible. Add 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream and vanilla extract and whisk in. Add the remaining 1 1/8 ounces (2 tablespoons) cream as needed until glaze is smooth and thick but drizzleable.
- Spoon glaze over each scone, letting it drip down sides. Serve immediatley or let glaze set a bit more before serving (glaze will not set completely hard).
- Scones are best eaten freshly baked (see notes), but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
*Scone dough can also be kept in the freezer to bake at a later time. In this case, slice after 1 hour and return to freezer until firm. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze until ready to bake. Remove scones from freezer while oven is preheating. Baking time may be longer; scones are done when a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.