Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Vanilla Scones

I have been intrigued by the new mini-vanilla scones at Starbucks for a while now, but I've never actually ordered one to try it. I think I mostly like the cute size of them, and of course the idea of really small vanilla scone completely dipped in vanilla glaze.

I decided to make my own version of them tonight, but quickly ran into a problem when I realized I didn't actually have a recipe for a plain vanilla scone, and a search online didn't turn up much. When I was flipping through my cookbooks though, I noticed that the Cinnamon Bun Scones in my Passion for Baking book were actually very basic, and I decided to adapt that recipe for my purposes.

The next problem I ran into was that I used all White Lilly Flour, which is normally great, but I ended up with extremely flat scones. Okay, one pan of them was really flat, and the other pan was pretty good. But the flat set was so incredibly soft that it was actually kind of hard to just pick one up -- you had to basically break it up into pieces to eat it. Not the end of the world of course, especially since most people think that scones are tough and hard -- but not quite what I was looking for either. The next time I make scones I will definitely use half White Lilly, and half regular flour to get a bit more structure to them.

My other problem was that I was being lazy and ended up making the scones much bigger than I intended to (bigger scones = fewer trips to the oven, and fewer pans to wash...) So much for my super cute itty-bitty scones. *shrug* Once I tasted the scones I also realized that a powdered sugar glaze would be complete overkill since they were quite sweet and the vanilla flavor was good just the way it was. (actually, those who aren't huge fans of vanilla or super-sweet things probably won't like these much.)

So, the only change I actually made to the recipe was to increase the vanilla flavor to 1 tablespoon instead of 2 teaspoons and I used vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract. That was it. Other than that, the ingredients are exactly the way it was in the book -- minus the cinnamon glaze that the book used. I did change up the way I mixed the ingredients though so the recipe instructions below are the way I do them and think about them and NOT what was in the book. (just in case someone wants to complain to the author for lousy directions -- those are my lousy directions, not the pros...)

adapted from A Passion For Baking
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsps vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silmats.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your fingers -- cut butter into flour mixture until you get a coarse, grainy mixture. (or use a food processor)

In another bowl mix the vanilla, eggs, and heavy cream until blended. Add that to the dry mixture and stir to combine.

Use an icecream scoop to portion out the dough, and bake until they are puffy and golden brown -- 15 minutes for bigger scones, 10 minutes or less for small, baby scones.

Remove from oven and cool.


burkie said...

these were really really vanilla-y and really sweet. a little bit too sweet for me, really, though i really like vanilla. it leaned a bit more toward a cookie than most scones, not only because of the sweetness, but it was also cookie-soft. when i ate mine, i was thinking i'd rather be drinking tea with it than coffee.

Mira said...

so... i can use vanilla extract instead of paste, right? cuz i have no idea where to get this vanilla paste, but i do have extract in my cupboard. which totally means all i need is heavy cream and i can attempt this too! :)

i really loved the sweet and the vanilla. yummmm. :)

i'm also guessing the 3/4 tsp alt = salt?

have a great weekend!!

biscuitpusher said...

Extract should be fine, although you won't get the little flecks of vanilla that these scones had. I got my paste at Le Chef Gourmet -- not something you'll find on every store's shelves, plus it's fairly expensive. Also remember that the flour you use will make a bit of a difference in the texture. If you liked them really soft, consider using half cake flour and half all purpose...