I love to bake.
Truly, I do. There are few things I enjoy more than mixing up butter, sugar and flour to create sweet treats. However, as much as I love to bake it's not something that I need to be doing all the time for just Cam and I. Since we decided to start eating Paleo a few months ago, I've hardly baked at all. Overall, it seems to be having a positive effect on our health, but my Kitchen-Aid mixer was starting to feel a little neglected. Since my parents' visit was a special occasion, I figured I could make an exception. But I couldn't decide what to make...cookies? brownies? muffins? bread? I was torn. In the end, I decided to make a recipe that replicates one of my favorite indulgences...Starbucks Petite Vanilla Bean Scones!
I remember the first time I had one of these scones. It was many years ago, I was in Chicago, and it was raining outside (ok, now I'm getting a little carried away). I decided to get Starbucks and decided to order one of their new adorable little scones. It was literally love at first bite. The scones are moist (I hate dry scones!), sweet, have the perfect vanilla flavor, and I adore how the glaze has little flecks of vanilla bean. They're still my absolute favorite baked good at Starbucks, and I've consumed my share of them over the past few years. I've always wanted to try and make them at home, but never got around to finding a good recipe.
I came across a photo of some vanilla bean scones that looked promising and the link led me to none other then the Pioneer Woman. I absolutely love her, and after reading through her Starbucks scone copy cat recipe, I knew I had to give them a try. The recipe is fairly simple, but does take a little time since you have to make the scones, make the glaze, let them cool, glaze the scones, and let them dry.
But all the effort is worth it because they are so good. And I'm pretty sure they blow Starbuck's version out of the water. Here's the recipe:
Petite Vanilla Bean Scones
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3 cups All-purpose Flour
2/3 cups Sugar
5 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 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
5 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
1/2 cup Whole Milk, More If Needed For Thinning
1 whole Vanilla Bean
Dash Of Salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Split the vanilla beans down the middle lengthwise and scrape out all the vanilla "caviar" inside. Stir caviar into cream. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Sift together flour, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Cut cold butter into pats, then use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour. Keep going until mixture resembles crumbs.
Mix vanilla cream with egg, then combine with flour mixture; stir gently with a fork just until it comes together.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and lightly press it together until it forms a rough rectangle. (Mixture will be pretty 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/rectangles. Next, cut each square/rectangle in half diagonally, to form two triangles.
(My note: The scones are quite a bit larger than the ones from Starbucks, so if you're looking to replicate them exactly then I'd suggest cutting the triangles in half again!)
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 awhile. Mix powdered sugar with the vanilla milk, adding more powdered sugar or milk if necessary to get the consistency the right thickness. Stir or whisk until completely smooth.
One at a time, carefully dunk each cooled scone in the glaze, turning it over if necessary. Transfer to parchment paper or the cooling rack. Allow the glaze to set completely, about an hour. Scones will keep several days if glazed.
(I didn't take any more pictures of the prep because Ree has step by step photos here)