Scones are the perfect little treat...for breakfast or anytime and they can be sweet or savory. They mix up quickly without any preparation...as long as you have the right ingredients. No need to soften butter or bring eggs to room temperature. In fact, the colder the better! It comes together in minutes and you can enjoy in less than one half hour, from start to finish!
- 8 T cold unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup heavy cream plus more for brushing
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons cake flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Seeds of 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Position the oven racks in the top third and bottom third. Put the pie plate filled with one cup of water on the bottom third. Cube the butter into 16 pieces per stick and place into the refrigerator until ready to use.
In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the cream, egg, vanilla seeds, both extracts and granulated sugar. Place it into the refrigerator as well. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Scatter the chilled butter cubes over the flour mix and pulse for about 10 (one second) pulses. Butter pieces should be covered in flour and approximately the size of large peas. Still pulsing, quickly pour the cream mixture in a steady stream through the top of the processor. Only pulse until dough combines! It may seem wet but you can always add a little flour by hand if needed.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface or large piece of wax paper. Shape it into a 9 inch square, trying not to touch the dough too much; you don't want the butter to start melting. First cut the square into four equal squares. Then cut each of those squares into quarters on the diagonal (like your mom used to cut your PB&J sandwiches!) creating 16 mini triangles. (See Orange Tea Scones for detailed photos.)
Place them on a silicone baking mat or lightly greased cookie sheet. I was lucky enough to receive a mini scone baking pan from some co-workers, so I prefer to use that. Brush just the tops of each scone with some cream, careful not to let it drip down the sides. (Enlisting the help of others/your kids are great for this sort of task.) You can sprinkle turbinado or granulated sugar on top but I wanted to use the glaze, so I opted not to sugar them.
Bake them for 15-16 minutes. You want the tops to be dry, a little firmness to the touch and slightly golden in color. Let the scones rest in the pan for about 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack with waxed paper underneath.
Whisk together the glaze ingredients just before using. Add more confectioner's sugar as needed until the desired consistency is achieved. Drizzle over warm, not hot scones. They can be served "as is" or with the traditional clotted cream and jams.