These soft and buttery Bakery Style Vanilla Bean Scones are a must try. If you have been following me for a while, you will know that Sunday’s are for visiting with my dad and making something special for breakfast. Scones are one of my favorite things to make for those family days.
Of course, these are not the traditional kind, but they will make you feel like you picked them up at your local bakery. If I close my eyes I can imagine myself stepping out onto the sidewalk and reaching into that paper bag to take a bite because waiting is just too hard to do. These are that good!
Scones are another one of those treats that have endless possibilities, but for some reason I keep coming back to vanilla bean. Maybe it’s the look on my daughter’s face when she wants seconds, or maybe it’s the compliments from my dad. When he says they taste better than a donut… I know I have hit a new record. There weren’t many weekends as a child that we didn’t sit in the local donut shop… so those are some BIG compliments from my family.
Vanilla is a universal flavor. Any season, any occasion. It never fails to work with other foods. This is simple enough to go with a cup of coffee or tea. It is also perfect for a breakfast or brunch buffet, to go with eggs and other goodies. I have a sister who might even say this will go with a mimosa. You know who you are Sis. Wink, wink.
This recipe can easily be doubled if you have a bowl big enough and 2 large sheet pans. One batch was perfect for 4 people, including extras. There was nothing leftover to store in the fridge which leaves me with more room to create something new to eat throughout the week.
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What You’ll Need:
Vanilla Paste & Extract– Trust me and find yourself a bottle of vanilla bean paste. It’s magical stuff. Packed with vanilla flavor that can’t be compared to traditional extract. Not only is the flavor better, it also has those beautiful little flecks from the inside of a vanilla bean. The taste is divine and the presentation is impressive. I find mine on Amazon. You will use both paste and extract in this recipe. This is what takes these scones from basic to bakery style in the most effortless way.
Almond Extract– This is easily found at any local grocery store. We only add a touch, not enough to taste like almonds. Just enough to round off the flavors and give it a little pop of something special.
Butter- I will always say that the real deal is the way to go. No margarine here. Don’t be tricked by these simple scones, these are a real treat. You need the butter fat to create those subtle flakes in the dough. You can use unsalted or salted. If you use salted just reduce or keep the salt out of the recipe. Whichever you prefer. The butter will also need to be very cold to create the right texture.
Half & Half– I use half & half in a lot of my baking. We keep it on hand for coffee and it works fabulously in these scones. Heavy cream is more traditional, and you can substitute it in an equal amount for a great result if you prefer.
Powdered Sugar– You will need powdered sugar for the icing. My recipe for Vanilla icing is buttery and just the right sweetness to take these to the next level. It’s really all you need, you could easily skip serving these with anything else. I often do.
Digital Scale– I talk more in depth about this below, but I almost always measure my ingredients with a gram scale. It’s easier once you get the hang of it and the accuracy pays off in the end result. I make all of my recipes regularly and consistency is key for me.
Sheet Pan– You’ll need a pan big enough to cut 8 pieces and spread them out so they can chill in the fridge before baking. The one I use is from a restaurant supply store but, I recommend an aluminum half-sheet pan.
Parchment Paper– Line your sheet pan with parchment paper to prevent your scones from sticking. It also protects against burning especially if you are using a dark non-stick pan. As an extra precaution, I spray the paper with non-stick spray just to make sure it’s easier to remove the scones.
Cooling Racks– After they bake, I place them on a cooling rack on top of paper towels. This is the best way to prep them for icing. When you drizzle or pour the icing on, it gives the scones some protection from sticking to the surface they are sitting on. The icing falls through the grates and does not pool at the bottom of your scone. I like to let the icing harden a little bit before serving and the rack is the perfect place to let them sit.
When measuring flour, use a spoon to lightly fill your measuring cup. If you scoop the flour with the measuring cup itself, amounts will vary tremendously. I have tested all of my recipes using grams. I find that especially with baking, using a gram scale is MUCH more accurate and gives better results. However, if you prefer using cups (volume) then my most important piece of advance is measuring with a spoon into the cup.
I do provide METRIC conversions on some of my recipes. On the top right hand side of the recipe card you can choose from US customary or METRIC. You will still get amazing scones using volume, but my goal here is to hopefully help some of you with the knowledge I have acquired through my trials & errors. Recipes are a guideline, that is why some recipes work out better for others. Using weight eliminates some of those challenges (and it uses less dishes, always a plus).
Looking for some more breakfast ideas?
Buttermilk Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
Glazed French Toast Brunch Bake
Simple Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
Orange Maple Brioche Sticky Buns
If you try these scones or any of my other recipes tag me on Instagram @joymakersandco, I’d love to see what you make!
Bakery Style Vanilla Bean Scones
- 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter, chilled
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup half & half
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon half & half
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted & cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- Prepare your sheet pan with parchment paper and place your cooling rack over a paper towel for icing.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Mix it to incorporate the dry ingredients.
- Cube the chilled butter and add to the flour. Use a pastry blender to cut it in. Do this only until it looks crumbly like sand and some bits of butter are the size of peas. If you have ever made pie crust, this is a similar process. You can do this by hand, just press the butter with the flour between your fingers to make small flakes. If your hands are warm and the dough starts to melt, put the bowl in the fridge to chill for a little bit.
- Add the eggs, half & half, vanilla paste, vanilla and almond extracts to the dry ingredients. Mix this in with your hands or a large spoon until a loose dough forms, being careful not to over work the dough. Not too wet or too dry. Just enough to press into a ball without falling apart.
- Place the dough on the sheet pan and gently press into a disc about 3/4" thick. Carefully cut into 8 pie shaped pieces with a long knife. Don't use a sawing motion when cutting, just gently press down to cut straight across.
- Carefully separate the pieces, giving them room for chilling and baking. When they bake, you want them to have enough room so they don't become one whole disc again. These will puff up and rise a little bit.
- Once the pieces are separated, chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. While you are waiting, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F/ 200 C and prepare the icing.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, vanilla bean paste, and almond extract. Mix until smooth. Cover and set aside.
- Bake the scones on the middle rack for about 20 minutes, keep an eye on them. You want them to be a light golden color on top. Once done, place on the cooling rack for 5-10 minutes. Ice them while warm but not hot so the icing doesn't slide off too much. I will let them sit for a few more minutes to let it harden a little before serving.
- Serve this with your favorite hot drink, maybe a side of fruit salad or a nice jam. Enjoy!
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