Snow Day= Baking! Mini Vanilla Bean Scones

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This is the view into my back yard right now.  I am in snowy heaven.  It started snowing yesterday, which in the foothills of Western NC is a rare sight.  The entire Western half of the state, if not the entire state, is completely shut down.  You from the North, go ahead and laugh it up.  The bread and milk sections of grocery stores here are entirely depleted, and I'm all "darn it, I don't have enough butter to make croissant dough," or "what if I want cauliflower?!"

My breakfast this morning- the scones and french pressed coffee, on a tray and sitting on my couch while watching snow.  Perfect.

When it snows, we hole ourselves up in our homes, sometimes make snow cream and hot chocolate, and enjoy the falling snow.  I also get the urge to bake, and yesterday I chose to make mini vanilla bean scones, from Pioneer Woman.  I love the Starbucks version, but who wants to pay that much for baked goods?  While not a perfect imitation (and who said it had to be?), these are good.  They're pretty quick to whip up, and they're pretty easy.  I made them as-is, but for cost reasons will likely modify the recipe when I make it again.  I'll post that in the notes section.  Visit her website (link is the recipe title, below) for detailed, step-by-step photos and instructions.

Mini Vanilla Bean Scones
from Pioneer Woman

3 cups All-purpose Flour

2/3 cups Sugar
5 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 sticks (1/2 Pound) unsalted butter, frozen
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 and place empty pods inside cream as well.  Set aside for 15 minutes.

Sift together flour, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Using a cheese grater, grate the butter, half a stick at a time, into the flour mixture, and cut in with fingers, a pastry cutter, or two forks. 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.
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.


  • Vanilla beans- World Market has good prices, if you have one near you or are planning to be near one in a city.  Some supermarkets and health food stores carry them, and of course you can always order online.  They are EXPENSIVE, though, and for this budget-conscious cook, they're at a bit too much of a premium for this to not be a "special" ingredient.  I did some searching online, though, and most likely I'd use a vanilla bean for the glaze, since it's the most visible, and use 1-2 Tb vanilla extract in the scones themselves.  That is the alteration I'd make
  • These were crumbly, and some fell apart during the glazing process.  I ended up dunking the bottoms and then pouring the rest of the glaze over the top.  That worked pretty well.  Just make sure you put them somewhere the excess can drip off, like a cooling rack.

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