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Vanilla Scones

January 5, 2011

So far, so good.  We’re halfway into the first week of the new year and I’ve eaten a healthy breakfast for most of those days.  If I’ve never mentioned it here before, I’m not big on breakfast.  The only exceptions are when I’m on vacation (in which case I find myself craving it) and when I have to fuel up before a bike ride.  Otherwise, I’m content to sip several cups of tea throughout the morning until hunger pangs get my attention sometime around midday.

Over the years, my husband has gotten into the habit of asking me first whether or not I’ve eaten before deciding to run a midday errand with me.  I may have interrupted the swift running of those errands one too many times by making him stop to grab a bite to eat…just once or twice.  This year I’m off to a good start.  I’ve been breaking my fast with a big bowl of chopped fresh fruit, a generous dollop of plain, nonfat yogurt and a sprinkling of granola.  It’s a mild variation on husband’s daily ration of steel cut oats, Pavel’s yogurt and fruit.  Both are quite good, actually.  I’ve forgotten how much I like this type of breakfast, so to get my year off on the right foot, I chopped several days’ worth of pineapple, apples, grapes, and blueberries; each day the fruits get sweeter as they macerate in their own juices.  My husband is happy, too, since it gets him out of his apple-a-day rut.

But enough about that.  I’ve also been craving scones.  One of my weekly market stops has a Starbucks conveniently parked inside and I’ve been such a glutton for their mini vanilla bean scones.  They’re mini but I always buy three.  They’re glazed and I’m assuming have real vanilla beans since the little triangles are freckled with tiny black dots.  These little guys have saved me from buying much worse while trying to quell those aforementioned midday hunger pangs and they’re quite tasty.

As you can see from my version, they’re not mini at all.  I cut mine into wedges the way I have always prepared my scones.  I found a recipe that purports to taste like the Starbucks version so I had to give it a try.  The verdict? These got my oatmeal-eating husband’s vote.  The vanilla flavor was just right and the scones were not dry at all.  My dough came out a little too wet since I supplemented my scant cup of creme fraiche with buttermilk but I don’t think this harmed the final product.  Next time, I’ll use a real vanilla bean to make these even better.  I was just afraid to use a vanilla bean pod for fear it would go to waste on a new recipe.  Not so in this case.

Vanilla Scones a la Starbucks

* recipe from CDKitchen

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup sour cream (I had an 8 oz tub of creme fraiche that was about 2 tablespoons short so I poured buttermilk into it until it was close to the brim. I would guess about 3 – 4 tablespoons)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (this is for the glaze. I used only about 1/4 – 1/3  cup of glaze and added enough water to make it runny then drizzled over the scones.  Any more and it would have been much too sweet for me)
  • water, as needed

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl.

Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until flour looks like coarse meal.  In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream/buttermilk, egg yolk and vanilla extract. Add to the flour-butter mixture and stir until dough forms a ball. Make sure the dry bits fully incorporated. If you follow the original recipe exactly, your mixture may look too dry but the author says not to worry.  If you decide to add buttermilk like I did, you will find the mixture a little wet.

Place the sticky dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and pat into a disk about 1-inch in height. Cut the dough into wedges but do not separate.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.  With my wetter dough, I ended up baking a few minutes longer but I’m very happy with the way mine turned out. I continued to bake in 3-minute intervals until the center of the scones were not so wet.

To prepare the glaze:  Place powdered sugar in a bowl and add water one teaspoon at a time until the mixture is smooth and runny.

Use a pastry brush to apply a thin layer of glaze over the hot scones. Brushing rather than drizzling gives a smoother appearance and requires less glaze.

Serve immediately. Store cooled scones in an airtight container.

52 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2011 11:55 PM

    Never need to leave home again! Great recipe!

  2. January 5, 2011 11:59 PM

    Who needs Starbucks? Looks like you’re all set! Love the use of creme fraiche here – looks so moist and crumbly! (I would prefer the large wedge to the mini portions, too!)

    • January 6, 2011 11:32 AM

      These were surprisingly moist–to the point that I thought I might have overdone it with the buttermilk but I’d prepare them the same way again–only with vanilla beans next time. The mini ones at Starbucks are so deceptive since I never eat just one. 🙂

  3. January 6, 2011 12:03 AM

    I don’t really do breakfast either. My boyfriend (who is in the Marines) asks me via skype when the last time I ate was. When he was home for the holidays he made me eat breakfast everyday and now I’m totally in a breakfast thing. Although, he’s back to his base in North Carolina, so who knows how long I’ll keep up this whole breakfast thing. But its supposedly good for you.

    Where they good the next day? Just pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds and good as new? The extra moisture probably keeps them tasting good for a longer period of time :).

    • January 6, 2011 11:34 AM

      Rene, this were actually better the next day. I didn’t even reheat them. I ate them right out of the airtight container I stored them in. I think the buttermilk helped to keep them from drying out.

  4. January 6, 2011 12:30 AM

    These look BEE-U-TEE-FULL 🙂 I’ve never made vanilla scones before nor have I had one. I didn’t know Starbucks sells mini ones. But, it looks like I won’t have to go there to get one when I’ve got your recipe here. Kudos on getting breakfast in now; I’ve been having breakfast this week, too, and that’s a point I’m making because I’m not usually a breakfast eater, either. By the way, your fruit bowl looks gorgeous! I just sliced up a pineapple I got on sale for $2 tonight and it tastes soooo sweet!

    • January 6, 2011 11:35 AM

      Pineapples are so good, aren’t they? I love them. $2 is a great price, too. I guess we’re on the same new breakfast routine. Glad I’m not alone. 🙂

  5. January 6, 2011 1:19 AM

    Beautiful scones!

  6. January 6, 2011 1:41 AM

    Jean: I adore those mini vanilla bean scones at Starbucks (just had three minis this morning). They’re perfect with the pumpkin spice latte or chai tea.

    I think I may give these a try tomorrow morning to satisfy my morning cravings for those mini lovelies. Looks like a good recipe and even more delicious with breakfast fruit as you’ve suggested!

    • January 6, 2011 11:40 AM

      Cristina, I actually thought that not very many people would know about those mini scones. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who thinks they taste good. If you do try them, I updated the recipe section to be more accurate about my buttermilk addition. I’d like to think that it helped with the moisture of these scones. Enjoy the rest of your week! 🙂

  7. trissalicious permalink
    January 6, 2011 2:12 AM

    Jean I heard that the vanilla scones from starbucks are indeed legendary! Thanks for sharing the recipe with us and glad to hear your New Year’s is off to a good start!

    • January 6, 2011 11:42 AM

      Hi Trissa, gosh, I didn’t realize that these scones were so popular. And here I thought this post would go largely unnoticed. I hope your new year is going nicely so far, too.

  8. January 6, 2011 4:59 AM

    OMG yours look amazing! I made these from a different recipe source and they were like rocks. Rocks with pasty glaze, yuck. I’ll replace that recipe with this one, great job!

    • January 6, 2011 11:43 AM

      Amy, if you try it, please let me know how it turns out. I’ll definitely be making these again. I did use much less glaze, though. I didn’t want the scones to be too sweet.

  9. gourmandeinthekitchen permalink
    January 6, 2011 5:03 AM

    Yogurt, fruit and granola or oatmeal on colder days – that’s my typical breakfast fare! Of course every once in a while I get a craving for something a little more decadent and I’ll make a batch of scones that I freeze and reheat when the mood strikes me.

    • January 6, 2011 11:46 AM

      The scones didn’t even last long enough for me to consider freezing them but I like that idea. Health-wise, I’d feel better about enjoying them one at a time instead of all at once. Thanks for the idea. 🙂

  10. January 6, 2011 6:10 AM

    I like your serving sizes. Agree with Kathy – why bother ever buying these when this is the real thing?

    • January 6, 2011 11:47 AM

      Belinda, I’ll keep tweaking the recipe but I have to admit I’m pretty happy with it now. It was a lucky find. 🙂

  11. January 6, 2011 6:45 AM

    These look and sound delightful! Sounds like you are in the same breakfast club I’m in!!

  12. January 6, 2011 8:01 AM

    These look great! Vanilla is one of the simplest yet best flavors. Definitely a great way to start day.

  13. January 6, 2011 8:12 AM

    Oh I want to jump through the screen…these look incredible! Great photos, too!

  14. January 6, 2011 9:46 AM

    I can relate. As much as we’re supposed to eat breakfast upon waking up, I am rarely hunger right away. But once in a while there’s a definite craving for something. Love your vanilla scones…great flavors and something different. With the butter and sour cream they must taste really delicious.

    • January 6, 2011 11:50 AM

      Trish, I’m considering trying them with low-fat sour cream next time to see if I can make them a little more calorie friendly. I suspect I’ll lose some of the richness, though. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t mess with a good thing. Moderation, right? 🙂

  15. January 6, 2011 10:15 AM

    Wow they look amazing!!! Good on you eating breakfast everyday! Hope you keep it up all through the year. And making these every once in a while must certainly be a helpful motivator. Will try these for next weekend’s breakfast. My family loves scones and my daughter? The biggest fruit fan you’ll ever know 🙂

    • January 6, 2011 11:51 AM

      I’ve already skipped breakfast today. 😦 I might have a bowl of fruit to keep me on the right track w/ my resolution! Habits are hard to break! 🙂

  16. January 6, 2011 10:19 AM

    Jean, I’m in the same boat as you. I’m not big on eating breakfast. Sometimes if I’m hungry I’ll eat a bit of fruit or a little cereal, but if I eat a large breakfast it makes me feel sluggish and heavy for the rest of the day. But I guess at that same point I have to admit that my coworker brought in biscotti and I’ve been eating a couple pieces of that every morning. Crime of opportunity, I guess you could call it ;]
    These scones look wonderful, and though I am not big on breakfast if you were my coworker and brought them in I’d totallyyyy gobble them right up.

    • January 6, 2011 11:53 AM

      Hi Roxan, my problem is that when I get too hungry at midday, I end up eating bad food, especially when I’m at the office. I’m determined not to do that this year. I’m not generally a calorie counter but I’ve wasted a lot on bad food. I do much better when I cook at home. Happy 100th post to you! 🙂

  17. January 6, 2011 12:13 PM

    Your scones look delicious and with a bowl of fresh fruit like that…Perfect!

    • January 6, 2011 10:03 PM

      Thanks, I was hoping that a bowl of fruit would offer a balance against the not-so-healthy scones. 🙂

  18. January 6, 2011 3:03 PM

    I love scones and these look delicious. The glaze looks just right.

    • January 6, 2011 10:04 PM

      Thanks, after doing it this way, I really think that the original suggestion of 1 1/2 cups sugar would have been too much. 🙂

  19. January 6, 2011 3:18 PM

    These look so good and I can’t have any! I eat breakfast, but right now I am not eating carbs. 😦 I will have to bookmark this recipe once my diet has eased up!

    • January 6, 2011 10:05 PM

      You and I are on the same boat. I had one of these but that was it. My husband ate the rest. I’m trying to cut back, too, at least for a while. 🙂

  20. January 6, 2011 3:22 PM

    We do have a lot in common – I am left handed! Plus we also both love the snow. 🙂

  21. January 6, 2011 4:43 PM

    I’ve already found a replacement for their Pumpkin Spice Loaf and Iced Lemon Cake… now this!.. I never need to go to the green dot again!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • January 6, 2011 10:09 PM

      Oh, neat! Have you posted them on your site yet? 🙂 I seriously had no idea that those little scones had quite the following. I posted the recipe the way I found it (my changes & link also provided) but I opted to cut back on the glaze. I think it still tasted good this way. Let me know what you think if you try it. Thanks!

  22. January 6, 2011 7:27 PM

    Wonderful breakfast you have here…
    there is something extremely satisfying and rewarding when you can reproduce a food you have had outside of the house. It makes you feel somewhat queen of the world! I love copy-catting.

  23. January 6, 2011 9:52 PM

    I really like the sour cream addition to these. Liv discovered scones last summer when we were on vacation and we have pretty much had a year of the scone. Lots of flavors! But never vanilla. I think this one will rise to the top of our To Try list. We like our in the same shape you do!

    • January 6, 2011 10:10 PM

      Vanilla was new to me, too, Kim. I’d never considered it until trying the ones at Starbucks. Now I think they’re a nice change of pace from blueberry scones. Hope you and Liv like this. 🙂

  24. January 6, 2011 10:43 PM

    I love those little mini scones…and so does my niece! It would be so fun to make these with her. Thank you for sharing your recipe (and your beautiful photographs!) I’ve also been trying to eat a hearty and wholesome breakfast. My husband always brings granola bars when we go out in the morning because he knows I’m likely to get cranky and hungry. Thank you for sharing with me!

  25. January 6, 2011 10:46 PM

    I also get the three of them….opss..I love their mini vanilla scones. I replicated at home once too with a recipe a bit different from this one and that I can’t find anymore (that’s why I did not blog about them) I’ll have to try this one cause my hubby is a scones person!

  26. January 7, 2011 7:58 AM

    These look amazing and moist! Must be scone week, everyone is making scones! 🙂 I might have to join the party!

  27. January 7, 2011 12:03 PM

    These scones look Uh-maze-ING!! 🙂

  28. January 7, 2011 12:17 PM

    I’m addicted to those mini vanilla scones too. In fact, I’m even eating one as I type this! How cool is that? 🙂
    I somehow feel a little less guilty about eating two little ones than I do about eating one big one, even though I know there isn’t any difference. It’s getting to be a bit of an expensive habit, though, so I’m so glad you managed to find a copycat recipe. I’m totally making a batch this weekend, vanilla beans and all!

  29. January 7, 2011 3:06 PM

    I don’t eat breakfast either since I’m never hungry first thing in the morning but then as soon as I get to my desk, I’m famished. These scones look like the perfect thing to travel with!

  30. January 8, 2011 8:27 PM

    Your scones look delicious and gorgeous! At Starbuck’s never looked so good.

  31. January 8, 2011 10:20 PM

    I have been wanting to make scones lately and these look perfect. I love baking with sour cream and buttermilk and this recipe looks delicious. Thanks!

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