Saturday, October 26, 2013

vanilla bean scones

So my new obsession is World Market. I want one of everything in that store. Plates, bowls, silverware, wine, food, clothing. Give me it all. Please. One of my favorite parts of that store are the spices, because they are so cheap and you don't get a huge amount, so I can buy a small container of something I don't use very often, like saffron, and not pay $20 bucks for a big container and worry about it hanging out in the cabinet for 6 months. Same deal with the vanilla bean- just $2.99 for 2 beans and that's all I needed!
Vanilla on it's own is nutty, slightly bitter and not sweet at all. Vanilla extract tasted without sugar is nasty- very bitter. But it all smells divine. I read an article that said that the one scent that almost every man finds attractive and alluring (more than those expensive perfumes that women buy) is vanilla. Maybe us ladies should just start dabbing a little vanilla behind our ears and calling it a day.
This is what you want out of those little beans- the caviar. Just slice the beans down the middle, and using the backside of the knife, scrape out all the good stuff. You'll need one bean for the scones and one bean for the glaze.
You'll want to infuse the cream for the scones with the vanilla caviar for about 15 minutes, and that'll give you time to do something I dread.
Ugh. I HATE sifting. I hate it. HATE it. I need the kind of sifter that my Mom has, with the crank on the side, because this way is just sooooo drawn out. It takes like 5 minutes for me to sift with this kind of sifter. But it's what must be done, and it's worth it.
Okay, now that the worst is over, it's time for some cutting. This takes a while, so be patient. But, you want to keep cutting the butter until it's in fine crumbles.
Keep cutting. Keep cutting. Just a little more.
There we go. You can keep going if you'd like, but I got impatient. This will make a pretty flaky dough.
Alright, now in goes the vanilla infused cream and time to mix.
Mix this until it just comes together.
Alrighty, turn that out onto a very well floured working surface, and be sure to use a well floured rolling pin as well.
Roll that out into a rectangle for slicing.
Okay, and just so you don't think that I'm like so kind of rolling whiz, I used the pizza cutter to make a perfect rectangle. Just for the sake of full disclosure.
Step one for slicing is 4 equal vertical slices.
Step 2 is to slice one right down the middle lengthwise, and step 3 is to cut each little section into triangles. Once the whole thing is sliced up, transfer onto a baking sheet.
Parchment paper helps it not to stick. 15 to 18 minutes later, take 'em out of the oven and they should be just golden brown.
Goregous! Let them cool, completely. While they are cooling, you can start on the glaze.
More milk that's been infused with the vanilla bean caviar starts the glaze. Or, I guess I should say it ends the glaze. Pour this milk into 5 cups of powdered sugar and mix it up!
Dunk each one of those lovely little cooled scones into the glaze and transfer onto a baking rack.
It's a thing of beauty, right there.
Keep going until the are all covered. The glaze will firm up, and all these need is a big cup of coffee to be dunked in. Oh yes.
Vanilla Bean Scones
More good stuff from The Pioneer Woman.
3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, chilled
1 large egg
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 whole vanilla beans
5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice one vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out caviar with the back of a knife. Transfer caviar into a measuring cup with heavy cream. Let steep for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, sift together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add in butter cut into cubes. Cut butter into flour using a pastry knife until in fine crumbles. Crack egg into steeped cream and caviar and whisk to combine. Pour cream into sifted flour mixture and stir to just combined. Turn dough onto a well floured surface and roll to a 1/2 inch thickness. Using a pizza cutter, cut into a rectangle. Slice the rectangle into four vertical portions, one slice down the middle, and then each section into a triangle. Transfer each triangle onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the scones are just browned and golden. Transfer onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. While scones are cooling, slice remaining vanilla bean in half and scrape out caviar. Steep caviar in milk for 10 minutes. Transfer milk into powdered sugar and stir to combine. Dunk each cooled scone into the glaze and place back onto rack. Let glaze firm up and enjoy!