Vanilla Bean Scones are a delightfully buttery breakfast or tea time treat infused with plenty of sweet vanilla flavor.
Small town living brings with it a wonderfully laid back way of life. The fresh air and wide open spaces make for picturesque views in just about every direction, with some of the friendliest folks that you’ll ever meet ready with a wave and a smile as you pass by. It’s about two degrees of separation up here, although it may still be six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon. Unless Mario Batali or Michael Moore actually know Kevin Bacon, then it’s down to three degrees since the celebrity chef and the political filmmaker are both part time locals. But I digress…
Such low key and pleasant surroundings do come with a price–mostly in the lack of authentic ethnic food and the absence of a proper Starbucks for at least 150 miles. Sure we have two psuedo-Starbucks in town: one inside a grocery store, and the other residing inside of Target–totally not the same vibe as the real deal. Not being a coffee drinker with the exception of the occasional Skinny Peppermint Mocha Latte, I can’t say that I’m all that heartbroken to visit my local artisan roasters rather than the Big Coffee Chain.
I’m a firm believer that baked goods shouldn’t be an afterthought, but rather an equal partner to the quality of the hot beverages of choice. To be fair, Starbucks has a handful of regional bakers in their corner that turn out some of the most glorious bakery treats around; a standing that is hard to replicate at the smaller shops around here. I feel so strongly about my baked good that I’d at least consider donating a non-vital organ for a fat slice of Starbucks Iced Lemon Loaf because that stuff is the bees knees. (Ignoring my brief dalliances with Hostess cherry hand pies from the gas station, of course.)
I also harbor a strong affection for Starbucks’ petite vanilla bean scones. Neither of the Starbucks in my neck of the woods carry either of the delicacies with any regularity, and when in stock, they’re likely on display next to the banana walnut bread or something equally life threatening for our nut-allergic family.
I think you know where I’m going with this…Vanilla Bean Scones were begging to be made at home. Actually, it was a toss up between me and Son #2 as far as whom was doing the most begging more so than the scones themselves. Begging occurred. Flour did fly. We adapted Son #3’s epic Citrus Rosemary Scones recipe to include a trifecta of vanilla flavor with vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds (caviar), and vanilla sugar included. I highly recommend using both vanilla components for optimum vanilla flavor, but if you’re fresh out of vanilla beans, then vanilla bean paste will do in a pinch.
The resulting Vanilla Bean Scones are so soft, buttery, and infused with deep vanilla flavor that the Big Coffee Chain treats might entirely lose their appeal. And these Vanilla Bean Scones? Ain’t nothing petite about ’em because let’s be honest, petite is merely a code word for order two when it comes to scones. As long as we’re being really honest, let’s also account for the half of Son #2’s petite scone that I’d likely sneak nibbles from when he wasn’t looking.
Now, don’t even pretend that you don’t do the same thing when it comes to desserts! We’re beyond that stage in our relationship, yes? Taking ownership of that fact by enjoying one big scone rather than two (and a half) petite scones will assuage the guilt of eating more than one in the first place. Consider the portion to be insurance against over indulgence and a well deserved hand smacking from your coffee companions.