I crave scones, and love grabbing them with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, but I get so tired of how sweet coffee shop scones are. I don’t want a cookie for breakfast! Well, I do…but I’m not going to, today anyway. And don’t even get me started on the fact that I am still drinking hot chocolate in California in June. But, I am, and these scones are the perfect accompaniment to your favorite steaming beverage on a blustery morning. Lightly sweet, with a hint of vanilla, they are more like a biscuit or croissant.
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) chilled butter
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- Vanilla sanding sugar, for sprinkling
Blend flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a food processor.
Add butter in 1 tablespoon chunks.
Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse clumps with intermittent larger clumps. Transfer to a medium bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Blend buttermilk, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and add milk mixture all at once. Fold flour into the milk mixture, stirring as little as possible, until the dough comes together. If it is too dry, add more whole milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide dough in half. Refrigerate one half of the dough while working with the other half. Using lightly floured hands, gently press and pat the dough into a small circle, roughly the size of your hand.
Cut the dough round into eight equal pieces. Repeat the process with the remaining half of dough. Place the triangles on parchment covered baking sheets and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for two hours, or until very firm. (At this point, you can either bake the scones or place into a resealable plastic bag until ready to bake.)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Brush the tops of the scones with whole milk, and liberally sprinkle with the vanilla sanding sugar.
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until the tops are golden, about 15 minutes You can also lift a scone with a spatula (not your fingers, big shortcutters!) to see if the bottoms are also browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. They are best eaten the day they are baked.
Confession: I know it is a lot of dough in and out of the refrigerator…but trust me, it’s worth it! I was sick of getting flour all over the refrigerator door myself, but keeping the dough chilled is key. The chilling keeps the butter in solidified chunks, which then leads to crispy, flaky scones. These are very croissant like, and not nearly as messy.