Vanilla Bean Scones: Frosting for the Cause
I am so pumped to do a post on Frosting for the Cause! It's an amazing site that works to raise awareness for cancers that affect women, and also encourages people to get out in their community and help raise the spirits of those who are currently battling cancer. For today, I made vanilla bean scones with vanilla bean frosting/glaze (but they were dyed purple for pancreatic cancer awareness month). Check it out here! If you can't make it over there, here's what I wrote:
I’m so excited and thankful that I’ve been given the opportunity to do a post on Frosting for the Cause, but I am especially grateful because my turn happens to be in November – Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. A few years ago, I knew nothing about pancreatic cancer other than the fact that “Last Lecture” author Randy Pausch suffered from it and that it was not a cancer that you would want to get. What I didn’t know was that it is the deadliest cancer (by far), killing 94% of those diagnosed within the first five years. And I didn’t know that it is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in America, but only gets 2% of National Cancer Institute research funding. I was thrown into this whirlwind of statistics the day my husband, Jake, and I got home from our honeymoon when we learned that my mom had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. It was inoperable, and like most others with the same diagnosis, her life expectancy was 3-6 months. Four months later my mom died at the age of 51.
I’ll always be thankful for the warning that cancer gave our family. Had my mom died suddenly I might not have had the chance to tell her how much I loved her or how much her constant and unconditional support meant to me (and we actually had some great fun in those last few months!). But even with the time we had, her death came as a shock that I will never forget, and I want to help prevent other families from having to experience the same pain that mine did. That’s why I volunteer with Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and why my donation that accompanies this post will go this organization that works tirelessly to advance research, support patients, raise awareness, advocate for government funding, and create hope for everyone affected by pancreatic cancer. Purple is the official color of pancreatic cancer awareness, so that’s why I decided to make vanilla bean scones with a purple vanilla bean glaze. I like to think of it as a delicious way to promote awareness. And they are definitely delicious! Plus, scones are oh-so-British, and some of my favorite memories with my mom happened when I was studying abroad in London and my parents came to spend Thanksgiving with me. That was 5 years ago next week, and I can remember the fun we had like it was yesterday!
Here’s how to make the scones:
Vanilla Bean Scones SCONES 3 cups All-purpose Flour 2/3 cups Sugar 5 teaspoons Baking Powder 1/4 teaspoon Salt 2 sticks (1/2 Pound) UNSALTED Butter, Chilled 1 whole Large Egg 3/4 cups Heavy Cream (more If Needed) 2 whole Vanilla Beans (I buy mine on Amazon)
GLAZE 3 – 3 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted 1/2 cup Whole Milk 1 whole Vanilla Bean Dash of Salt Food Coloring (optional)
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. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Sift together flour, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Cut cold butter into pats, then use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour. 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.
Side note: This process is easier when you don’t have a measuring cup thief!
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.
VANILLA GLAZE To make the icing, split one vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the caviar. Stir caviar into milk; allow to sit for about 10-15 minutes. 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. I added more sugar to make the purple more noticeable on the finished scones.
Drizzle the glaze over each scone, or you can dunk them if you prefer. Transfer to parchment paper or the cooling rack. Allow the glaze to set completely, about an hour. Scones will keep several days if glazed.
Source: The Pioneer Woman Cooks