I am currently sitting in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, awaiting my flight to LA. I am so excited I think I’m going to burst. Why you ask? Well, my college roommate who now lives in Hawaii (rough life, I know) is flying out to Cali for the weekend for a wedding, which prompted the rest of my college roommates who are still in Cali to organize a little reunion for the weekend! The 7 of us have not all been together since we graduated college, two and a half YEARS ago! The best part, is that my presence is a surprise to some of the girls, especially the one coming from Hawaii. She has no idea I am flying in all the way from Minnesota! It’s a friendly payback for her surprising me when she flew out from Hawaii to Cali to come to my bachelorette party. I anticipate the weekend will consist of a lot of joyful tears, excited screams, numerous hugs, and lots of yummy foods.
Speaking of which, these vanilla scones with salted caramel whisky glaze are the perfect treat for sharing with others, whether during a glorious reunion of friends or with family over brunch. I chose a lighter flavor for the scones to allow the glaze to completely shine! The whiskey gives the glaze an extra bump towards a more adult treat without being overpowering and “boozy”.
To make perfect, flaky scones the key is to use frozen butter. As the frozen butter melts in the oven, it creates little pockets of air, leading to that desired tender, and flaky texture. Also, the less you touch the dough, the better, because remember your hands give off a lot of warmth and will begin to melt the frozen butter prematurely. Additionally, do not overwork the dough at any point as this will overdevelop the gluten, leading to a chewy and tough scone. Scone making can be intimidating if you are a first timer, but like all skills, you just have to do your best, and learn from your successes and failures in order to get better!
VANILLA SCONES WITH SALTED CARAMEL WHISKEY GLAZE
Makes 8 scones
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper, set aside.
2. Sift together into a medium sized bowl:
2 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3. Stir in:
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
4. Whisk together in a separate small bowl:
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5. Cut into the dry ingredients, using a pastry cutter or 2 knifes, until the mixture resembles crumbs:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (8 Tablespoons), FROZEN, grated
6. Add wet to dry ingredients, and mix very gently until just combined. Do not over mix as this will cause the gluten to over develop, creating a tough scone texture.
7. Work dough in a ball with floured hands.
8. Place the dough ball on your lined baking sheet, pat down and form into a 3/4 inch thick circle.
9. Cut into 8 equal slices. Slightly move the cut pieces outward, but keep them positioned in a circle, with their edges barely separated.
10. Brush over the tops:
1-2 Tablespoons of heavy cream
11. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the scones are golden brown. In the meantime, make the glaze.
12. Allow the scones to cool for at least 5 minutes before glazing them.
1. Melt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until light amber, stirring frequently away from the edges with a spatula to ensure even heating:
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2. Meanwhile, heat together in a separate saucepan until liquid:
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
3. Once the sugar is light amber and has a fragrant aroma, remove from the heat, and immediately add your warmed cream mixture. Be careful because the caramel will become extremely hot and bubble. Whisk the mixture continuously, until well combined. Allow the caramel to cool for 10 minutes.
5. Stir in:
2/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tablespoon whiskey (or more if you desire a stronger flavor)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6. Place the glaze in an icing bag to drizzle the scone tops, or simply spoon the glaze onto the scones.
7. OPTIONAL: Sprinkle tops with: