A few years ago, with the encouragement of friends & family, I did something I had always wanted to do — I opened a restaurant! It’s one of those things that many people who really love to cook dream of doing. Have a little lunch place with a simple menu of soups, sandwiches and salads– just a fun part-time little business. But the dream and the reality of running a restaurant can be two very different things. There is nothing part-time about it at all (even though I was only opened for lunch). It’s just dadgum hard work! And stressful, and full of making all kinds of decisions that you’ve never made before and aren’t really sure about. Add to that dealing with employees (including hiring and firing when necessary), payroll taxes, keeping up with inventory, creating the menu, dealing with equipment that breaks down, bills, and. . . have I talked you out of it yet?
Well, for me, cooking is my love– but I found I had to turn over the day to day cooking and food preparation to my employees mostly, while I handled the business side. That was not what I signed up for! So, I sold my little dream and became a legal secretary/receptionist. I now let someone else handle the headaches of owning a business while I show up, smile, do my job, go home and cook whenever I feel like it! Yup, this suits me much better.
So, what does this have to do with scones, you ask? When I had the restaurant (which was located inside a coffee shop), I served some amazing scones that we baked fresh each day. However, I didn’t make them from scratch, they were frozen, pre-made scones. But they were wonderful! Sweet, moist, so delicious! Ever since then, I have been on a quest to find a recipe that duplicates those scones. Alas, I’m just not sure a scone produced in a large, professional bakery can be reproduced exactly in the home kitchen. But– you can come close. After years of trying and looking and experimenting, I have finally stumbled upon a recipe that I think is really, really good. It is sweet, moist yet still bisquit-like and it is husband approved (not an easy thing to do with my hubby & official taster of all recipes– he is quite picky!) The original recipe did not call for using Bisquick, but rather used a flour/salt/baking powder mixture. After having made it both ways, I think the Bisquick adds more moistness and produces a better scone than the flour.
To this recipe, I added frozen blueberries. You can certainly change up the flavors, for example–add orange zest and dried cranberries, or raspberries and white chocolate chips, or just plain chocolate chips, or lemon zest and lemon extract. You also could just prefer to leave them plain and simple with the pure flavor of vanilla. Be careful not to overbake these, I put foil over mine about 3/4 of the way through because they were getting a bit brown on top. For me, this is finally a “keeper scone” recipe. I hope you will try them!
VANILLA BEAN SCONES
3 C. Bisquick (or 3 c. flour, 1 T. Baking Powder, 1/2 t. salt) — I recommend the Bisquick
2/3 c. sugar (use less if you don’t like it as sweet)
1 stick butter (frozen)
1/2 c. whipping cream (can sub. 1/4. c. milk & 1/4 c. half & half)
1 t. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean cut & scraped (or 1 t. vanilla bean paste or add another teaspoon of vanilla extract)
1/2 c. frozen blueberries (optional)
Mix sugar & bisquick together with a whisk. Grate the frozen butter and thoroughly mix in. Add the wet ingredients and vanilla. Turn onto a floured board and knead a few times until it comes together. Form into 2 disks and cut each disc into 4 pieces, separating them slightly. Cover w/ Saran wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Bake at 375 for about 10-12 min. Frost w/ a simple powdered sugar glaze, or add lemon juice, vanilla bean or whatever other flavoring you may prefer.