You know how sometimes parents will go to Starbucks and get themselves a coffee and then get their kid, like, a treat. Like a cake pop or something? Well, I might have been inclined to do something like that when my son was just a wee thing, but … no gluten free cake pops. And no two-bite, light and sweet Gluten Free Petite Vanilla Bean Scones.
Have you ever had one of the Starbucks Petite Vanilla Bean Scones? Oh, my. They’re good. Starbucks does know how to serve up a baked treat like nobody’s business. Let’s make our own, k? I wasn’t gonna buy my kid one from Starbucks for, like, a million bucks anyway. And since my new new cookbook is all about copycat recipes, it’s good for me to flex my copycat muscles.
The technique for making these scones light and flaky is just like the technique for our Gluten Free Biscuit Donuts—and for any pastry we make. Large chunks of chilled butter get tossed with the dry ingredients. No “small peas” here. Small peas make for flat pastry. You heard it here first.
These aren’t exactly like my typical gluten free scone recipe, as there’s an egg in the dough. The Starbucks petite vanilla bean scones have eggs. I know this because it’s in their list of ingredients. My copycat recipes always begin with the original product’s ingredient list. Sometimes, what’s in there surprises me.
Since these babies are “petite,” we get a full 16 scones from the recipe. I think these would be perfect for a ladies lunch. Or a baby shower. Or someplace else you might find something petite and fancy.
You only bake them for 10 minutes, which is just enough time for these sweet little scones to become puffed and pale golden. They should be cold before they go in the oven. It really helps them to puff. And don’t skip the folding and the puff-pastry-like turns in the recipe instructions. They make all the difference. Well, the real vanilla bean seeds don’t hurt either. :)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
5 tablespoons (30 g) nonfat dry milk, ground to a fine powder (in a blender or food processor)
3 tablespoons (27 g) cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter, chopped into large chunks and chilled
1 egg (60 g, out of shell), beaten and chilled
Seeds from half of a vanilla bean
2 tablespoons (42 g) Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or honey)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup (5 1/3 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream, chilled (can use milk instead—just not nonfat)
VANILLA BEAN GLAZE Seeds from (other) half of a vanilla bean
1 1/2 cups (173 g) confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk (any kind), plus more by the 1/4 teaspoonful, if necessary
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
First, make the scones. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, nonfat dry milk, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the chopped and chilled butter, and toss to coat it in the dry ingredients. Flatten each chunk of butter between your thumb and forefinger. Whisk the egg, seeds from half a vanilla bean, Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or honey) and vanilla extract into the milk or cream. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the milk or cream mixture. Mix gently until the dough begins to come together. If necessary, press together into a dough with floured hands, handling the dough as little as possible.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured piece of unbleached parchment paper and press into a disk. Place another piece of unbleached parchment paper on top of the dough, and roll out into a rectangle that is about 1 inch thick. Remove the top piece of parchment paper, sprinkle lightly with flour, and fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter. Sprinkle the dough again lightly with flour, replace the parchment paper and roll out the dough once again into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Once more, remove the top piece of parchment paper, sprinkle lightly with flour, and fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter. Sprinkle the dough again lightly with flour, replace the parchment paper and roll out the dough, but this time into a 7-inch square that is about 3/4-inch thick. The dough should have a smooth, even surface. Peel back the top piece of parchment paper, and with a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 4 equal squares. Cut each square into 4 equal triangles by cutting an “X” through the center of the square. Place the wedges about 2 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet, and chill in the freezer until firm (about 10 minutes).
Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until the scones are puffed and very pale golden (about 10 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the scones are cooling, make the glaze. In a small bowl, mix the seeds from the (other) half of a vanilla bean into the confectioners’ sugar until the seeds are evenly distributed throughout the sugar. Add 2 tablespoon of milk, and mix well, until a thick paste forms. Add more milk by the 1/4-teaspoon, mixing to combine well, until the glaze falls off the spoon slowly, in a thick but pourable glaze. Add milk very slowly, as it is much easier to thin, than to thicken, the glaze. If you do thin the glaze too much, add more confectioners’ sugar a teaspoon at a time to thicken it. Either dip the tops of the cooled scones into the glaze, or spoons it on top of the scones and spread into an even layer. Allow to set at room temperature before serving.