This recipe is perfect for when you are in the mood for a simple vanilla scone, and by whipping some extra heavy cream and chopping strawberries, this can be easily dressed up into my favorite summertime dessert: strawberry shortcake. These scones are best served warm, but you can keep them in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days (they will still be delicious).
Note: this recipe is most easily executed using a food processor, but if you do not have access to one, feel free to use a pastry cutter/whisk and follow the recipe as normal, being careful to watch for the designated textures.
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ c + 2 tbsp white sugar
¼ tsp kosher salt
2 ⅔ c all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 ½ c cold unsalted butter, cut into centimeter cubes (1 ½ sticks)
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 tsp vanilla extract
¾ c + 2 tbsp whipping cream
⅓ c sugar
¼ c unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp sanding sugar, completely optional and mostly for decorative purposes. The time that I made this most recently I didn’t have access to any, so it is not featured in the photo.
In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp vanilla extract with ¼ c + 2 tbsp white sugar. Let sit for at least 10 minutes (can let sit for up to one day for enhanced flavor). In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the sugar (with the vanilla), salt, ap flour, and baking powder until combined. Then, with the processor turned on, slowly drop the cubes of cold butter in. Let the machine run until the butter looks like smashed peas, and is a slightly coarse texture. Preheat the oven to 400oF. Pour this mixture into a large bowl and form a well in the center. Add the egg, second round of vanilla extract, and whipping cream into the well. Lightly stir until the mixture is mostly combined. Sprinkle a clean work surface with the remaining ⅓ cup of sugar, and turn the dough onto the surface. Knead until the mixture comes together. Try to touch the dough as little as possible, as the warmth from your hands will melt the butter and won’t allow for as flaky a pastry. Form the dough into two disks or squares, 1 inch thick. Let the dough rest on the surface for 5 minutes (this will allow the gluten to relax, creating a more tender pastry in the end). Cut out the scones to your desired shape. I like a triangle for eating as is, and a square for strawberry shortcake. Place the scones onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, brush with the melted butter, and sprinkle on the sanding sugar. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until they are a light golden brown.
To turn these into strawberry shortcake:
Whip 1 cup of whipping cream with 2 teaspoons white sugar until stiff peaks form.
Cut 1 box of strawberries into slices or cubes. Feel free to make a compote, or something of the sort here, but I prefer simple, fresh, raw strawberries.
Cut the scones in half, and fill/top with the whipped cream and strawberries. Enjoy!