Vanilla Bean Scones

There is no such luxury to the start of my day than with fresh scones and Double Devon Cream - yum, yum, yum.  Here is a traditional English cream scones infused with vanilla bean and topped with vanilla sugar to give it some crunch.  When making scones or biscuits I always cube my butter by slicing it horizontally in half, turning it slicing it horizontally in half again, then slicing vertically to cube it.  I then toss the cubes in the flour to coat them and finally finish by squeezing the cubes with my fingers in the flour to incorporate - this is how you get flaky layers.

3 c. AP flour
3/4 c. (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 egg
1 c. heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a half-sheet pan with a Silpat - set aside.  In a large bowl place flour and butter cubes.  Using your fingers, smash the cubes in your hands to break the cubes up.  Add the sugar, vanilla bean paste, salt and baking soda - mixing with your hands to incorporate.  In a small bowl whisk the egg and cream together with a fork, then pour in to dry ingredients.  Use one hand to stir the ingredients together, leaving your other hand clean.  Gently turn the mixture, kneading it together until the  ingredients all come together which will take 2-3 minutes - the bowl will come clean.

Place dough ball on Silpat and gently press down to form a circular shape that is roughly 1.5"-2" thick.  Brush with cream and sprinkle with vanilla sugar.  Gently cut into eight wedges and rearrange on Silpat to allow for expanding during baking.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Enjoy!

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