I like scones. I just do. I like them as much as I like cheesecakes because once you have the basic recipe down you can do just about anything with it and it will turn out right. Foundational recipes just keep me looking good, you know? Sort of like red. I know that no matter what is going on in my life I can put on red lipstick, red nail polish, or a red sweater and the world will suddenly be a better place.
Now, scones are super easy to make but I have people literally beg me to tell them how I get the awesome texture in my scones. Sort of a cross between melt in your mouth and Oh My Gosh.
Once again I will reveal the secret. Are you ready?
You have to let the scones kick back and relax for thirty minutes before you bake them. That’s it. You see, it gives the dough a chance to tenderize as the gluten relaxes and the flavors begin to meld together in an absolute luscious marriage of flavor – in this case vanilla, pecan, and praline. The warm scones melt on your tongue like light, buttery snowflake ( you know, if snowflakes tasted like butter.) The outer crust is firm and because these have a praline syrup brushed on the top there is a thin layer of crispy sweetness, too.
O.k… let’s take a minute and talk pecans. If you grab a bag of pecans in the grocery store you are likely to get old, dry, slightly rancid pecans. Try to get them somewhere that tends to carry fresh foods – WholeFoods, a local produce market, something like that. The pecans should look plump and moist, and a golden brown color. The flavor is slightly sweet and of course, nutty. While you can use dark brown sugar if you have really fresh pecans you’ll want the lighter brown sugar that’ll allow the flavors to really stand out.
These pecan praline scones are not overly sweet – they make a just right breakfast treat… and no, I did not mean for that to rhyme.
Pecan Praline Scones
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/3 cup frozen or very cold unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon butter-nut flavoring or vanilla
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Mix the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and brown sugar in a large bowl.
- Grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture with the large holes of a box grater.
- Mix the butter into the flour and then put the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Add the buttermilk to the cold flour mixture all at once and quickly.
- Turn the soft dough out to the counter and gently knead into a ball.
- Pat down until it is about 3/4 inch thick.
- Cut into rounds and brush with the glaze.
- Press pecans into the top of the scones.
- Brush with glaze one more time.
- Let stand for 20 - 30 minutes
- Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 12 minutes.