Whatever you do, DO NOT make these scones.
I made them, tasted them, and did a double take. (Oh my God, they are the best scones. Ever.) I may have had to sit down and I’m pretty sure my eyes rolled back in my head a little.
I thought it was a fluke, so I made them again and invited a bunch of ladies over. And everyone who’s had them has told me that they’re the best scones they’ve ever had. (Totally blushing here, but hey, they said it so I had to share, lol.)
Which sounds great, right?
(I’m telling you, no matter how much you want to, don’t go make them!)
The problem is that these scones then become the standard by which all future scones are judged. Your taste buds will be tainted the same way that mine are. These scones will wreck it for all the other decent scones out there, making you think a sufficiently good scone just isn’t worth it (not the time, not the effort, not the money, and not even the flour that went into making it). You will want Christmas Morning Scones all the time, whether it’s Christmas morning or not.
Which normally wouldn’t be a problem (I’m not afraid to whip up a batch of scones on a random Thursday afternoon), but they are for Christmas morning; they’re special, if you will, and sacred in a way.
I asked everyone who tried these scones how they’d describe them, but I think my 11-year-old niece said it best: “It’s like you came up with the flavor of Christmas.” (Ha! That, my dear, is exactly what I was going for. ;) )
So, on the off chance that you don’t heed my advice and you decide to go ahead and make these, first of all, know that you will never be the same. But also take note that you can make the dough the night before and bake them off in the morning.
And on Christmas morning there is nothing that will make your house smell more like Christmas morning than these scones.
- 2½ cups (320 g) all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons (75 g) sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened dried cranberries, chopped small
- 4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
- 6 tablespoons (80 g) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 1 cup (237 ml) half and half (or milk or cream), plus 2 tablespoons more for brushing on top
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup (115 g) powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water
- Unsweetened dried cranberries
- Fresh rosemary leaves
- Preheat oven to 450F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat liner.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, dried cranberries, and rosemary in a large bowl.
- Cut in the butter with a fork or using two butter knives until it looks like coarse meal. Whisk together the half and half and vanilla bean paste, and stir it into the flour mixture. (The dough should come together, but not be too wet.)
- Shape the dough into a ball, then flatten it into a disk; wrap it in plastic wrap and chill 10 minutes in the freezer.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll or press the dough out to a circle about 7 to 8 inches in diameter and ¾ inch thick. Cut the circle of dough into 8 equal wedges.
- Transfer the scones to the prepared baking sheet, lightly brush the tops with a little half and half (or milk), and bake until puffed and light golden brown on top and bottom, about 14 to 16 minutes. Cool completely.
- Once cooled, whisk together all ingredients for the glaze, adding the water a little at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. Dip the tops of the scones into the glaze, letting it run down the sides; sprinkle a few dried cranberries and rosemary leaves on top, if desired. Place the scones onto a wire rack and let the glaze set completely before serving.