Now I can focus all of my attention on the big event coming up at the end of this month.
But this weekend wasn't just about Dad, Saturday was about the bride-to-be. Her bridal shower, to be exact. I love bridal showers, all us girls getting together, eating girlie food, talking girlie talk. Free to be girls and celebrate one of our own as she prepares to embark on this adventure we call marriage.
Doesn't she look blissfully happy? Actually, she's got a mouthful of bubble gum, like about ten pieces, thanks to a fun shower game.
As I said a few weeks ago, Danielle wants a country chic wedding, so we wanted her shower decorations to reflect that. And Blythe, her maid-of-honor, delivered beautifully.
Burlap served as a tablecloth, but the lace runner adds a touch of femininity.
And would you look at all that yummy food. Lemon cupcakes, glazed vanilla scones, strawberry spinach salad, quiche.... Do we girls know how to eat or what?
My favorite thing on the table had to be the scones. I LOVE scones, but I've only made them from a mix. This time, I made them from scratch and I'm here to tell you, them is some good eatin'. Worth every bit of effort. Alas, there were none left after the shower, but I think I'll whip up another batch just for me. Keep them in the freezer and pull one out when I need a special treat.
Oh, who am I kidding. I'll probably make them for the bridal brunch the day of the wedding. However, I may have to tuck a few extras in the freezer just for me.
So how do we make these delectable treats?
Well, first you're gonna need:
- 2 whole vanilla beans
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1/2 a pound) unsalted butter, chilled
- 1 large egg
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Split the vanilla beans in half lengthwise and scrape out all of the "caviar" inside. Truth be told, this is the first time I've ever worked with a vanilla bean. I've seen it on TV, but that's where my experience ends. The first thing I notice was the vanilla bean was stiff. So I was surprised how pliable it actually was.
I cut off the ends.
Sliced it lengthwise down the middle, then pried the edges apart and scraped the tip of my knife down the middle, the entire length of the bean.
And that "caviar" sticks to everything. The good news is that it comes off easy too. I simply scraped the edge of my knife, very carefully, of course, across my fingers to remove the seeds into my bowl.
Keep in mind that this is vanilla in its purest form. So don't be worried if it seems like you don't have a lot. This is all I got from two beans.
Now, add that beautiful "caviar" to the cream and set aside for 15 minutes.
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Cut the cold butter into pats.
Add to the dry ingredients and, using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles crumbs.
Mix the vanilla cream with the egg, then add to flour mixture. Stir with a fork just until it comes together.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and lightly press it together until if forms a rough rectangle.
With a rolling pin, roll the dough until the rectangle is approx. 12 by 7 inches and 1/2 - 3/4 inches thick. You can use your hands to help with the forming.
Cut the rectangle into 12 sorta-symmetrical rectangles.
Next, you'll cut each rectangle diagonally into two triangles. (sorry I forgot to take a pic)
Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes, removing from the oven just before they start to turn golden brown.
Allow to cool 15 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
While the scones are cooling, let's make our glaze. For this you will need:
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup whole milk, more if needed
- 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- dash of salt
Split the vanilla bean as before and scrape out the "caviar." Stir the "caviar" into the milk and set aside for 15 minutes.
This is where I sift the powdered sugar, while I'm waiting.
Mix the powdered sugar and salt with the vanilla milk, adding more sugar or milk if necessary to get the right consistency.
Whisk until completely smooth.
Dip the cooled scones into the glaze, one at a time. This is where I learned that scones can sometimes be fragile, so, after taking this pic, I used both hands to avoid breaking the scones.
Set the glazed scones on a cooling rack to let dry and allow excess to drip off. And there will be excess. I recommend setting the rack atop a baking pan, parchment or waxed paper.
Allow the glaze to set completely before storing.
I made these the day before the shower and they were still the moistest, most delectable scones I've ever had.
Maybe it's a good thing there weren't any left over:-)
I've told you what I'm up to, what's on your agenda this week?