Scones are always a welcome addition to my breakfast table and I will frequently whip a batch up to go with a freshly brewed pot of coffee on a quiet morning. Scones are easy to make and come together very quickly – two features I like in my breakfast foods. These simple Hazelnut Scones are a good example of a breakfast option that won’t take much time, but are absolutely delicious.
The dough starts with the same basics as most other scone recipes – flour, baking power, sugar and butter – and gets a generous handful of toasted hazelnuts thrown into the mix. Since hazelnuts are so often included in chocolate bars, the nutty and rich flavor of the nut feels very dessert-like. I coarsely chopped the nuts in my food processor, along with the rest of the dry ingredients, then pulsed cold butter in to ensure I god a flaky dough. After the butter was cut in, I emptied the food processor into a mixing bowl and stirred in the vanilla and heavy cream to form a stiff dough. Heavy cream makes these scones light and tender, so they almost melt into your mouth.
You don’t need to use a food processor to make this recipe, as the nuts can be crushed by hand (or with a rolling pin) and the butter can be cut in by hand or with a pastry blender. I like the food processor because it cuts the prep time down to a few seconds, but it doesn’t really take that much longer to do it by hand, fortunately.
This recipe makes a relatively small batch of scones, but it can easily be doubled. I like to make smaller batches sometimes when (1) I don’t have enough people on hand to eat a large batch (and don’t want to eat them all myself) or (2) I don’t have a lot of extra ingredients in stock. This is a great recipe to make, for instance, when you have a bunch of hazelnuts leftover from another recipe. You can make these scones with other types of nuts, of course, but hazelnuts are definitely delicious and well worth trying, even if you don’t usually bake with them.
These scones are at their best when they are fresh out of the oven, so don’t resist the urge to dig in right away. Crisp exterior, tender interior and a wonderful flavor of toasted hazelnuts and fresh cream. I sprinkle them with a little sugar just before baking and eat them as-is. Pair them with clotted cream or butter if you want to make then even more indulgent.
Hazelnut Cream Scones
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup whole, toasted hazelnuts
1/4 cup butter, cold and cut into 4-5 pieces.
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
7-8 tbsp heavy cream
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and hazelnuts. Pulse until hazelnuts are coarsely chopped. Add in butter and pulse until butter is broken down into pieces no larger than a big pea. Turn mixture into a medium bowl.
Add 7 tbsp cream and vanilla to dry ingredients and stir with a fork until the dough comes together. Dough should not be wet, but you should be able to gather it into a coarse ball. Add remaining cream if dough is too dry. Knead the dough for a minute to smooth out the dough. Pat the dough into a circle that is 1/2 – 3/4 -inches thick and cut into 6 wedges. Arrange wedges on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until golden. Allow scones to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before serving.