My dear friend Betsy Goldstein (also superb cook and Once Upon a Chef right hand) recently told me about the most amazing scones she and her husband enjoyed while celebrating their anniversary at The Salamander Resort in Middleburg, VA. In raving about the scones (the caramelized bottoms! the butterscotch! the toasted pecans!), Betsy admitted to having brought one home for me to taste, only to have succumbed to temptation before having the chance to give it to me. So, being me, I decided to trek out to Middleburg to hunt down the scones. I’m happy to report that they lived up to the hype, and I was able to create a copycat version by making a few tweaks to my favorite chocolate chip scone recipe. These butterscotch pecan scones are tender, sweet, and rich — almost like giant cookies — and perfect for holiday brunches or gifting to neighbors and teachers (especially if you’re like me and need to get them out of the house before you eat the entire batch!).
To begin: toast the pecans in a 400°F oven until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Let them cool, then coarsely chop them and set aside.
Next, in a small bowl, combine the heavy cream, egg, and vanilla.
Whisk well and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cake flour, salt, baking powder, and brown sugar.
Mix well, using your fingers to rub the brown sugar into the mixture until no lumps remain.
Add the pieces of cold butter.
Use your fingertips to rub the butter into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with pea-sized clumps of butter within.
It should look like this.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then add the cream mixture.
Use a rubber spatula to mix until the dough comes together.
It should be a bit sticky, almost like chocolate chip cookie dough. If it seems dry, add a bit more cream little by little (no more than 2 tablespoons should be necessary).
Dust a clean, dry work surface with flour, and place the sticky dough on top. Dust the top of the dough with a little flour.
Knead gently a few times until dough comes together into a ball. (Sprinkle lightly with more flour as needed so that the dough doesn’t stick.)
Press the dough into a circle about an inch high, then cut into 8 wedges.
Arrange the wedges on the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly apart, and then sprinkle each one with about 1/2 teaspoon of Demerara sugar.
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until lightly golden and firm to the touch.
Let the scones cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
My Recipe Videos
Butterscotch Pecan Scones
- 2/3 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more if necessary
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups cake flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2/3 cup butterscotch chips, best quality such as Guittard
- Demerara sugar (also called raw sugar or turbinado), for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange the pecans in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Slide the parchment off of the hot baking sheet and let the pecans cool on the countertop. When the pecans are cool enough to handle, coarsely chop them and set aside. Place the parchment back on the baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, egg and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and brown sugar (use your fingers to rub the brown sugar into the mixture until no lumps remain). Add the pieces of butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with pea-sized clumps of butter within. Stir in the butterscotch chips and pecans. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then add the cream mixture. Use a rubber spatula to mix until the dough comes together. It should be a bit sticky, almost like chocolate chip cookie dough. If it seems dry, add more cream little by little (no more than 2 tablespoons should be necessary).
- Dust a clean, dry work surface with flour. Place the sticky dough on top and dust the top of the dough with a little flour as well. Knead gently a few times until the dough comes together into a ball. (Sprinkle lightly with more flour as needed so that the dough doesn't stick.)
- Press the dough into a circle about 1-inch high, then cut into 8 wedges. Arrange the wedges on the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly apart, and then sprinkle each one with about 1/2 teaspoon of Demerara sugar. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until lightly golden and firm to the touch. Let the scones cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The scones are best enjoyed fresh on the day they are made but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The Dough can be Frozen for up to 3 Months: Put the dough wedges on a baking sheet, let set in the freezer, then place in a sealable bag and press out as much air as possible. Bake as needed directly from the freezer. (Allow 1 to 2 minutes longer in the oven.) To Freeze After Baking: Let the scones cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove the scones from the container and let them come to room temperature. **If you have the option to freeze the scones before or after baking them, you will get the best results if you freeze them before baking.
- Serving size: 1 scone
- Calories: 409
- Fat: 24 g
- Saturated fat: 12 g
- Carbohydrates: 45 g
- Sugar: 17 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 5 g
- Sodium: 222 mg
- Cholesterol: 63 mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.