Work the dough quickly (dont over-mix!) and put the dough wedges into the heated oven as soon as possible.
The process from mixing to pulling the finished scones out of the oven shouldnt take more than 15-20 minutes.
Scones are best served warm.
In order to keep the scones flaky its important to have all ingredients, work surfaces and tools clean, cold and dry.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
Roast nuts on a baking sheet for 7 to 10 minutes until light brown and aromatic.
Remove nuts and cool.
Crush in a zip-lock bag with a rolling pin.
Add brown sugar and cinnamon to nuts, combine and place bag in freezer.
Cut butter and shortening into 1/4 chunks on a small plate and place in freezer.
Raise oven temp to 450 degrees, Lightly flour a work board and place in refrigerator Sift flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar into large bowl and place in freezer with (pastry blender) for 10 to 15 minutes.
Measure and combine butter milk, cream and vanilla and place in refrigerator.
Now that everything is prepared its time to make the scones, work as fast as possible, you need to complete the process without interruption.
It shouldnt take more than 15 minutes to get them into the oven from this point.
Remove butter/shortening and flour mixture from freezer, With a pastry blender cut butter/shortening into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few slightly larger butter lumps.
(This can also be done in a food processor, just be sure to refrigerate the bowl for 15 mins before starting) Add nut/brown sugar mixture to flour/butter mixture, toss lightly with a wooden spoon to combine (if using a food processor, pulse until combined) Make a well in the center and pour in cream/buttermilk/vanilla mixture.
Working quickly, blend ingredients together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon into a soft crumbly dough.
(do not over-mix or scones will be tough).
(Once again, if using the food processor pulse till just combined).
Turn dough onto your cold, floured, work board.
Dough will be a crumbly mess, work it gently, turning no-more than four times, and lightly press it into a rectangle (5x10x1/2 thick).
Cut rectangle in half into two 5x5s, then each half into two 2 ½ x 5s forming four quarters.
Cut each quarter diagonally and place wedges 1 inch apart on a light colored non-stick baking sheet.
Bake until scones are lightly brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
Place on a wire rack and serve immediately.
Scones will keep overnight, cover them with a thin pastry cloth or kitchen towel.
Possible Additions/Substitutions---------àm .
Use 1 cup of raisins, dates or other dried fruit in-place of brown sugar/nuts.
Use 1 cup of white chocolate chips, Hersheys cinnamon chips or mini chocolate chips in place of brown sugar/nuts.
Replace 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla with nut flavored extract.
Use whole milk in place of butter milk and or cream.