Recipe slightly adapted from: A Homemade Life
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture, squeezing and pinching with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal and there are no butter clumps bigger than a pea. Add the sugar and stir.
Pour 1/2 cup half-and-half into a small bowl and add the egg and vanilla paste. Beat with a fork to mix well. Pour wet ingredients into the flour mixture, and stir gently to just combine. The dough will look dry and shaggy, and there may be some unincorporated flour at the bottom. Don’t worry about that. Using your hands, squeeze and press the dough into a rough mass. Turn the dough, and any excess flour, out onto a board, and press and gather and knead it until it just comes together. You don’t want to overwork the dough; ideally, do not knead more than 12 times. There may be some excess flour that’s not absorbed, but it doesn’t matter. As soon as dough holds together, pat it into a rough circle about 1 inch thick. Cut the circle into 8 wedges.
Place wedges on a baking sheet lines with parchment paper. Pour a splash of half-and-half and a drop or two of vanilla paste into a small cup and stir together. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the scones with a thin coat to glaze. Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until pale golden. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool slightly, and serve warm, with butter or jam if you like.
Storage note: Store in an airtight container if planning on eating in the next few days. For longer storage, seal in a plastic bag and freeze. Before serving, bring to room temperature and reheat briefly in a 300 degree oven–they’re best served warm.