Orange Scones

After making and storing multiple batches of my orange marmalade, can you believe I still had plenty of citrus left over? I heartily support the local marching band’s citrus fundraiser and enjoy having fresh fruit around the house, especially in the winter. It not only allows me to drink fresh-squeezed juice in the morning but also gives me an excuse to bake with seasonal produce!

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With all of the cold and snowy weather we’ve been surrounded by, it seems like its a great time to whip up a batch of orange scones and warm up the house!

Unlike many bakery scones, these beauties are not at all dry. They are moist and soft, while still maintaining that buttery and flaky goodness you expect from a scone.

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There’s no need to use a cookie cutter or flatten these pastries out into perfect shapes. I make my scones free-form because I love the gnarly, irregular surface. As you spoon on the icing, it will slowly drift into the various nooks and crannies. It is oh so magical.

The sweet orange icing fused with the crumbly, slightly tart scone provides the perfect combination of flavors and textures.

It’s dessert disguised as breakfast. What’s not to love?

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And if you weren’t already convinced to bake a batch of these sweet and buttery scones right now, there is more good news! You don’t need any type of mixer to make them – it’s all done by hand:)

Orange Scones

  • zest from 3 oranges, split in half
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Half of the orange zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Half of the orange zest
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons orange juice

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Zest 3 medium oranges, and chop the zest into small pieces. You want the pieces to be small enough to avoid long strands but long enough to get the great look and texture throughout your scone.  Separate the zest in half –  one half for the batter and the other half for the icing.

In a medium sized bowl, mix the eggs, orange juice, vanilla, and half of the orange zest.  Set aside.

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In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder so they are well combined.  Quickly chop the cold butter (sometimes I’ll put the butter in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes before using) into small pieces and add into the flour mixture.  Using a pastry cutter (or just a fork), cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is about the size of peas. The pieces of butter, like in a flaky pie crust, will melt when baking. They create wonderful flakey pockets, so don’t blend the mixture too much.

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Now, add the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a fork until just combined.  Again, don’t over mix. The dough will be sticky and soft.

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Now for the fun part! I like to rip off a small piece of dough and place on the greased cookie sheet. Don’t smooth it out. This is how you create all of that wonderful texture! You can make 16 small scones or 8 to 12 large scones depending upon your preference.

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Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in a 400 F (375 F convection) oven.  Remove and place on a cooling rack.

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To make the icing, combine the remaining half of the orange zest with the powdered sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons of orange juice.  Add a little more juice a few drops at a time until you reach a consistency that is slightly thicker than molasses.

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When the scones are almost at room temperature but still slightly warm (after about 10 to 15 minutes), spread a little icing on each scone with a spoon. Now, enjoy the fruits of your labor:)

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