Have you had one of my Orange Scones with Cinnamon-Vanilla Glaze? No? Well, let’s fix that right now.
There are a lot of baked goods out there being passed off as scones. I say passed off because so many have decidedly non-scone-like characteristics – spongy, crumbly, dull-flavored – and yet still retain the title. A friend recently gave me a taste of a disappointing one she’d picked up at a local coffee shop, complaining that it really didn’t seem like a scone. It was puffy, soft, and bland – more like a muffin top, really. Definitely not a scone.
The best scones, in my opinion, are just barely moist inside, almost biscuit-y, with a delicately crispy exterior and lots of flavor. This would be, for the record, an American-style scone, which tend to be more buttery and sweeter than their plainer British counterparts (but then, we also don’t usually heap ours with jam and clotted cream).
I chose to flavor these with orange because it’s mid-winter, peak season for citrus fruits, and you can find all kinds of varieties at the grocery store (I used Cara-Cara oranges, which I was thrilled to discover I bought by accident). Feel free to experiment with clementines, mandarins, or regular old navals. Regardless, what better way to enjoy a little taste of sunshine in winter than in a delightful homemade pastry?
The orange flavor inside this scone is 100 percent from zest, which is steeped in the sugar to deeply infuse the dough with its sweet-tangy aroma. The glaze adds a bit more citrus, with just a wee squeeze of fresh juice complementing the vanilla and cinnamon. The vanilla is just a whisper, not enough to create a creamsicle effect, but nicely enhancing the cinnamon.
Unfortunately, I made these when the boys were absent, and despite giving a good amount of them away, I’ve found myself face-to-face every morning (and afternoon, and evening) with a still-full plateful of deliciousness.
It’s wrong to waste food, right? Maybe just one more.
Orange Scones with Cinnamon-Vanilla Glaze
Moist and buttery with a delicately crispy exterior, these Orange Scones with Cinnamon-Vanilla Glaze are infused with juicy citrus flavor and kissed with the perfect amount of sweet-spicy icing.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 1 dozen scones
2.5 cups (11 oz) all-purpose flour
1 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 TB (1/4 lb, 1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup (3.5 oz) granulated sugar
zest from one medium orange (about 2 tsp)
3/4 cup – 1 cup heavy cream
2 TB unsalted butter, melted
2 TB freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (not imitation)
pinch of salt
1 – 1.5 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and orange zest. Set aside.
In a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add butter chunks and using the mixer on low or cutting in by hand with a pastry cutter, combine until butter is the size of small peas. Blend in sugar/zest mixture.
Add 3/4 cup of cream and mix until soft dough begins to form. If the dough seems too dry, add a little more cream (a tablespoon at a time) until a soft but firm consistency is attained.
Form dough into a rough ball and transfer to a floured surface. Divide dough in half and pat each half into a roughly six-inch round – the dough should be about 3/4 inch thick. Cut each round into six wedges – or other shape of your choice. Use a sharp knife to cut so as not to drag the edges of scones down, which can impede a nice fluffy rise.
Transfer scones to parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each. Bake at 425° for 18-20 mins, until bottoms are evenly browned and tops are beginning to turn golden.
While the scones are baking, make the glaze: Combine melted butter, orange juice, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium bowl. Sift 1 cup of the powdered sugar into the bowl and whisk to combine; if the glaze is too thin (it should be thick but pourable), add more powdered sugar until you get your desired consistency.
Cool scones completely before glazing (glazing while hot can make them soggy).
… tip for applying glaze: funnel glaze into an empty condiment squeeze bottle and drizzle in whatever creative pattern you choose