When my dad visited us in Utah, we made some pretty killer pumpkin scones. For his trip to Wyoming this fall, I asked if he wanted to up the scone game and he suggested trying a knock-off recipe of Panera’s orange scones.
I’ve never had one from Panera, but he assured me that our take was pretty darn close and they were absolutely delicious. Orange for days.
The key is the zest–put it in the batter and put it in the glaze. Everywhere you look should be little flecks of bright orange.
The sour cream doesn’t hurt either!
Another key to perfect scones: I’ve said it a million times, but you’ve gotta have cold ingredients. The liquid, the butter, the dry — I keep everything in the fridge until I need it.
Once you start handling the batter, do so lightly and quickly. Scone batter is dry, don’t worry. You want just enough moisture to bring it together. (We had to add extra in this high altitude.)
They were so delicious. Move over, Panera!
Glazed Orange Scones
1/3 cup sugar
3 medium oranges (zest of two for batter, zest of one for glaze)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar; sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine sugar and orange zest (from two oranges); mix with your fingertips until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.
Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream and egg until smooth.
Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. The dough will be sticky first, but as you press, the dough will come together.
Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and prepare the glaze.
In a medium bowl, prepare the glaze by mixing together the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, orange zest (from one orange) and orange juice. Whisk until smooth. Dip the top of the scones into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. At this point, you can leave them as is or go for the double dip. I glazed my scones twice.