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When I was young, I thought scones were tough and flavorless little bricks, something you ate to be polite but derived no joy from. Then one day, in an effort to expand my horizons, I tried an orange scone from Panera's- and everything changed!

These are beautiful, airy creations with a delicate balance of sweetness and sophistication. They fall into that wonderful category of "desserts suitable for breakfast" and are sure to be a hit across generations. It's true I love most foods, but I could wax poetic about these orange blossom scones.

Best of all, they are so simple and quick to make.

If you're looking for a copycat of Panera's orange scones, look no further! In fact, the first two people to see these scones remarked "Hey, like Panera's!" and "Did someone go to Panera?" Try them. You'll be glad you did.

Step 1: Ingredients and Tools Needed

For the Scones:

  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c heavy whipping cream
  • zest of 1 orange

For the Glaze:

  • 1 c confectioner sugar
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • zest of 1 orange

Tools:

  • large, medium, and small bowl
  • fork, spatula, knife, zester, whisk
  • wax paper (optional, but makes clean-up easier)
  • 2 cookie sheets
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • cooling rack

This recipe yields a dozen scones.

Step 2: Scone Time

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In the large bowl, combine 2 1/2 c flour, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt.
  3. Take the 1/3 c butter (about 5 1/3 Tbsp) and cut it into the flour mixture with a fork. Room temperature butter chopped into smaller pieces will make this step easy. The mix will look crumbly. Make a well in the middle.
  4. In the medium bowl, beat 2 eggs. Stir in 3/4 c heavy whipping cream and the orange zest.*
  5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until moistened.
  6. Lay out an 18" length of waxed paper and lightly flour surface. Put the dough on the paper and knead about 10 times until smooth. Separate dough in half.
  7. Using your hands, flatten each half into 6" circles (about the width of both palms). Cut each circle into six pieces, wagon wheel style.
  8. Put the pieces at least 2" apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush the tops lightly with heavy whipping cream and the 1 Tbsp sugar. This wash will give the scones a lovely finish.
  9. Into the oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Transfer scones to the cooling rack.

* For the scones, I zested right to the pith because I wanted a strong orange flavor. I used Cara Cara oranges.

Step 3: Glaze for Days

  1. In a small bowl, mix 1 c confectioner sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 Tbsp orange juice, and the zest from 1 orange.* This should be a good consistency to drip onto the scones without the glaze running completely off. Add more confectioner sugar or orange juice if necessary.

Voila! Flaky and flavorful delights, practically perfect in every way. Enjoy plain or pair with butter or marmalade.

*For the glaze, I only zested the outer peel because I wanted the orange color to pop.

<p>Yum! Those sound really good!</p>

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