Bake up a batch of homemade Mini Orange Scones made extra special with a heaping spoonful of marmalade and a dash of Irish whiskey. Brunch never tasted so good!
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Mini Orange Scones with Whiskey & Marmalade
Why does a batch of homemade scones feel so special? The word brings to mind tiny plates with delicate patterns. Decadent preserves and cups of imported tea. I don’t know, they just feel so grown-up, with their subtle sweetness and delicate texture. Whenever I make a batch, I feel a little classier.
The truth is, scones actually aren’t very difficult to make at home – no more so than other baked goods like cupcakes or cookies really. Most even look very rustic, cut into imperfect triangles and dotted with raw sugar or light glazes. This version of the recipe is more than just a bit of sweet vanilla though. Adding a bitter-sweet marmalade – like my Three Citrus Vanilla Marmalade full of thick slivers of rind – and a swig of Irish Whiskey are an easy way to elevate the delicious flavors of these mini orange scones.
Use this simple recipe to make up a quick batch of mini orange scones to accompany your morning tea or pack them into a basket for a lovely spring or summer picnic on the grass. I promise you’ll feel just a little bit classier too.
Grating Cold Butter
Cold butter is the key to creating a scone’s (or biscuit’s) distinctive flaky and crumbling texture. Unlike other baked goods that mix in room temperature or melted butter, the inclusion of whole chunks of cold butter is what creates the steam pockets and delicate layers in the finished scone. Ingredient-wise, neither scones or biscuits are difficult to pull together, but the delicate handling required to keep the butter at the right temperature can be a bit tedious.
In the past, I’d always cut my butter into tiny cubes and crumbled it into the dough with my fingers. This technique is perfectly fine, but you have to work quickly with a very light touch to make sure the temperature of the butter doesn’t rise too high. Using a box grater to grate the cold butter into thick shreds isn’t only faster and more uniform, it also creates smaller pieces and lessens your physical contact with the ingredient, allowing it to stay cold. For the best results, chill both the butter and the box grater until you are just ready to use it. Grate the stick of butter using the largest holes in your box grater onto a cold plate and transfer it immediately into the flour. Toss the two together, and then mix in the rest of the ingredients as described below.
Once you do it this way you’ll never bother cutting butter again for your biscuits or scones!
Make a Beautiful Brunch or Picnic Spread!
Scones may be delicious on their own, but a nice brunch or picnic spread is never complete with just one type of baked good, even if its as delicious as these mini orange scones. Complete your spread with a little variety and an array of spreads and preserves pulled from my archives and the sites of my best blogger friends:
Scones, Muffins, & Cookies, Oh My!
Is one type of scone ever enough? I think not. To add a bit of variety, check out these recipes for Gluten-Free Buttermilk Cheddar Cheese Scones, Caramel Apple Scones, or Blackberry Lavender White Chocolate Scones. You could even throw in a few Blueberry Glazed Muffins or Fig & Cheddar Thumbprint Cookies for good measure.
Lemon Curd & Tasty Jams are a MUST.
Scones and lemon curd simply go together, and I love this easy recipe over at Food In Jars. If you don’t want to make it yourself, you can easily pick up a jar of quality lemon curd at the store – I have to say, it’s probably one of my favorite things to have at a tea party. It is FULL of butter though, so if that’s not for you, Hunger Thirst Play has you covered with this dairy-free lemon curd recipe!
Mini Orange Scones with Whiskey & Marmalade
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, grated
- 2 cups (11 oz) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup Three Citrus Vanilla Marmalade (or your favorite variety)
- 2 tablespoons whiskey
- 2 tablespoons Turbinado raw sugar
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Gently toss the grated butter and flour together in a large bowl. I like to use my hands to crumble the butter into the flour, but don’t be too picky about it – having some chunks of butter in the dough will only improve the finished scones. Mix in the granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the milk, vanilla, beaten egg, marmalade, and whiskey. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry. The dough may be slightly shaggy.
- Dump the ball of dough onto a floured surface. Form it into a rough rectangle, about an inch thick, dusting the outside with a bit of extra flour if the dough is too wet. With a butter or pastry knife, cut the rectangle into 16 or so triangles (don’t worry if they aren’t perfect). Transfer the triangles onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about an inch between each. Sprinkle the scones with the Turbinado sugar.
- Bake the scones for 15-18 minutes, until puffed and slightly golden. Transfer to a rack to cool or eat warm. Scones are best eaten right away, but they can be stored in an airtight container in a cool place for 2-3 days, or frozen for 2-3 months.