• MA Senft

Book Recipes: Scones

Updated: Aug 9

I have always loved to bake and many of my family's favorite recipes and have found their way into Shadows of December: Illusions of Time.  There are many mentions of different culinary items, how they taste, smell, make the characters feel. These recipes are cherished by my family and myself. I mentioned our family favorite, the Christmas Tea Ring in a previous post, so this time I thought I'd focus on the character Mott's signature food, Orange Scones and Tea: delish!

Throughout the book, whenever Mott is having an important conversation, she is doing so over a pot of tea and orange scones. The tea pot is pictured in the book is one I bought years ago in Stratton-Upon-Avon, the hometown of William Shakespeare in England. I bought the porcelain white with poinsettia motif set, along with several miniature spoons on the same trip. I use the tea pot, cups and spoons often. They are a cherished souvenir.

While visiting England, I tried my first scone and immediately fell in love with the flaky and mildly sweet pastry. I returned home determined to start making them regularly. While I loved all the flavors I tried there, the orange scones have always been my personal favorite, as you can tell from Mott's preference towards them in the book. They are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of orange and spice tea!

Here is the recipe I use most often when it comes to scones. This recipe is so, so good!

(Original recipe care of sprinkle some sugar)

Fresh Orange Scones

Scone Mixture:

1/3 cup sugar

zest of two medium oranges

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


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. I use the middle rack to lessen the chance of the bottoms getting too dark.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar and orange zest; mix with your fingertips until the sugar is moistened. Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.

Cut butter into flour mixture. Use your fingers or a wire-cutting tool 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. 

Place on a lightly floured surface. Scones can be made into a biscuit-like shape or use a triangle baking pan which is what I use. Or you can shape them into triangles by hand. King Arthur Flour Shop is where I bought my scone pan. If a biscuit-style scone is preferred, pat into a 7-inch circle, 3/4-inch thick. 

Place on prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Lightly greased. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and prepare the glaze.

In a medium bowl, mix melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and orange juice. Orange rind will give a little zest if you prefer. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle icing over the scones while warm. 

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M.A. Senft 

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