Scones. They’re the perfect sweet treat to enjoy with a cup of coffee and a friend. I shared these White Chocolate Orange Mini Scones with my dear friend Abby, the heart and hands behind Zuri Collection. Her story is one of those only-God-could-do-this stories. We teamed up for an afternoon of chili, scones, and a look at her brand new spring line.
So what’s Zuri Collection? It’s the brand behind this gorgeous handwoven bowl made by artisans in East Africa. But it’s so much more.
Zuri means “beautiful” in Swahili. Abby works with artisans in East African countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya to design beautiful bags, home goods, and jewelry. While she directs the design process, the handicraft falls squarely into the hands of the artisans. They use local products (like indigenous grasses and Tanzanian fabrics, in the case of this bowl) as their medium to craft baskets & wall hangings, leather bags, jewelry, glass-beaded coasters, and blankets. I’m seriously in love with the navy and gray combo on this bag!
Here are the wall hangings on display on the exposed brick in my dining area. I’m loving the look and how versatile they are!
I don’t think I’m biased when I say that the products are beautiful. But what makes them even more beautiful is the stories behind them. The bowl that these White Chocolate Orange Mini Scones lie in takes DAYS to make. This basket has sat in the lap of someone who meticulously wove it together, pouring their heart and their craft into each careful tuck and twist. A machine hasn’t touched this basket—only human hands.
The artisan behind the basket has his or her own unique story, just as we all do. Their story, along with the stories of the other artisans, is wrapped up in each unique piece that they create. In a recent podcast with Still Being Molly, Abby explains why it’s important for these artisans to be given more chances to share their craft and their story with the world. Often, these artisans live in communities where the market for their handicrafts might be small, or even non-existent. They have an incredible skill, but no marketable way to use it.
Abby aims to bridge that gap with Zuri Collection by connecting artisans with customers to purchase their products. Because of the purchases made by Zuri Collection and other companies like Abby’s, artisans are able to not only survive but thrive. They are able to provide for their families and give their children the opportunity to stay in school. They are able to become businessmen and women, and even provide jobs for others. And they are able to use their unique talents to bring beauty to the world.
When I first met Abby, she was a second grade teacher. Through an opportunity to travel to Tanzania, and later teach in Tanzania, she fell in love with the country and its people. It was clear to Abby that artisans in Tanzania needed a bigger market for their handmade goods, and so she set to work in creating one. I had the memorable experience of accompanying Abby on her first buying trip to Tanzania, and watched firsthand as God opened doors for Abby to make connections and purchase the products that would make her first collection.
(Abby and I taking a little coffee break at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro)
This is all just a snippet of the whole story. I highly recommend checking out Zuri Collection’s story, reading a few stories about their artisan partners for the rest of the scoop, and taking a browse through Zuri Collection’s website to see the incredible handicrafts for yourself!
When Abby came over one winter afternoon in February, it was the height of citrus season. I love adding citrus zest to dishes, especially sweet ones to add some extra flavor and brightness. As a teenager, I used to make white chocolate chip cookies with orange zest. I converted that idea into this recipe for White Chocolate Orange Mini Scones.
The base recipe came from a pastry chef who was one of my former co-workers. I had one bite of her scones during her interview and was hooked. They were tender and buttery, and not dry as a bone as some scones can be. I tweaked the recipe slightly, scaling it down for home use, and added orange zest and white chocolate chips.
The resulting White Chocolate Orange Mini Scones are the perfect scone recipe in my opinion: rich, slightly crumbly, tender, sweet from the white chocolate, and bursting with citrus flavor. Paired with a cup of coffee and a friend to chat with, they’re the perfect afternoon treat.
White Chocolate and Orange Mini Scones
- 3 cups flour
- 6 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar plus more for sprinkling on top
- 4 oz 1 stick unsalted butter, cold
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 eggs divided
- 1¼ cups white chocolate chips divided
- 2 teaspoons orange zest from 1–2 navel oranges
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- Slice the cold butter into cubes. Add the butter to the flour mixture. Using your fingers, work the butter into the flour until you have small lumps of butter throughout.
- Add 1 cup white chocolate chips and the orange zest. Stir to combine.
- Whisk one egg into the heavy cream. Pour liquid into the flour and butter mixture. Mix with a spatula to combine.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a circle, approximately 5 inches in diameter and ¾ inches tall.
- Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Place the 16 wedges on a baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes (this will ensure that the scones rise nicely).
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Beat the other egg in a small bowl. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash.
- Press the remaining ¼ cup white chocolate chips into the tops of the scones.
- Sprinkle each scone with a half teaspoon of granulated sugar.
- Bake for 15–18 minutes, or until the tops of the scones are golden brown. Serve with coffee or tea.