In the Commonwealth countries the scone looks very different to an American scone, they resemble a ‘Biscuit’ but can be sweet or savory. They are a hardy wee number and they can travel well. Date scones are best served warm with butter slathered on but can also be refreshed slightly in the microwave.
TIPS: It is important to have a light touch when mixing the milk into the dry ingredients. Use very cold butter to cut into the flour. Feel free to use self rising flour, I rarely have it.
Date Scones ( Biscuits)
- 6 Tblsp very cold butter ( chopped into small pieces)
- 3 cups plain flour
- 6 tsp baking powder
- 1 Tblsp sugar
- 8 dates medjool are nice but dried are good too ( I often soak the chopped dried dates in the milk mix to soften for 15 mins)
- 1 1/4 cups milk
Heat oven to 400 F and arange the top rack 1/3 from the top of oven.
If you have cold hands you can cut or rub the butter into the sifted dry ingredients but if like me your hands are as hot as Hades use this trick. Place half the flour into food processor with the the sugar and baking powder and add the butter, pulse until breadcrumby and pour out into your mixing bowl. Quickly add remaining flour and mix with a knife to incorporate.
Add the dates and milk and again mix with the knife. The dough may be sticky but not sloppy.
Scrape out onto well floured bench and quickly press together into a manageable dough, just a few turns and presses and the the briefest roll with a rolling pin to 1 1/2 inches thick. Do not over handle!!
I use a 1 1/2 inch fluted cutter but cutting into squares is attractive also. Make sure you dip your cutter or knife in flour between each cut as micx will be sticky within.
Place on a tray lined with baking paper, with only 1/4 to 1/2 inch between them. When they bake they will just touch and keep softer on the sides.
Brush with a milk/ egg wash if desired
Bake for 10 – 12 mins until top and bottom are light brown and when you pick one up it doesn’t feel heavy.
Remove from oven and place in a basket lined with a clean tea towel which also covers the top. Serve immediately with butter. They are still delicious cold in your lunch but cut in half and buttered is highly recommended!