Each year, at the end of our season, I think about all the breakfasts we’ve prepared and served to our wonderful guests in our sweet dining room. I can even look back over each day’s offering because we’ve saved a copy of the menu. I can tell if I were cooking that morning—the sweet bread is likely to be pecan coffee cake or blueberry buckle; both are fairly simple. When Matt’s in, popovers often emerge from the kitchen, ready to be smothered in Nervous Nellie’s jam. With Jeff in the white chef’s coat, scones are apt to be on the menu, perhaps cranberry cornbread, brown sugar spice, or apricot-ginger. I’ve always believed scones were too hard for me to make, so I never tried. But you all rave about his, and I love the maple-glazed date scones, which are sweetened only with maple syrup. I just had to try making them. And so, eventually, reluctantly, I did. And I did have to taste them as well. (Does eating three scones in a row count as “tasting”?) I love this recipe! And I was reminded that we have no idea what we can do if we don’t try. If you haven’t tried something that scares you yet this year—you still have time! I hope the results are as yummy as these scones.
Maple Glazed Date Scones
- 2 1/2 cups (12 oz.) all-purpose flour (substitute up to 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, if desired)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced/grated and chilled
1 1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup maple syrup plus 2 tbsp. maple syrup (to brush on top)
1/2 cup dates (approx. 7), chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degree F. In a food processor*, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and process until consistency of coarse breadcrumbs. Empty into a large bowl and add the half and half and 1/4 cup maple syrup. Use your hands to bring ingredients together into a cohesive, slightly crumbly dough. Work dates into the dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out into a circle about 3/4-inch thick. (If you prefer small, round scones, portion the dough with a scoop and press flat by hand, or roll out the dough and use a biscuit cutter.) Transfer to a greased cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes then brush top with maple syrup. Bake 5-10 more minutes, until the center is fully cooked. Serve warm. Serves 12.
*If a food processor is not available, grate cold butter and return butter to fridge. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in cold grated butter and continue as directed above with addition of half and half and maple syrup.