The other day, I tried some delicious pecan scones that my sister-in-law brought over to enjoy with tea.
I love making scones, so the wheels in my head started turning to come up with a copycat recipe. Thinking about pecans made me start thinking about a date nut bread recipe that I used to make in the bakery where I worked in college.
Agonizing over which tasty treat to make, I decided, instead of choosing just one, I’d make a hybrid.
I wanted something a little heartier, and less sweet than what I typically make, so I substituted 2 cups of the all purpose flour for whole wheat, and switched the granulated sugar for rapadura (whole cane sugar). The result was so wonderful! The added whole wheat flour really enhanced the bread-y, wheat-y flavor (will someone please help me with better adjectives?), but there was still enough white flour to keep things soft and flaky.
I’ve been baking a lot more with rapadura lately. It’s a nice substitute for sugar, particularly if you’re using it in place of brown sugar as the flavors are similar.
So what is the difference between white sugar, brown sugar and rapadura?
- White granulated sugar is what you get when sugar cane is processed and separated from the molasses. It’s juiced, the molasses is extracted, and the clear juice that’s left over is dried and made into white granulated sugar.
- Brown sugar is white granulated sugar that has had some of the molasses added back in.
- Rapadura, bypasses the molasses extracting process. The cane is juiced, and the juice is dried and granulated to make rapadura. The flavor is very similar to brown sugar, but the texture is more dry and powdery.
There are some natural vitamins and minerals retained in rapadura that aren’t present in white granulated sugar.
It tastes AMAZING in date nut scones. Although it’s a little less sweet than white sugar, the dates more than make up for any lack in sweetness.
Rapadura is available in most health food stores, and I love the Rapunzel brand, which is available on Amazon!
I usually shape my scones into triangles, but I tried a new shaping method this time. I just formed the dough into a circle, and cut it into 12 even pieces and then quickly (didn’t want cold butter to melt) shaped each triangle into rounds.
Obviously, the shape didn’t affect the flavor at all, but it was easier to cut in half, and thus, easier to spread with butter.
Because there’s not enough butter stuffed inside the dough. No, we must put it atop the scones as well.
After the scones are formed, you brush them with half & half.
Top with a pecan!
And bake your Cinnamon Date Nut Scones for 15 minutes!
And eat them. Eat them all!
I know it’s more common to have tea with scones, but I’ll take coffee any day.
I won’t tell anyone if you put more butter on top
Scones are best fresh, so enjoy within 2 days!
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- ⅔ cup whole cane sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups + 2 tbl half & half
- ½ pound unsalted butter (2 sticks, cold)
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- 1 cup dates, pits removed and chopped
- 1 tsp orange zest
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Grease two rimmed baking sheets, or cover with parchment paper.
- With a wooden spoon or stiff spatula, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- Grate cold butter into the flour mixture with a cheese grater.
- Cut butter into flour with pastry cutter until dough resembles course crumbs.
- Add dates and pecans to flour mixture gently fold them in.
- Make a well in the center of flour mixture and pour in 2 cups half and half.
- Mix until dough just comes together, being careful not to over mix.
- Tumble dough onto well floured surface and knead only a few times.
- Pat the dough into a rough circle and cut into 12 even pieces. Shape those pieces into rounds with your hands. Transfer to baking sheets.
- Brush with remaining half and half.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until just browned.
- Cool for five minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Enjoy within two days.