Date & Walnut Scones. Hello Sunday morning!

I know it's still Saturday night, but i figured if I got this out early enough you would see it as you did your nightly Facebook snoop..Half asleep & potentially intoxicated?!. Somehow, you'd dream of these puppies and wake up motivated to start baking! (insert smirking smiley here)

Seriously, There's just something about Sunday mornings. Coffee in one hand, buttered tasty treat in the other. Moment of honesty, Im not a very good baker. Like, at all. My brothers girlfriend is a "G" in the kitchen, she saves my a** most times when I get a hankering to bake. #ShoutOutToCandace. #BettyCrocker. #CooksDontBake.

Hey, at least i keep trying.. right?

I've had so many baking disasters & tried hundreds of different recipes, but that's how you learn! Now i know 26 ways how NOT to mess up Banana bread! #smh #wishiwaskidding.
If it wasn't for the fatty in me that always wants to eat I would have given up long time ago #hungerprevails. #learnhow. #feedyourself.

Over the last few years my biggest challenge has been with SCONES & BISCUITS. They're either tough, no flavor, crumbling, didn't rise/too flat, the list goes on.
Seems I can make them just fine under the supervision of someone else, but when i try to make them myself, in my own home, they've always let me down. I blame it on the ovens. At work we have these ninja like convection oven that makes life (and baking) super easy. Hell, I even feel like i could open my own pastry shop when I'm in there. Then i get home, try to re-make it (feeling quite proud),  annnnd, Nothing. Fail.

Finally it clicked… Like anything else culinary, you've gotta make as many damn scones and biscuits until you get.IT.DOWN. Practice makes perfect, there's no way around it.

So here you are, the lovely Date & Walnut Scone: 
3 1/2 Cups Flour
3 Tbl Sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tbl Baking Powder
1 1/2 Sticks Butter (about 12 Tbl) Cut into small cubes
3 Eggs
1 Cup Cream
1 Tbl Water
1 cup Dates, sliced
1/2 cup chopped Walnuts

*I limit the sugar because the Dates are sweet on their own. Plus, i smear butter and honey all over these suckers!!

Preheat oven to 360 degrees F. Line sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Cut butter into small 1/2 inch cubes. Add butter to flour mixture and with your fingers rub the butter chunks into the dry ingredients until combined. Fold in the Dates and Walnuts.
In a separate bowl beat together 2 eggs with the cream.

Add the egg/cream mixture to the butter/flour bowl and mix until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX THE DOUGH (Seriously.. leave it alone)
Options:
A) Transfer dough to floured surface, roll out to 3/4 inch thick. Cut with cutter, transfer and bake on parchment.

B) I like to use a small baking sheet instead of the floured surface. Spray your baking sheet with cooking spray. Press the dough to form the inside of the pan and let chill, wrapped in plastic for 30 minutes. Putting it in a baking sheet allows you to do other prep or tend to other things before baking them up! You can make these the night before too.. then sunday mornings are even easier!

When you're ready, cut out scones with cutter, bake on parchment for 15 minutes. Check them at this point, everyone's oven is different & baking is all trial and error. Some may need to keep them in a bit longer, they can take up to 25 minutes.

Use that last egg for an "Eggwash". Brush on scones before baking.. this will help give it that beautiful color.

Tip:  When you check the scone you should take them out of the oven when they're still a bit soft. They (same with cookies and really anything baking) will continue to bake a bit and harden as it's cooling. Pull them out early, and let them cool to perfection. Don't take them out at perfect then once its cooled it turns to rock #Epicfail.

Tip #2: The Pastry God's say you can throw all this stuff in a food processor and it magically makes perfect dough. It hasn't worked for me… yet.
Put Flour, salt, sugar & baking powder into processor. Pulse in butter cubes until you get "pea sized" dough crumbles. Slowly pour in Egg/Cream mixture and STOP as soon as it comes together.

Enjoy my peeps. Who ever wakes up with you will be thankful.... I promise!

#Cheers

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