Sticky Maple Date & Pecan Scones + Freezer Storage Tips

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Alright every body here’s the deal – these scones are amazing, and you need to ¬†make em’ happen.
Okay, I guess I could probably elaborate a bit further; Although, once you take one bite out of these beauties, you will understand why I thought my opening sentence required no further explanation ūüėÄ

As returning readers already know very well – I am a girl who is positively obsessed with scones. For those of you who are new to the blog; Let me just say that given the opportunity, I would gladly eat scones everyday for the rest of my days on this earth. I know they say you should never say never – which by the way is a totally hypocritical phrase, but we won’t get into that today…¬†– but I can guarantee you that I will never, EVER¬†get sick of eating good scones. I am one hundred and ten percent confident in that statement.

So why the obsession with scones you ask? Well besides the fact that they are loaded with butter, {which as far as I’m concerned is one of the best things on this entire earth}, ¬†they are also warm, flaky and fluffy little bundles of pastry deliciousness – Seriously need I elaborate more? For me, scones are the epitome of homemade baked goodness perfection. You can bake sweet scones, you can bake savoury scones, you can bake plain scones, you can bake scones that are loaded with fresh fruits, dried fruits, chocolate, cheeses, vegetables and everything in between!

No matter what you throw into a scone – it is pretty much guaranteed to be delicious…¬†Did I mention that they are buttery, flaky and fluffy all at the same time…? They are A M A Z I N G and I pretty much can’t go a weekend without whipping up a batch of scones and trying out new flavour combinations for Cole and I to devour.

Such was the case recently when I came up with the recipe for these Sticky Maple Date & Pecan Scones. On fine Saturday morning it just hit me that dates would be an incredible addition to my little bundles of buttery sconey joy.¬†I mean honestly, how could I have not thought of this before? {Side note: I also have a little obsession with dates.}¬†So I wasted no time in whipping up a recipe that starred¬†none other than these delicious little dried fruits and my favourite natural sweetener… pure maple syrup; because well… it’s maple syrup, and really can do no wrong with a nice helping of maple syrup – am I right?

My next thought was that the sticky texture that comes from the maple syrup and baked dates needed to be counter balanced by a nice crunch Рare you thinking what I was thinking? Yup Рpecans baby. Toasted pecans combine not only with the flavours of maple syrup and dates perfectly but they also add a much needed crunch to the scone that is perfection, {especially when you take the time to toast them first}.

Ohh¬†my goodness ladies and gentlemen, let me be the first the tell you that¬†the result that comes from combining the sticky, caramelly dates, with the flavour of the the maple syrup and the crunch of those toasted pecans… it is literally to die for. So enough talking, and more recipe sharing. I will say it again – you need to¬†make these scones happen. ¬†So here’s the recipe lovelies!

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Sticky Maple Date & Pecan Drop Scones

Makes: 8-10 medium sized scones
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 20-25 minutes

Things you need…

Scones
2/3 cup butter, cold & cubed
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup dates, rehydrated & chopped

2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp coarse sugar

Maple Glaze (Optional)
1 cup icing sugar
2-4 tbsp maple syrup
(depending on how thick you want your glaze)
1/4 tsp vanilla

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How to make…¬†

Scones
To toast your pecans:
Place them on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes or until they appear golden brown and are fragrant. Set aside to cool completely before incorporating into your scone batter.

To re-hydrate your dates:
Submerge the whole dates in a bath of warm water, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Strain from water, chop into small peanut sized pieces and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until small pea sized chunks remain. Add the toasted pecans and chopped dates and stir with a fork to distribute throughout the flour mixture.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, maple syrup and vanilla until combined.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and dump the wet ingredients into the well. Use a fork to gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry until a ragged dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently pat together. Fold the dough over itself 5-6 times until it starts to come together. Pat out into a 1 inch thick circle and use the rim of a glass or a circular biscuit cutter to cut out 8-10 scones. Please them onto your prepared baking sheet, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are a nice golden brown and the tops spring back to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before glazing.

Maple Glaze 
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth and there are no lumps. After you have allowed your scones to cool for five minutes, use a pastry brush to brush on a thick layer of the glaze.  I like a nice thick, crunchy glaze on top, to I usually make my glaze a little bit on the thicker side.

Enjoy these scones warm from the oven or completely cooled – they are incredible either way!

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I mean honestly – ¬†how can you go wrong with butter, maple syrup, toasted pecans, and dates baked into a pastry that is crunchy on the outside and flaky and fluffy on the inside… you just cant.

These scones are a serious crowd pleaser and they tend to disappear quickly so if you are feeding a big group, I might suggest making a double batch. However;¬†¬†if you miraculously find yourself with a few leftover scones – {although this is pretty unlikely given how delicious they are ūüėČ }¬†– don’t fret! If you are anything like me, in most cases you probably stand by a general rule that scones are only at their best if consumed on the same day that they were baked. This is a rule that I am usually pretty firm about, but these scones are a definite exception to that rule.¬†In fact, one of my favourite things about these scones is that they are actually still amazing when enjoyed the next day or even a couple days after.

If you are concerned about the freshness of your leftover scones Рhere is a great little tip. Simply place your leftover scones in an airtight container and the next day, pop them into a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Not only will this re-heat your scones so they can be enjoyed warm, but it will also re-crisp up the outer edges and they will taste super fresh.

Freezer Storage Tips!
This scone batter can be frozen and stored for up to 2 months in the freezer without losing any of its flavour or integrity. Every once in a while, I will make a double batch of these scones, bake 1/4 or 1/2 of the batter up fresh that morning for Cole and I to eat and then I will freeze the rest.

I know this seems like such a simple tip, but believe it or not, a lot of people are completely under utilizing their freezer when it comes to their homemade baked goods. Your freezer is your friend when it comes to having fresh homemade goodies on hand at the drop of a hat and makes your life so much easier on hectic mornings!

Personally, I have a freezer that is chock full of frozen cookie doughs, pie doughs, scone batter, muffins …. you get the idea!¬†Ever since I started freezing my batters and my doughs, my life has been forever changed! Now all I have to do to prepare for a crazy Christmas morning or a Sunday brunch is simply take out some muffin batter the night before so it can thaw, and then on the morning of I can plop the batter into a muffin pan, take out a dozen or so of the frozen scones, throw them in the oven and voila… freshly baked goodies to go along with your eggs, sausage and bacon. Trust me, your freezer is the key to putting on a fabulous and yet completely stress free brunch for a crowd!

Happy Baking!

KP <3

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