What started with a simple cheese plate has led to so much more.
One night, a few weeks ago, I got off work late and decided to treat myself to a cheese plate. I stopped by the store on my way home and picked up a little wedge of raw milk gouda, a few juicy Medjool dates, and some walnuts. A glass of wine and a movie later, my wheels were turning, thinking of other things I do with this delicious combination of ingredients. I made a batch of date-walnut bars (good, but the crust was a little too crumbly to share with y’all), a really good stuffed pork tenderloin, and, finally, these scones. It’s been a good ride.
These scones were the star of a leisurely breakfast last weekend. They’re a great blend of savory and sweet, buttery layers spotted with big chunks of date, toasted walnuts, and sharp cheese. Paired with hot coffee, pjs, and good company, is there really nothing more I could ask for on a Sunday morning? Nope.
You’ve also got to love that scones are not an all day project. I’d love to start a weekend with a homemade croissant, but that is never, ever going to happen. Scones on the other hand, go from raw ingredients to warm breakfast pastry in less than a half an hour (even if you’re nutso enough to slow things down by taking pictures for a blog!).
Just measure out some flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Chop a few plump dates, toast a handful of walnuts, and grate a nice sharp gouda.
Cut cubes of cold butter into the flour until you have a crumbly, pebbly mixture.
Stir the goodies into the flour along with a generous cup of heavy cream. Stir until it just begins to clump together, then dump it out onto the counter and give it a quick knead ’til it forms a rough dough. Don’t overwork it; it should look a bit unkempt–too smooth and you’ll miss out on all the flaky, buttery goodness.
Pat the dough into a circle and cut into 8 wedges. Transfer to a baking sheet and pop them in the oven while you collect the newspaper and pour your coffee.
Weekends are special. Let’s do the mornings right.
- 2 c. +1 tsp. All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar
- 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 5 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, cut in small cubes and very cold
- ¾ c. chopped Medjool Dates
- heaping ½ c. grated Aged Gouda Cheese
- ½ c. chopped Walnuts, toasted
- 1 c. + 1 Tbsp. Heavy Cream
- Preheat oven to 450° with a rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together 2 c. flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Scatter the cold pieces of butter over the mixture and cut in using a pastry blender or 2 knives until the butter is in small pebbly pieces (it's okay if a few larger chunks remain).
- Toss the dates with the remaining tsp. of flour so they won't all clump together. Add the dates, grated cheese, walnuts, and cream to the flour mixture. Stir until large clumps of dough begin to form. Don't overwork it. The dough shouldn't be uniform--you want to be able to see some larger flecks of butter. Turn the dough out onto a clean board or counter and knead just enough for the clumps of dough to come together.
- Press the dough into a 9 in. circle, then cut into 8 wedges. Transfer the wedges to the prepared baking sheet and bake until golden, 12-15 minutes. Serve warm. These are best the day they're made, but are still awfully good after being stored at room temperature and reheated a few days later.
Plus, a few more recipes bound to ensure weekend breakfast bliss. Go forth and bake!
Joan G. says
Hi Sarah, Trying this tonight. Picked up dates yesterday at whole foods. They look like the ones in your photograph but you referred to them as juicy. I don’t consider the ones I picked up as juicy (but they are delish!). As a girl growing up in the south I don’t know that I have ever seen a juicy date (well that didn’t sound just right, did it?). Can you enlighten me? Love your blog. Have tried several things and love them. Thanks Sarah!
I guess I used “juicy” as a relative term. The Medjool dates you can buy in the produce department I consider juicy compared to the boxed dates in the baking aisle. However next to a ripe peach, I would never refer to a date as juicy!
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the scones!
Any suggestions to modify if I use ww pastry flour? I will try almond vegan cheese instead of Gouda…
Sorry I didn’t catch this comment sooner. Normally if I want to incorporate some ww flour, I’ll just use half ww and half all-purpose in order to maintain the texture.