Hot Cross Scones {with rum soaked dates and toasted pecans}

Come Easter, I yearn for all the delicious delights from both my childhood, and my travels. Whilst (see how I did that?) living in London, the hot cross bun craze eluded me. I participated, but was never that enthusiastic about the taste. They however, are fun to make, and do signal the last days of the Lenten season…which is joy in and of itself. In the tradition of Good Friday must eats (if you are not fasting today), I give you Hot Cross Scones. Instead of raisins, they have rum soaked dates and toasted pecans. You’re welcome.

These, like hot cross buns, are meant to be shared “Half for you and half for me, between us two goodwill shall be” While the “diddy” intimates sharing a single bun, this recipe makes about a dozen scones. I don’t think anyone would balk at the notion that 6 a piece is fair share.

Hot Cross Scones {with dates and pecans}
for the scones
1/2 cup dried dates: chopped into raisin size pieces
1/2 cup spiced rum
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
4 Tsp baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp kosher salt
6 Tbs unsalted butter–cold and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup toasted pecans–chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream–cold
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla

for the icing
1/3 cup powdered sugar
pinch ground ginger
1 tsp +/- heavy cream

to make scones
Heat the spiced rum over low heat, and pour over the chopped dates. Let sit for no less than 10 minutes and up to an hour. Drain well. In a large bowl whisk together the whole wheat and all purpose flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Using a pastry cutter, or your hands cut the butter into the flour mixture. Do not overwork. Toss the drained dates and pecans in. Give them a quick stir to coat with flour. Whisk the cream, egg and vanilla together and add all at once to the flour mixture. Using your hands gently mix together. When the dough has just come together, place onto a lightly floured surface and shape, by hand or with a roller, into a 3/4″ round. sprinkle a bit of flour on top, if sticky, and cut out with 3″ round cutter. Place on lined sheet pan. Using the back of a knife, swept in flour, make a cross indentation in the top. Brush with egg wash or the remains of your egg/cream mixture. Bake at 400F for about 15 minutes. Ice when cooled.

to make the icing
Place powdered sugar in a small bowl, whisk in ground ginger. Add cream 1 tsp at a time until the mixture is thin enough to pipe, but not too thin. You don’t want a runny icing. Pipe with a pastry bag.

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