Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Copy cat!

The heat index today is something like 120 degrees. I'm exaggerating, but not by much. So what did I decide to do? I cranked up my oven and baked. Sometimes things I do make absolutely no sense.

I was determined to duplicate (or even improve) a date almond sesame scone that I bought from the baker at the local farmer's market. The first one I bought was so delicious that I went back the next week and bought another and asked the baker what was in them. "Dates and almonds," he said with a sly grin. No more details. I could see the sesame seeds so I had at least three ingredients figured out.

So I searched online and found a recipe that calls for 50 grams of treacle. I didn't know what treacle was (sounds like seaweed, but I discovered it's a form of corn syrup) and I had no idea how to measure 50 grams so I totally improvised. They're good, but not quite as good as the baker's scones. I'm going to have to buy one again this week and see if I can figure out his recipe.

Here's what I did.

Date Almond Sesame Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup chopped dates
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup buttermilk (may need more)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ cup chopped almonds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar in large bowl. Stir in chopped dates. Cut in butter with pastry knife. In small bowl, mix buttermilk, egg, and almond extract. Pour into flour mixture then stir in chopped almonds. Flour hands and turn dough onto ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Pat gently into circle 1½ - 2” high and score into 8 scones with floured knife. Sprinkle top with sesame seeds and lightly pat sesame seeds into the dough. Bake in preheated oven at 375º for 18 – 20 minutes until top is light brown.


  1. You can get treacle in Wegman's in the international aisle...they call it Golden Syrup or something like that..

  2. ...and you might try heavy (whipping) cream instead of buttermilk. It frequently appears in some scone recipes I have.

  3. I actually really like using buttermilk for scones. (I also use buttermilk for pancakes.) I like the slight sour taste that it adds. Fewer calories, too, but why count calories when there's all that butter.

  4. BTW--I decided this recipe has too much almond extract. I might eliminate the almond extract next time and try it with a ginger/cinnamon combination. It's fun trying.

  5. Yeah, scones seem to need a lot of butter! I remember going to a high tea somewhere in England with Jim and both kids (10 and 13)and they served the scones with Devonshire Cream. Sort of like thick cream,but with more butter added, and it was spreadable. Sinfully delicious! I think I had heartburn for three days after that.