Orange Date Tea Buns or Scones

These Orange Date Tea Buns are very similar to my Raisin Tea Buns and are based on the same recipe.  My sister, Heather and Katherine, her daughter (my niece) like dates in puddings and buns and the like.  When I head out to visit David and his family I try to take along a few treats for those poor unfortunates who do not have access to my kitchen on any regular basis. (If we lived close to each other I'd never get rid of them!) The last time we visited I took out these Orange Date Tea Buns and they were an instant hit with little sister and sweet niece.  Katherine even mentioned them on her blog. ☺

If you decide to do a detailed comparison between the two recipes you will see I've decreased the sugar in the date buns.  Because dates are so sweet naturally the buns were sweet enough without the extra sugar.  

Serve the buns with butter, jam and clotted cream (or Fussell's canned cream will do nicely) or with peanut butter or with only jam or with only butter or with cream cheese or just eat them as they are.  Eat them any way you like is what I'm trying to say.

Now to go make them again because I didn't take any pictures!

  Orange Date Tea Buns
3 cups flour
3 heaping teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
1 cup chopped dates
Grated rind and juice of 1orange
1 egg, slightly beaten
Milk to make up 1¼ cups of liquid combined with the orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly grease or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and grated orange rind in a large bowl.  Cut in the butter until it resembles the size of peas. Mix in the dates.  Pour the orange juice in a 2 cup measure and add enough milk to measure 1¼ cups.  Mix the beaten egg, milk and vanilla together.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the milk mixture.  Lightly mix until everything is moistened.    

Turn out on a lightly floured surface and gently knead 6 or 7 times, using a little more flour if needed, until dough clings together and can be rolled or patted out.   Pat or roll dough about 1-inch thick and cut with a floured biscuit cutter.  Place on prepared cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes. 

Makes 18-24 buns.  Of course, this depends on the size of your cutter.  

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and grated orange rind together.

Cut in the butter until it resembles a coarse meal.

If the butter is too soft, place the mix in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes to harden up the butter.  The colder the butter the better the tea buns will bake.

Mix the orange juice and milk together to make 1¼ cups.

Mix the vanilla and lightly beaten egg in with the milk and orange juice.
Chop the dates into raisin-sized pieces.  I always find scissors very good for doing this.  I keep several pairs in the kitchen for cooking and baking.

Add the chopped dates to the flour and butter mixture.  
Make a well in the middle and pour in the liquids.

Stir all together very gently.  Mix until just blended together.  
It doesn't have to be all perfectly mixed in.

Turn the dough out on a floured table or board.  Turn the dough in on itself, kneading about 6 or 7 times until the dough holds together.  Be very gentle with the dough.

Pat or roll the dough out to about ¾-1inch thick.

Cut out the tea buns with a floured cutter.  
If you don't have a biscuit or cookie cutter a drinking glass will do.

Lay the buns out on a lightly greased baking sheet.  If you want soft sides put them close together.  For crispy sides leave a little space between.

These are a few buns made from the scraps.  They may not rise as much because the dough has been re-rolled several times, but they WILL be eaten.

Golden brown and fresh from the oven.  I baked these for 18 minutes.
 Delicious speckled with dates.
 See those flakey layers.  The cold butter makes the buns tender.

 Steaming hot, ready for a pat of butter and maybe a little jam.

Mmmmm... butter or jam.  
Who needs to make up their mind? 
Don't worry, have both.


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