Thursday, November 15, 2012

Zucchini-Date Scones

Today was an experiment-in-the-kitchen type of day.  It was cold and cloudy and I had the day off work... plus I had a kitchen full of ingredients!  On my last shopping trip, I had picked up a big bag full of zucchini (probably because it was on sale) but didn't have a plan of what to make with it.... so it's been sitting at the bottom of the vegetable bin patiently awaiting it's turn in the kitchen.  I felt bad for the poor, neglected zucchini so I decided today would be this veggie's day to shine! 

Maybe it's the weather or the time of year... but once again I ended up deciding to bake something.  I considered using the zucchini in a muffin recipe I have used before, but figured since I had the time I would try something new!  Zucchini cake... zucchini bread... zucchini brownies... ehhhhhhh none of these were screaming "bake me", so I raked my brain for some more baked good ideas.  Then it hit me, I could use the zucchini in a SCONE... and since I had never baked a scone before, this would be the perfect kitchen adventure for the day! 

I found an easy scone recipe to follow Zucchini Chocolate Chip Scones... modified it... and here is what I came up with:

Zucchini-Date Scones
Makes 12

2 cups white flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar **
2 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 cup fat-free milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup pitted dates, corsely chopped

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In large bowl mix dry ingredients together then cut in the butter and set aside (should be the texture of crumbs).

Whisk egg and sugar together in small bowl and then add zucchini, milk, vanilla and lemon juice.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and gradually pour in wet ingredients.

Mix all together, but do not over stir. Spread mixture out on floured surface (the mixture will be a little gooey). Carefully knead mixture while adding chopped dates in handfuls at a time. 

You will only need to "press" mixture together for about 3 or 4 times. If you do this too much it will result in tough scones.

Drop the mixture (in 12 large spoonfuls) onto a 13x9 greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

** Note - if you want sweeter scones, change the sugar to 1/2 cup.  I cut the sugar to 1/4 cup because of the natural sweetness of the dates.

OMG. I freakin' love scones.  Especially warm, right out of the oven.  And for a first time attempt at baking scones (completely changing the original recipe too), I think they turned out pretty darn good!!!  These scones are moister than a normal scone due to the amount of zucchini in them, but I think it's perfect... I prefer my baked goods on the gooey-er, moister side. 

Nicely done, Zucchini. 

Remember to eat your veggies... and not just in baked goods! ;)


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