Petite Oat and Currant Scones With Roasted Almond and Date Nut Spread

Makes 12 petite scones

Scone Recipe

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
Finely grated zest from 1 large navel orange
2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk plus additional for brushing
1 tbsp, plus 1 tsp Grand Marnier
1/2 cup dried currants
½ cup crumbled Blue Cheese
*Special equipment: a 1.5-inch round cookie cutter

Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Sift together flour, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a food processor, then add oats and pulse 15 times. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with small (pea-sized) lumps, then transfer to a bowl.

Stir together zest, buttermilk, and Grand Marnier. Toss currants with oat mixture, then add buttermilk mixture, stirring with a fork just until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead 5 or 6 times until incorporated.

Pat dough into a 1-inch-thick round, dusting surface with more flour if necessary. Cut out as many scones as possible with cutter, dipping it in flour before each cut, and transfer scones to a lightly buttered large baking sheet. Gather scraps into a ball, then pat into a round and cut out more scones in same manner.

Brush tops of scones with buttermilk and sprinkle lightly with 2 tbsp sugar. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, in middle of oven until golden brown, and then transfer to a rack and cool.

Roasted Almond Date Nut Filling Recipe

1/2 cup roasted, unsalted whole Marcona almonds (may substitute pistachios or pecans)
8 oz pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Madeira or dry sherry
Zest of 1 orange

In a food processor, pulse the almonds until finely ground, then add the remaining ingredients and process until the consistency is almost a smooth paste. Transfer to a small serving bowl or cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve at room temperature.

Cut scones in half. Spread each side with butter and then date nut filling, then top with crumbled blue cheese

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