date scones with a twist (or two)

I do love scones, especially when they're fresh and warm from the oven. today I had a craving for date scones and so made a batch using the incredibly simple but marvellous lemonade recipe. we're not fizzy drinkers and had a bottle lying around from a christmas party - it was a perfect way to put it to use! I added fresh lemon rind, hazelnuts and dates to the dough as an experiment and am totally smitten with the results - a fluffy, nutty, zesty, just-the-right-sweet scone!

3 1/4 cups self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cream
1 cup lemonade
3/4 cup dates, pitted, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped

Soak dates for an hour in boiling water then drain away the excess liquid. Then in a large bowl mix flour and salt and form a well in the centre. pour cream, lemonade, dates, zest and hazelnuts into the well and stir with a knife until just combined. turn dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead with your hands until the dough is smooth and pliable (I needed to add an extra 1/2 cup flour at this point). Using your hands or a rolling pin flatten dough and cut as desired. Place scones "snug" pressing up against each other on a lightly floured or greased oven tray. Bake in a hot oven (220'c) for 10-20 minutes or until golden.

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