When I came across a recipe for Persian Love Cake, I knew these flavors were destined for a scone - cardamom, nuts, rose - a classic combination predominately found in Middle Eastern desserts. I used pistachios, but almonds, cashews, even walnuts would work well. Sweetened with dates and honey, and topped with saffron & orange blossom scented yogurt glaze, decorated with pomegranate seeds and candied rose. Saffron is typically steeped in hot liquid to get the most flavor - but I wanted it to be delicate, not overwhelming. These scones are delectably fragrant.
MAKES 12 SCONES
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1/2 cup fine semolina flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cardamom
6 tablespoons cold butter, cubed or grated
zest of 1/2 an orange
1/2 cup ground unsalted pistachios
2/3 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon rosewater
Saffron-Orange Blossom-Yogurt Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
2 tablespoons whole milk yogurt (Greek or regular)
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
In a large bowl whisk together flours, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Add butter, then cut in to the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until crumbly. Mix in pistachios, orange zest, and dates. Whisk together cream, egg, rosewater, and honey. Add to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Knead a few times in the bowl until dough just comes together.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, patting to a 1"-thickness. Cut into circles with a biscuit cutter, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pop into the freezer for 15-30 minutes while you heat the oven to 425°.
Bake the scones until light golden brown, about 12 minutes. Once the scones are cool, whisk together glaze ingredients until smooth. Dip the top of each scone in the glaze, then decorate with pomegranate seeds and candied rose petals.