California Prune Panda Scones

pandaSconesIngredients
• 100g California Prunes
• 300g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
• 100g slightly salted butter, cut into pieces
• 100g caster sugar
• 150ml whole milk
• 1tsp vanilla extract
• 300g California prunes
• 300ml double cream

Method
Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Sift the flour into a large bowl then remove one tablespoon of the flour and place it into smaller bowl. Using scissors, cut 100g of the prunes into the flour in small pieces. Fully coat them and set aside. Rub the butter into the flour to create a fine breadcrumb mixture. Stir in the sugar and then stir and toss through the cut up prunes and remaining flour from the bowl. Stir the vanilla extract into the milk and make a well in the dry mix  and add the liquid, saving a little to paint the top of the scones with. Fold through with a spoon combine and gently bring the mixture together into a ball. Transfer onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll out the dough with a rolling pin to  no less than 3cm deep. Leave to sit for a few minutes. Cut out some non-stick parchment paper and line a flat baking tray. Take a 6cm plain circular cutter press firmly into the rested dough. Pick up and gently press the dough out on to  the prepared baking sheet to make six full complete scones, which when cut in half will make 12 Panda faces. Brush the top of the scones with the remaining vanilla milk and bake near the top of the pre-heated oven for approx. 10/15  minutes until risen. To create the eyes patches, slice through 12 prunes to create 24 flat eye patches. For the ears cut 12 prunes in half and set aside. To make the noses and pupils, cut out 12 small triangles and use the remaining scraps to  cut out little bits of prune to make 24 pupils. Place the cream into a bowl and whip to soft peaks. Transfer the mixture into a disposable piping bag. Pipe the whites of the Panda’s eyes on to the prune Panda eye patches you have set aside. Place the cut-out prune  pupils onto the piped cream within the Panda’s eye patches. Once the scones have cooled, carefully cut in half and cut off another section of the piping bag to approx. 3cm and divide and pipe the cream onto the halved scones. Using a  rounded knife spread the cream over their surface to create a smooth Panda face. Place the prune Panda features on to each scone face, starting with the eyes, then ears and finally nose.

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