Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
Lightly butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan with the 2 teaspoons of butter. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, cream together the remaining 1 stick of butter and honey until fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after the inclusion of each. Add the buttermilk and orange peel, and beat to combine.
Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined, being careful not to overmix the batter. Fold in the dates and nuts. Divide the batter among the prepared cups of the muffin tin.
Bake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn out onto wire racks to cool. Serve with Orange Honey Butter.
Yield: 12 muffins