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VeganMoFo #3: Scones!

There’s one good thing about having nagging who demand that I wake up no later than 7:00 ever, even on weekends: A quiet apartment definitely calls for making scones. When Dan and Matilda are asleep I can have the kitchen all to myself to throw together some dough and have it all cleaned up by the time I’m finished with my coffee. I think I love scones more than any other baked good because I can always find ingredients for new combinations within my pantry staples. Dried fruit, frozen fruit, nuts, citrus, they can all usually be found in my kitchen, even before the weekly grocery-store trip.
I’ve tried a lot of different scones over the years, and I think that these almond scones might be the best I’ve ever had. That whole loaded-with-Earth-Balance thing surely doesn’t hurt. The recipe is adapted from Baking by Dorie Greenspan. It’s the only recipe I’ve tried from the book so far, but it sure has pretty pictures. These are totally fantastic with lemon curd or any kind of sweet jam, since the scones themselves have very little sugar.

Almond Scones

3/4 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
1/2 cup blanched almonds
2 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp almond extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 Tbsp Earth Balance
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
coarse sugar and sliced almonds for top

Preheat oven to 400. Whisk together almond milk and flax seeds and set aside. In a food processor or blender, grind together 1/2 cup blanched almonds and sugar. In a larger bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt, then add almond-sugar mixture. Cut in margarine. Add almond extract to milk mixture, then add wet ingredients to dry ingredients until combined. Fold in chopped almonds, then turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and pat into a round about an inch high. Cut into eight triangles and transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat. Sprinkle tops of scones with sugar and sliced almonds and bake for about 22 minutes.

I also made mini versions of these scones for an after-slumber-party breakfast and they were a huge hit. And both full size and mini turned out nicely crunchy on the outside and tender and flaky on the inside.

And now for something completely different. Well, you know, as different as one scone can be for another scone. Which probably isn’t that different, actually. These carrot-orange-walnut scones were more cakey than a typical scone, which was actually fine, as the texture made it sort of like eating carrot cake for breakfast, only slightly more socially acceptable.

Carrot-orange-walnut Scones

3/4 cup soy milk
3 Tbsp ground flax seed
2 finely grated carrots, about 1/2 cup
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp grated orange zest
2 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, minus 3 Tbsp
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
8 Tbsp Earth Balance
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 425. Whisk together soy milk and flax seed and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, then cut in Earth Balance. Add carrots, sugar, and orange zest to milk mixture, then add to dry ingredients. Fold in walnuts. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and pat into a round about an inch high. Cut into eight triangles and transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat. Bake for about 22 minutes.

Orange glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp orange juice

Mix together sugar and juice until smooth, then drizzle onto cooled scones.

Lemon-Pine-Nut Scones with Vegan Lemon Curd


The way I see it, vegan scones usually have one of two problems: 1) They’re so dry you fear losing a tooth every time you bite into them, or 2) they’re too moist and fluffy, resembling flat muffins more than scones. I always used to use a recipe from Everyday Food magazine, which was touted as lower fat and didn’t use any eggs. But these always fell on the too-fluffy side, although if I put enough cranberries or blueberries in them I didn’t so much care. But this time I wanted nice, semi-dry, flaky scones. This lemon-pine-nut version isn’t quite there, they were a little too floury and fluffy, but with some tweaking I think they’ll get there. And they don’t have two sticks of butter like so many of the recipes I consulted.

Lemon-Pine-Nut Scones

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
6 Tbsp margarine
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup soy milk, plus more for brushing tops of scones
1/4 cup pine nuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together flours, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in margarine with a pastry cutter until it is in small sandy pieces. Mix in lemon juice and soy milk, turn out onto clean work surface, and pat into a round about 1-1 1/2 inches high. Use a bench scraper or other semi-sharp straight edge to cut dough into eight triangles. Brush each scone with soy milk and sprinkle with sugar (I use the vegan sugar carried at Whole Foods, which is nice and coarse and makes for a crunchy top, much like sanding sugar; finer-grained sugar will create more of a crust on top). Transfer to a baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment and bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool (the scones will be a bit tender when they’re warm but will get crunchier as they cool).

Oh, and about that lemon curd. It is forking incredible. I used a recipe from Bryanna Clark Grogan, which I’ve been eying forever. I should’ve made it the night before so it could have time to cool and thicken, but it was still delicious as a sort of sauce on the scones. But once it did cool, it was so thick and gelatinous. It’s the lemon curd I’ve dreamt about ever since the Chicago Diner so cruelly decided to make their wonderful lemon coconut cake special-order only. Maybe soon I’ll make a lemon-curd pie, which would satisfy my urge to eat the stuff with a spoon but wouldn’t feel so pathetic.

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