If you’ve been following my blog you’ve read about The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elana Amsterdam and the many recipes I’ve made from it. I debated between making her Tropical Chocolate Chip Cookies and her Chocolate Chip Scones. The scones had a sweetness rating of medium, so I chose them.
The photo on the right was taken by a professional photographer who, no doubt, worked with a food stylist. The picture of the two half batches I made don't look as pretty, for the reason you'll read about below. Still they taste great! Photo credit: Annabelle Breakey.”
Modifications I made
I made half the batch with the recommended chopped, bittersweet dark chocolate (chopped more finely than in the picture on the right; these turned out to be my favorite) and half the batch with raisins. I added 3/4 teaspoon of pie spice to each half batch. I used honey in place of agave nectar. To find out why, read my post on Another Look at Agave Nectar. I used coconut oil to replace grapeseed oil. If it’s the coconut oil is hard, melt it in a saucepan over low heat and allow it to cool before mixing it with the eggs (to avoid curdling them) and the almond flour, otherwise your scones will spread and look more like cookies. If you use palm shortening, a great alternative to vegetable oil, margarine, butter (if you’re severely lactose intolerant), or conventional shortening, you need to beat the eggs, shortening, and liquid sweetener in the food processor or in a bowl with an electric mixer before adding to the almond flour mixture.
I followed the rest of the recipe as written. You can find Spectrum All Vegetable Shortening (made from mechanically pressed organic palm oil) on the baking aisle of natural foods stores or the health food aisle of supermarkets. It's very reasonably priced in stores (much more expensive on Amazon), has a mild, almost undetectable flavor, works well in sweet and savory recipes, and has ome of the same health and culinary benefits of coconut oil. I also like Tropical Traditions Palm Shortening (also made from non hydrogenated palm oil), which you can purchase in larger buckets for economy and efficiency.
16 delicious gluten-free, grain-free, flourless, naturally sweetened small scones (mine came out more flat like cookie because I didn’t wait long enough for the coconut oil to cool after melting so the batter spread more). I like the way the chopped, bittersweet dark chocolate spreads throughout the cookies moreso than the larger chunks of raisins in the variation I created. If I use raisins again, I’ll chop them coarsely. The scones have a smooth consistency and soft texture. I think some people might think they actually contain (grain) flour, meaning you might fool a few skeptics. Remember (see my previous post) that almond meal that contains almond skins will not produce the same results. You need blanched almond flour for Elana’s recipes.
They tasted sweet enough to pass as cookies for me. I don't think the scones needed any less sweetener. Each contains 3/4 of a teaspoon of liquid sweetener and 1 tablespoon of chopped dark chocolate (or raisins). Two small scones with a cup of hot tea or Teeccino made a great dessert for me. If you try them, tell me what you think. You could experiment with dried cranberries, currants, chopped dried cherries, or a combination of one of those with dark chocolate.
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Here is another one of Elana’s delicious recipes reprinted with permission from her publisher. I'm impressed and I plan to continue trying sweet and savory recipes from her book.
Chocolate Chip Scones Sweetness: medium
Prep: 20 minutes or less Cooking: 12 to 17 minutes Yield: 16 scones
In college, I used to pretend chocolate chip scones were a breakfast food instead of a dessert, devouring one nearly every morning. Using agave nectar to lower the glycemic index of this scone makes my unique categorization less of a stretch. Rich in antioxidants and low in sugar, organic dark chocolate makes these decadent-looking scones a healthy indulgence.
2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (I used Nuts On Line brand for this batch)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I used Redmond Real Salt)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup grapeseed oil (I used Tropical Traditions melted extra-virgin coconut oil)
1/4 cup agave nectar (I used honey)
2 large eggs
1 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate (73% cacao; I used Trader Joe’s gluten-free dark chocolate)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, agave nectar, and eggs.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined, then fold in the chocolate. Drop the batter, in scant 1/4 cups 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 12 to 17 minutes, until golden brown or a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean. Let the scones cool for 30 minutes on the baking sheets, then serve.
- “Reprinted with permission from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook: Breakfasts, Entrées, and More. Copyright © 2009 by Elana Amsterdam, Celestial Arts, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: Annabelle Breakey.”