Sleepless in Scone Cityby caroline
What's a gal to do when she can't sleep? Apparently, this one gets out of bed and bakes.
It was still very early and dark this morning, when I decided I had tossed and turned enough, and pretending to sleep was no longer an option. I checked my email and did a few other things, and then decided it was way too early to be staring at the glaring light of a computer.
So, I moved to the kitchen.
Sometimes. I liken my baking process to my writing process in the sense that I often just let my creativity carry me throughout either one. At the risk of sounding completely existential, it's a bit of an outer body experience. All of a sudden it's an hour later and I have a finished story staring back at me from my computer … or, in this case, a fresh baked scone on a plate.
I have been wanting to bake a gluten-free, vegan scone for a while, seeing as how it is one of my favorite morning treats. I think of scones and all of a sudden I am transported to a toasty Saturday morning spent in my favorite coffee shop, or even in bed, reading a book and all wrapped up in a snuggly sweater.
It was exactly what I needed this morning.
I have been studying recipes for quite some time, and I had come up with a basic batter formula I wanted to try. The tough part was deciding what kind of scones I wanted to make. Chocolate chip? Blueberry? Cranberry Orange?
I finally settled on a cinnamon scone, deciding that the warm aroma of the tasty spice would be heavenly as it floated through our home.
I don't know how I came up with the cinnamon filling for these guys, but something about brown sugar just felt right in my tummy. Oh, and I decided topping it off with a maple cinnamon glaze wouldn't hurt either.
The best kitty helpers ever, Simon and Madeline, were at my feet and ready to bake … as usual.
Here are the delicious details:
Makes 8 scones
- 2 cups of gluten-free flour (I used the G-Spot Gluten Free Baking Flour Blend, but I also like Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur mixes.)
- 1 Tablespoon of gluten-free baking powder (I use Clabber Girl.)
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
- 1/3 cup of agave nectar (you can also try maple syrup!)
- 1/3 cup safflower oil, (plus about 1/4 cup to brush on top)
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup rice milk, warmed
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and move the oven rack to the center if necessary. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or use one of these nifty fellas).
In a bowl, measure the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg, and combine by whisking together. Add the safflower oil, agave and vanilla, and mix dry ingredients with liquids until combine well (batter will be a bit stiff). Add warm rice milk and stir.
In a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Mash brown sugar with cinnamon until well combined. Add mixture to the batter and fold in, allowing the brown sugar and cinnamon to swirl the batter.
Scoop batter onto prepared baking sheet, making eight circular shaped scones spaced about 1 – 1-1/2 inches apart. You can shape and flatten the dough a bit to form rough circles (they don't have to be perfect). Brush the tops of each scone with a light coating of safflower oil and place in the oven to bake for about 15 minutes. Rotate the tray halfway through the bake time to make sure the scones are evenly baked.
While the scones are baking, combine the maple syrup and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl.
Remove scones from oven and allow them to cool on the tray for about 3 minutes. Brush the tops of each scone with the maple and cinnamon mixture, and then continue to allow them to cool on the tray for about 5 minutes. Remove the scones from the tray and transfer to a wire rack, allowing them to cool completely.
Right around the time I was pulling the scones out of the oven, I realized the reason I wasn't sleeping so well: I have a bit of a bug.
That itchy, scratch-y, cough-y, whole-body-aching thing everyone has, including Dan, seems to have creeped its way over to me. Yucky. So, I paired one of these scones with some honey-infused green tea and we'll see how the rest of the day goes.
One thing's for sure: These scones are 102 percent tasty. Even with the ick-factor I have going on, I couldn't ignore the yum-factor. They are a little more moist than typical scones, but the oil brushed on top before baking helps to give the crust a nice, crispy crunch.
I'm off to sip more tea, rest and maybe munch another one of these fellas ….