Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chocolate Strawberry Almond Scones



This week I found myself in the mood for some baking.   Scones kept popping into my head as something fun to bake.   I've eaten scones before, but have never attempted making them.  Something to cross off my "cooking/baking bucket list."    After posting a call for help on Facebook, I gathered a couple different scone recipes for reference.   (Thanks, Rosemary!)  But did I stick to one particular recipe?  Of course not.    I followed the measurements and dry/wet ratios, but changed some of the ingredients.   

One such change was the addition of almond flour to the mix.   I have a bag of almond flour in my pantry, which I purchased about a month ago from Nuts.com, but haven't had the opportunity to use yet.   Scones seemed like a good recipe with which to experiment using almond flour.   Since I've never baked with almond flour, I decided to substitute only 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour with the almond flour.    It didn't seem to affect the texture of the dough or scones, but added an extra boost of almond flavor.  Maybe next time, I'll try increasing the amount of the almond flour in the dough.
The other changes I made from the original scone recipes were the use of almond milk as the liquid in the dough, because that was all I had on hand, and the mix-in ingredients (chocolate chips and dried strawberries).

But enough talking!! Time for the recipe....

  

Chocolate Strawberry Almond Scones

Ingredients

1/2 cup almond flour
1 & 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter - chilled
2 eggs
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely diced dried strawberries


Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter an insulated cookie sheet, or use a regular cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner.

In a large bowl, mix the flours, sugar, and baking powder. With a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.





In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture with a fork.   Fold in chocolate chips and dried strawberries.

Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead gently about 10 times, or until it forms a cohesive dough.  Form dough into a circle with approximately  1 inch thickness.   Using a knife or the side of a spatula, cut into 8 wedges.


Place scone wedges on the cookie sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned, or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow scones to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing them with a spatula.
 

Top with glaze (see below), if desired.


Glaze

Mix a small amount of powdered sugar with 1/4 teaspoon almond milk to make a smooth consistency.  Drizzle glaze over cooled scones.  


For a fancier presentation, top scones with toasted slivered almonds or a dusting of powdered sugar.



I was very pleased with the result of these scones.   I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo below, but the outside was nicely browned and crisp, but the inside was light, soft yet flaky (that doesn't make much sense, but I don't quite have the foodie vocabulary to property describe it), and buttery.  The texture reminded me of a shortbread cookie. 



There was an overall flavor of almond to the scones, but it wasn't overpowering, with little bursts of flavor from the chocolate chips and strawberries.   The powdered sugar glaze added a nice final touch of sweetness.   The scones paired nicely with my morning cup of dark French Roast coffee!



I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!!

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