Tuesday, March 26, 2013

We've Had The Bitter...
...Now For The Sweet!!!

I recently posted how to make homemade horseradish and its symbolism in the Judeo-Christian tradition. I think it's time for something sweet. I was going through my pantry recently and discovered that some ground almonds were rapidly approaching their expiration date, so today I made Cherry-Chocolate-Almond Scones. I am not sure I would go so far as to say these are 'healthy' scones, but they certainly are 'healthier' than the traditional recipe.

It's the ground almonds that help make the scones healthier. By substituting almond meal for half the flour, I reduced the carbs and raised the fiber content. I also added dried cherries for more flavor and fiber. Almonds are high in fat, but it is the better for you fat, and because of the fat content of the almonds, I was able to cut back on the butter and use milk instead of cream or half and half.

A lot of my cooking is done on the fly and by eye, but since I wanted to share the recipe, I decided to measure as I went along. I made the dough in my food processor, but you could mix it by hand as well. I bought my ground raw almonds from Trader Joe's. You could grind your own in a food processor, but it can be tricky - a few pulses is all that separates ground almonds from almond butter! You could also try almond flour, but I believe all of the skin has been removed, so you lose some of the fiber and nutrients.

Cherry-Chocolate-Almond Scones

1 1/2 cups of ground raw almonds
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (King Arthur Unbleached is my personal favorite)
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder (my favorite is Rumford low sodium. Not only is it lower in sodium, it is aluminum free and comes in a small container, so chances are you will use it up before it loses its 'umph'
1 Tbs packed brown sugar (brown sugar has molasses, which helps food keep longer and has some trace nutrients)
1/4 cup (half of a stick) unsalted butter (if you are vegan, you could use a vegan butter substitute or palm shortening)
1/4 cup dried cherries (I get mine at Aldi or Trader Joe's. They have the following ingredients: Cherries, Sugar.)
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (Regular or dairy free, your call but get chips made with real vanilla, they taste so much better! Trader Joe's has them and they are usually cheaper than the national brands).

Preheat oven to 425 F for a glass baking dish, 450 F for metal.

To make in a food processor:

Put the almonds, flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, butter, and cherries in the food processor and pulse until the butter is cut-in (if you want the cherry chunks to be bigger, add them AFTER you cut in the butter). Add the milk and process for a few seconds to form a dough. Turn the dough out on a floured board and knead 3 or 4 times and pat out about 3/4 inch thick. Sprinkle about 1/2 the chips evenly over the dough and fold in half. Flatten again and sprinkle on the rest of the chips. Fold in half and knead 2 or 3 more times (don't over work the dough. I baked the dough as one whole round in a pie dish, but you could also cut into individual wedges and bake them on a sheet or cast iron skillet. If you bake them as a whole round, score the top of the dough into eighths (see photo)

(c) 2013 Eric E. Paige, All Rights Reserved

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes (toothpick inserted near center will come out clean).
Then the hardest part: cool for 15 - 20 minutes.

(c) 2013 Eric E. Paige, All Rights Reserved
(c) 2013 Eric E. Paige, All Rights Reserved

To make by hand:

Dust the cherries with flour and chop to the desired consistency. Combine the almonds, flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder and cut in the butter using a pastry blender. Stir in the milk until just combined (don't over beat). Turn out and roll in the chips and bake as described above.


P.S., you don't have to tell people these are healthier, but you DO have to tell people they have almonds in them - nut allergies are a serious thing!

1 comment:

  1. A co z kolache! Chciałbym, jeśli można o tym blogu!