Friday, March 13, 2009

Success! GF-CF-SF Scones

Here in Wisconsin, the weather has gone mad. It does this in the springtime. Nine days ago, it was nearly 60 degrees. When I woke up yesterday, the windchill was below zero. Minus 9 (-9) to be exact. Brrr...

I have developed an intentional habit of baking something in the oven when it's cold outside. Not only does it warm the kitchen up a bit and provide food for Nicolas - it also smells great! I want our kids to associate our home with love, health, safety and scents/smells have a lot to do with creating an environment that they'll remember.

Good smells coming from the kitchen in the morning, should surely help my plan of making them always want to come home to mama (me)... Right?

I have been making scones twice a week for Nick. Not only are the gluten free, casein free but they are sugar free and YEAST FREE too. Of course, Olivia can eat them too, if she wishes to. Hubs and I usually just share one and leave the rest for the kids. We've both really cut back on what we eat. I don't really have the opportunity to "cheat" and eat donuts or muffins since I am home with the kids. But - for all I know, Hubs could be snarfing down donuts and greasy breakfast sandwiches since he can not find food like that in our home anymore. Who knows... and I don't mind. I am not at tempted by those kinds of foods. I have other demons that haunt me though... ((Sigh)) Like some (insanely) delish maple cookies I snuck in the cart from Trader Joe's! Shhh... Don't tell!

I like to use a GF flour mix of rice flour, tapioca flour, garbanzo bean flour and white sorghum flour - that I make myself, but - if I am running low, I can always count on Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour to work for me. I have come to know and respect this flour mix. It is reliable and always acts the same, each time I use it - whether for cookies, muffins, scones, etc. - Bob comes through me.

At the time I took these photos, I used EnerG's GF cornmeal mix. It was good, just a little different in texture. We have had to learn to not let texture bother us. I try to add something bigger than the grain to disguise the grittiness, such as chunks of apples, bit of fruit with the skin on or, in this case, orange zest. It works. It adds flavor and it does the job of disguising the texture.

These are the main ingredients. Sometimes I add a little GF Cinnamon and a drop or tow of organic white vanilla. The important thing is that these taste good, smell even better and that they are gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and yeast free.

Oh - and with scones, one expects them to be dry and crumbly, so I always have success at scones, as long as I use Spectrum shortening and take the time to really cut it in well. I use a pastry blender until my arm feels like it will fall off, or until the pieces of shortening are smaller than tiny peas.

Here's the fail-proof recipe:

6 Tablespoons organic GF-CF Spectrum shortening
1 1/2 Cups GF flour/corn mix
1/3 Cup chunky fruit, chopped - but not too fine (raisins, apples, gf-cf chocolate chips)
1-2 Teaspoons grated lemon or orange rind (zest)
1/4 - 1/2 Cup agave nectar, depending on preference
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup rice milk, Dairy-free or coconut milk
1/2 Tablespoon lemon or orange juice
A "pinch" GF spices to taste - ground cinnamon, cloves, etc.
Optional: 1/2 Teaspoon white vanilla
(I am certain I threw some guar gum in too... 1 teaspoon)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In mixing bowl, cut shortening into flour/corn mix with pastry blender or with 2 knives. In separate bowl, add agave nectar, fruit, zest, egg, milk and juice. Add to the well-blended shortening flour mix and stir it well! I use a fork to smash the clumps and mix.

The next part is where you can get creative, if you'd like. You can try to form the mushy goo into a circular pie-shaped dough-ball and cut it like a pizza, lifting the triangular "slices" and placing them on a greased baking sheet... to get the triangle-look. Or you can "drop - n plop" them onto the greased baking sheet, just like drop-biscuits... or you can gently roll them into little "balls".

Bake at 425 degrees just until lightly brown around the edges. I hate over baked, dry food, so I am very obsessive about getting food outta the oven on time.

Enjoy - the smell and the taste are both wonderful and best of all, they are "safe" to eat. Scones... I think I'll whip some up quick - I'm cold.

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