Saturday, 26 November 2011


Scones are wonderful, doughy biscuits that are, as the British have known for a long time, the perfect thing to nibble on while enjoying a cup of tea (or coffee, if it's before 10am). I like to make them on Saturday mornings, providing us with yummy breakfasts for a few days. A wonderful advantage to this recipe is that it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. You then throw them in the oven, and 20 minutes later, you can enjoy freshly baked scones!

I found this recipe in "Vegan With a Vengeance", and I have yet to find an easier, or more delicious scone recipe. The basic version is great, but I love to play with it. In the summer, I add all kinds of fresh berries to my scones, and in the colder months, nuts, chocolate chips and chopped dried fruits find their way in the mixing bowl. Scones never have to be boring! The ones pictured below are a variant I found on the Post Punk Kitchen blog: chocolate chunk and ginger! How could I resist trying that?

This recipes makes 12 to 16 scones, depending on how big you make them. They freeze really well in a plastic bag, so feel free to double the recipe, and keep a stash in the freezer that you can reheat in the microwave as needed.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil (canola)
1/2 cup soy cream or soy milk
3/4 cup soy milk mixed with 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the oil, soy cream and milk. Mix until just combined. Using a baking measuring cup or ice cream scoop, drop by 1/4 cupfuls onto the baking sheet and pat the top just a bit to round them up; sprinkle with a bit of sugar. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until slightly browned on the bottom and firm on top. Transfer to a cooling rack for a few minutes, until they can be safely handled.

Berry scones: fold 1 1/2 cup of fresh berries in the batter (raspberries work especially nicely, and are my ultimate favorite).
Chocolate chips scones: add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to the liquid ingredients, ad 2 tablespoons of sugar, fold in 1 cup chocolate chips.
Maple walnut: add 2 teaspoons of maple extract to the liquid ingredients, add 2 tablespoons of sugar, fold in 1 1/2 cup walnuts.
Ginger-chocolate (pictured): add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a pinch of allspice to the dry ingredients, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to the liquid ingredients and fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of chopped crystallized ginger.

Words of warning: this dough is very sticky! Flour your hands well before handling it, and grease the measuring cup (if using) before you scoop the dough out of the mixing bowl, or baking may turn into a wrestling match.

Oh, and to the lazy bums out there: yes, the cooling rack is important!! You can cool baked goods on the baking sheet, but the bottom won't cool and/or solidify if it stays on that surface. I use the rack that came with my roasting pan, 'cause I am thrifty like that. If you are stuck, you can simply flip your scones upside down to give the bottom a chance to cool, but finding some sort of cooling rack is a good investment if you like baking. You can't really flip cupcakes upside down to cool, now can you?

All the variations of scones described up there are awesome with a pat if butter (if you are into such things, though it ruins the scone's vegan cred) and a steaming cup of black tea. I recommend a good Earl or Lady Grey, though they will still be awesome with any nice brew. They also make a great, light dessert to bring along with your lunch.

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