Gluten Free Cranberry Clementine Scones

OK, so I’ve given up a few things on my road to losing (and keeping off) 100 pounds. Most of these I don’t miss. You know, things like big greasy burgers, heavy pasta dishes, and daily dessert. Most of all I don’t miss my men’s size 38-waist Levis. Not kidding. (And I had to lay down to get them buttoned).

Of course, there are many things I couldn’t imagine eliminating from my world of food. Chocolate, pizza, real butter, cream in my coffee…

Scones

So simple. I’m not quite sure what it is about the humble scone that I find so irresistible. True, I’ve probably never met a baked good I didn’t like…it’s my weakness. I love sweet baked things. Fortunately I’ve managed to find effective ways to tame the bakery-loving beast within, so forays into warm, buttery scones are a rare treat. So, when I recently found myself fighting a week-long craving for a big cup of tea…appropriately accessorized by a fresh scone, I finally gave in and came up with this recipe.

I confess that I try to stay away from baking at home, since it’s just Paul and I. I can’t think of anything more tempting than sharing space with warm brownies or fresh cupcakes. The distraction of those little voices beckoning me to have just a taste. Incessant, nagging, delicious, devious little voices. Damn you warm gooey chocolate chip cookie…get out of my head!

Where was I? Oh right, scones. Since having to go gluten free nearly two years ago, I bake even less than I used to. You think old-school baking is a hard science with persnickety need for precision in measurement and technique? Try taking gluten out of the equation. Gluten, that protein that helps make baked goods tender yet crisp, chewy, yet moist. There’s really not a non-gluten equivalent. Fortunately there are a few pretty good baking mixes that make gluten free baking much less hit-or-miss, and they work particularly well for recipes like biscuits and scones. There are several gluten free all purpose baking mixes on the market from companies like King Arthur Flour, Bob’s Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills. Like its gluten-containing cousins, these gluten free baking mixes are a simple way to whip up quick breads, muffins and scones, with the added plus of taking the guess work out of translating a traditional recipe into a gluten free version (cue applause).

I used chopped clementines and cranberries (fresh and dried) for this version, though you could certainly use whatever fruit, nuts, chocolate chips you have on hand. Depending on how you shape the scones, you should get about 5 out of this recipe. I made the first version with low-fat buttermilk, which I liked, but they were a little to biscuit-like for me, so I used low-fat milk in the second version. Vegan butter replacement was used instead of unsalted butter, since that’s what I had on-hand and I was too lazy to go to the store. Oh, and since I know you’re already reworking the recipe in your head anyway, you could use one egg in place of the 2 egg whites.

Let me know what kinds of yummy concoctions you come up with!

Gluten Free Cranberry Clementine Scones

servings: 4-6 scones depending on the size of the buscuit cutter you choose | time: about 35 minutes

ingredients:

1 ½ cups GF all-purpose baking mix

Pinch salt

¼ cup organic coconut sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

4 TBSP. vegan butter replacement (or use unsalted butter)

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup fresh or frozen cranberries, sliced in half

1 clementine, peeled and chopped

1/3 cup 2% milk or fat free half and half

2 large egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla

directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a sil-pat. Set aside.

1. Blend the GF baking mix, salt, coconut sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk to combine

2. Add the vegan or unsalted butter and cut into flour mix with a pastry blender or a couple of forks until mixture resembles coarse crumbs

3. Add the dried and frozen cranberries and the chopped clementine and toss to combine

4. Blend the milk, egg whites and vanilla until well combined. Add to the flour mixture and mix with a fork until it comes together. Dump out onto a piece of parchment or plastic wrap and knead 10 times until to dough holds together. Pat out into a round, about 2″ thick. Cut into portions using a standard biscuit cutter

5. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes until deep golden brown. Serve warm

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