My kids love to help me cook. If you could see my son’s legos, just inches away from my cutting board, as he stands (crowds) beside me while I cook, you’d probably laugh. My two year old sees him there and decides that she needs a closer look, pushing a kitchen chair over to aid her height, while all but squeezing the cook (me!) out of the way. (Not to mention that now two children are blocking all my cabinets and drawers where there are bowls, beaters, measuring spoons, etc.) Then my oldest daughter (7) comes in with that mischievous look and quick little fingers dipping, licking, tasting everything… At least with vegan cooking there is very little that isn’t safe or good even in the raw state, so it’s mostly just a bitter surprise if they happen to swipe up some spots of baking powder off the counter thinking it’s sugar. 😉
Yup these are mom moments, and although I don’t admittedly treasure every single one, I’m trying not to be the mom who pushes away, but pulls in. Who says, “Sure you can stir” while I’m cringing inside. Who hugs the little tasting thieves, and delights them with a kiss and an extra strawberry. I’m working on it. Being a mom isn’t easy. (How did my Mom make it all look SO easy??) But so rewarding. I must always remind myself to win their hearts…’for the days are long, but the years are short’.
Onto the art of vegan scone making!! First, please sift your flour! If you don’t have a flour sifter, they sell them cheap at Wal-mart and I think it really makes a difference in lots of baking. No clumps/lumps, just beautiful light flour.
Next, try to use VERY cold stick margarine. I use Earth Balance because I totally love the flavor. I also use the stick vs. the tub because it does affect your final baked product. Maybe not as much as say cookies, but still. You’ll see. 😉 Also, keep the margarine cold. I just keep mine in the freezer since I seldom use it except for special recipes like this and then take it out about 10 minutes before I need it. I use a knife to cut small flakes off and then cut it in with a pastry cutter. A fork works too, tho might be easier if your margarine is just fridge cold.
About toppings! These scones are awesome without anything extra, but I mixed a drip of almond milk and almond flavor with powdered sugar and it was just amazing. Alternatively, melted chocolate is yummy too, and soo pretty. (I mean who wouldn’t like a little extra chocolate?) I sprinkled crystallized glazing sugar (basically coarse sugar) over both, and the extra crunch that this gave the topping is something I wouldn’t go without. (You can also add the coarse sugar on top before you put them in the oven too, and then it sticks without the drizzled chocolate or almond flavored glaze.)
I love these the most fresh out of the oven with the slightly crunchy outside and soft fluffy inside. But they’re great the next day or so too, just store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Re-warm in the oven to resurrect the great texture.
And here she is…my #1 taster. 😉 These scones were a total hit!
Choco-Strawberry Vegan Scones
- 1 Flax Egg (1 Tbsp. Ground Flax plus 2 1/2 Tbsp. water)
- 2/3 C. Almond Milk
- 1/4 tsp. Almond Flavoring
- 1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract
- 2 C. Unbleached White Flour
- 1 T. Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
- 3 T. Sugar
- 6 T. Earth Balance (stick) or Vegan margarine
- 1/3 C. Slivered Almonds
- 1/2 C. Vegan Chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 C. Finely Diced Strawberries
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and prepare your baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper.
In a medium sized bowl, mix your flax egg (see below) add almond milk, and flavorings.
Let these ingredients set while you finely dice your strawberries.
In a separate bowl sift together the four dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, sea salt, sugar. Cut in your very cold margarine (I just leave mine in the freezer, and take it out 10 minutes or so prior to using) (I love earth balance and prefer the stick version for this. It is a bit firmer than the tub style and changing this could alter your outcome although I’m sure they’d still be yummy.) using either a fork or pastry cutter. When the margarine is well cut in, the lumps will be almost undetectable.
VERY important!! Add your strawberries, chocolate chips, slivered almonds to your bowl of dry ingredients before adding your liquids to the dry! Use your hands to mix strawberries well into the flour mixture so they are well coated with flour. (This keeps the whole thing from becoming a gooey mess with moisture pockets etc.)
Now, you are ready to add wet ingredients to the dry! Fold it all together shaping into a round ball. If the ball is a bit too sticky to handle, you can sprinkle with flour.
Move the ball to prepared baking tray and press it into a round disc about 9 inches in diameter. Using a long knife, cute circle into eight pieces and gently move each piece just a half inch or so away from the others, creating an open circle. This way your scones can get just a little crusty all the way around – perfection.
Bake on your middle oven rack to avoid browning the bottom of the scones too much. I baked my scones for exactly 28 minutes but because oven temps tend to vary a bit, I’d suggest setting your timer for 25 minutes and checking them.
Finally, garnish as you please. 🙂 I melted a little chocolate for some and then sprinkled coarse glazing sugar over them to add an awesome crunch. And it makes them cute. 🙂 I also took 1/4 c. of powdered sugar, a few drips of almond milk and almond flavor, mixed it well, and drizzled that over some of the others before adding the glazing sugar. Any coarse sugar should work well for sprinkling.