Rainy Day Comfort: Maple Scones with Cherries & Chocolate Chunks
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Yesterday was cold and gray and wet. Perfect for a day in the kitchen. I’ve been craving scones – they are so cozy and comforting – but they pose a challenge due to the fat/butter content. A scone’s flaky-tenderness owes its very existence to fat. But being a low-fat, low-sugar vegan doesn’t mean giving up these treats. I took a recipe for Brown Sugar Scones from King Arthur Flour and changed up the flavors – and reduced the fat content by half – by using prune puree. The original called for raisins and walnuts, but I wasn’t having any of that. Chocolate and cherries sounded much better to me. I added maple and vanilla extracts for additional flavor. The smell when baking is out of this world. The scones bake up tender inside with a crisp exterior and look (and taste) lovely nestled up to a steaming cup of Earl Grey.
Maple Scones with Cherries & Chocolate Chunks
Makes ~15 2″ Scones
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup maple sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup vegan butter
1/4 cup prune puree
3/4 cup “buttermilk” (add 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar to soy milk and let sit for a few minutes)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. maple extract (optional)
1/2 cup dried tart cherries, roughly chopped
2 oz. vegan semi-sweet chocolate chunks
soy milk, for brushing tops of scones, if desired
Preheat oven to 400F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, maple sugar and cinnamon. Work the vegan butter in using a fork, to form a coarse meal. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the prune puree, “buttermilk,” vanilla and maple extracts and pour into the flour mixture. Add the cherries and chocolate chunks. Stir until just combined adding small amounts of soy milk if needed.
On a lightly floured surface roll or pat out the dough until 1″ thick. Cut into rounds using a 2″ cookie cutter and transfer the scones to the baking sheets. Gather up the “scraps” and make scones until all of the dough is used. Chill the scones in the freezer for 15 minutes.
When ready, brush the tops of the scones with soy milk, if using. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until browned on top. Cool on wire rack until ready to serve.