Friday, January 29, 2010

Lemon Cornmeal Scones for School (gluten free/casein free)

I swore off baking for January after my December bake-a-thon. Not baking meant less dishes and more time for yoga and all the things I have piled on my desk that didn't get done because of the holidays. I still haven't sent out my holiday cards--I am aiming for Valentine's Day now. But today I was invited to my son's preschool to bake with them, so I returned to baking to help a small group of kids make lemon cornmeal scones. I adapted a recipe from Gluten Free Baking Classics--my "go to" gluten free cookbook--to make these gluten-free, casein-free scones.

This afternoon I made another version for our family. For a long time I have struggled with a good challah substitute. Tonight I decided scones were the perfect Friday night treat for our gluten free family. I guess what I like about serving scones on Friday night is they aren't trying to be challah, but they are sweet and eggy and special. My daughter suggested I make some with chocolate chips and my son suggested bacon and cheese scones (I make a delicious gfcf mac n'cheese.) I am sure you will see other scone recipes in the coming weeks. Now I am trying to bake just once a week--on Fridays. I am thinking of making the scones for the bowl-a-thon fundraiser for the NAA-NYC that is coming up in March.

I used to make scones all the time before going gluten free. But now, they seem like the perfect way to transition from not baking to baking. Scones are not as sweet as cupcakes and cookies but equally, if not more, satisfying. And maybe some of my readers who can't eat cupcakes, will be able to enjoy them! The cashews give the scones a buttery feel, but if you can't eat nuts, feel free to substitute 1 cup of gf flour for the cashews.

Lemon Cornmeal Scones Recipe (gluten free/casein free)

1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup seltzer
2 cups raisins or dried cranberries (if you use dried fruit, you can use the 1/2 cup of sugar)2 & 1/2 cups brown rice flour mix
1 cup cashew flour (I grind cashews in a coffee grinder)
2 c. gluten free cornmeal
1/2 or 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want them to be)
2 Tablespoons +2 teaspoons baking powder
1&1/2 tsp xanthum gum
1 tsp salt
3/4 cups organic palm shortening (or butter)
2 teaspoons of lemon zest
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon essence

1. Combine seltzer, coconut milk and raisins (or cranberries) to soften the fruit.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix together. Add the shortening to the flour mix. Use a fork or a mixer to work the shortening into smaller bits so the flour/shortening looks like coarse meal.
3. Beat the eggs in a mixer until foamy. Add the dry ingredients/shortening mixture, lemon zest, vanilla, lemon flavoring and raisin/coconut milk mixture to the eggs. Mix in mixer or by hand until all the liquid is absorbed into the flour and dough is formed.
4. Divide the dough in two on parchment. Roll the dough 1/2 inch thick. Cut out 2&1/2 inch circles using biscuit cutters. (If you don't have round cookie cutters use a knife to cut dough into three inch squares and then cut the squares diagonal to form triangles.)
5. Bake for 16-18 minutes at 375°.