Saturday, February 16, 2008
I love baked goodies, and I am not ashamed to admit it.
Okay, maybe a little. After all, baking is usually associated with sweets, and sweets are associated with calories, and ...you get the drift. And I certainly am not one of the lucky few born with genes that seem to just melt the calories away.
Going vegan has helped me maintain my weight, but my love for baking still has been my downfall. I cannot resist sneaking into the kitchen at the first available chance to whip up a sweet treat. And while my vegan sweets are usually far lower in calories than traditional versions, they are definitely not sugar-free nor calorie-free (oh, the dream!).
While Desi is the one who really loves sweets in our household, he has that awful self-control which means he can have one cookie or one cupcake and stop. Not me. I munch on the goodies morning, noon and night until they're all gone and it's time, well, to make some more.
One of the quickest sweet treats one can conjure up in the kitchen are scones. Now I love scones, both because of their flakily yummy texture but also because they are less sweeter than other sweet treats, which makes them just the tiniest bit better for you. But last night, at the very moment that the baking bug bit me, I had a flash of inspiration: savory scones.
There are lots of recipes for savory scones out there, but I have never made one before. I decided to modify my own recipe for Black Currant Scones Fit For A Queen, and the results were just fabulous. Healthy, even. For starters, I used- as I always do- whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour which in itself is a great start because it adds tons of proteins and fiber into the treat without compromising one bit on the taste.
I went foraging in the refrigerator to see what else I had on hand. It was my lucky day. I found a jar of grainy dijon mustard and some oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, both of which sounded like they would do very well ensconced within the flaky folds of a scone.
So here's the recipe for my Monster Savory Scones Flecked with Sun-dried Tomatoes. They're golden, light, crisply tender, but most of all, deliciously satisfying.
And you just cannot ask a treat for more than that.
Monster Savory Scones Flecked with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4- 1/2 tsp salt (I used a grainy sea-salt, but I think a finer salt would work better in this because the grains don't dissolve easily while baking)
Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl. Add:
3 tbsp zero-trans-fat vegetable shortening
Mix together gently until the pieces of shortening are no more than the size of peas and the mixture looks crumbly.
Add 1/2 cup of finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (you might want to go slow on the salt in the first step depending on how salty the tomatoes you use are)
Whisk together and add:
1 tbsp flax seed powder mixed with 1 tbsp water
1 cup soy milk or almond milk
2 tbsp whole-grain dijon mustard
3 tbsp canola oil
Mix together quickly. This mixture will be pretty sticky and won't come together in a ball, although it will be thick enough to drop on a baking sheet.
With a spoon drop the batter in large lumps on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving at least two inches between each. I made seven giant scones that fitted on one sheet.
Shape the scones lightly into rounds with your fingers right on the baking sheet. (The scones will expand but won't change their shape much during baking, so if you leave the lumps of batter looking really messy, you'll get delicious but messy-looking scones)
Place the sheet in a 425-degree preheated oven.
Brush the tops of the scones with a mixture of 1 tsp soy milk and 1 tsp canola oil. This will give them a nice golden-brown glaze.
Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until the tops are browned lightly. Leave on the sheet for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack.
You can serve them warm with vegan spread, although they taste pretty darned good by themselves.