Friday, March 8, 2013

Easy Gluten-Free Scones

A couple of weeks ago, I was granted an afternoon to myself. I think the first time in 4-5 weeks?

The day started off like this: Up early, at 7, to head to the Skiway for a morning of testing and some fun runs. A stop for java along the way, and music blasting as I drive north along the Connecticut. Testing our device, and of course, the requisite fun runs.

The term, then (and until today), had been a blur. 12-14 hour days, with a night and a morning to myself, usually to go out to dinner, bed early, then blow some steam off at the gym or along the trail Saturday morning before hitting the books (or meeting) again.

This one Saturday, as the snowflakes started to swirl down, I had the chance to do whatever I damn well pleased. And, as I'd just finished a week of dinners out and exams, and I had the kitchen to myself,  all I really wanted to do was cook.

First up, my favorite gluten-free "granola" bars. A hearty and mind-numbingly easy Thai beef curry. And scones.

Living in Norwich, VT, I have the great pleasure to be so close to King Arthur Flour, which now being gluten-free, I regard as the BEST producer of an all-purpose gluten-free flour. Seriously. And no corn!

It's been nearly two years or more since I had my last scone, and these, while not as massive and doughy as my favorites available at Nantucket Greens, when my family still lived in New Canaan, they're pretty good, certainly rivaling many available at bakeries around the country today. Furthermore, this recipe is pretty foolproof and comes together in minutes.

The hardest part is resisting on sampling one fresh out of the oven. OK. Cave. Just wait 7 minutes!

Easy Gluten-Free Scones
Makes 16 small scones

2 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar (add more if you like sweeter scones)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup dried currants, raisins, cherries, or cranberries
2 eggs, beaten well
1 cup heavy cream

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400°F.

Place flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in large bowl or work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Whisk together or pulse six times.

If making by hand, use two knives, a pastry blender or your fingertips and quickly cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few slightly larger butter lumps. Stir in currants. If using food processor, remove cover and distribute butter evenly over dry ingredients. Cover and pulse until just crumbly. Add fruit and pulse one more time. Transfer dough to large bowl.

Whisk eggs together and then add in cream. Whisk mixture together with a fork until just combined. Pat together with hands into a round mass. Place on greased cookie sheet (or one lined with parchment or a silpat) and score wedges with a knife. Sprinkle with more sugar. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Cool at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Place rounds or wedges on ungreased baking sheet and bake until scone tops are light brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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