Recently, the good folks at Nuts.com started highlighting the health benefits of almonds and are looking to spread the word about how to add them into your diet. I was not compensated in any way to write this post, but I do use almonds and almond products in my cooking, and for that reason I am happy to share this gluten free cherry almond scone recipe in order to aid in their efforts. See the bottom of the post for more information.
Almonds are headlining the news lately. The drought in California has brought focus on the incredible amounts of water used by industrial agriculture (see this post). But while almonds are enjoying a resurgence in usage, they’ve been a part of the human diet for millennia. Almond flour is a staple in traditional baked goods of the Mediterranean. Almond milk, produced by soaking the ground nuts in water, was common in medieval kitchens since it could be stored for long periods without spoiling. It also was used as a dairy substitute during times of fasting. (more info in this post)
Nowadays, people have many reasons for using almond products. They’re great for those with certain food allergies and intolerances. As a plant based source of protein, almonds are popular across of broad spectrum of eating styles, from low carb to vegan. It’s hard to deny the ability of a mere handful of almonds to stave off hunger until mealtime.
Baking with almond flour can be problematic. It’s not as simple as a 1:1 swap with wheat flour. There’s a little testing involved and a ratio that works for cookies might not be the best to use for cakes. For this reason, it’s probably a good idea to follow tested recipes until you’re comfortable using almond flour– especially if, like me, you’re not a frequent baker. Thanks to Pinterest I found this awesome but easy to follow basic recipe from Gluten Free Homemaker. All I had to do was change the goodies added to the basic mix.
- 2½ cups almond flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ - 1 cup chocolate chips (a generous handful)
- 1 cup dried cherries, soaked
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup sliced almonds (a handful)
- Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Soak the cherries in enough water to cover for 10 - 15 minutes. Drain the cherries, discard the soaking liquid (or use in a smoothie).
- In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, salt, baking soda, drained cherries, and chocolate chips.
- Add the beaten eggs and honey. Stir until thoroughly combined.
- Place the dough the prepared baking sheet and pat it out into an oblong.
- Cut into eight pieces as shown.
- Bake for approximately 12 - 15 minutes until golden brown. Turn the tray about halfway through the cooking time.
- Cool on the baking sheet while you make the glaze.
- Combine the confectioner's sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Add more sugar or milk to adjust the consistency.
- Drizzle the glaze over the scones and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Make sure to visit Nuts.com’s Almond Page. They have a wide variety of almond products including organic flour, marzipan and my favorite, Marcona almonds. I’ve ordered from them before and they are quick to turn their orders around. While you’re on the website, you’ll want to take note of the impressive selection of gluten free flours and bulk grains and beans, too.