Gluten-Free Coconut Chocolate Chip Scones


Welcome to 2016! ūüéČūüí•‚ėēÔłŹ

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve¬†scone blogged. In my defense, it’s been a long two years, and I haven’t been making a lot of scones. But this past month, I am finally getting back into the scone¬†baking–and experimenting with gluten free scones!

Some of you will be groaning, others will be quite happy. But it’s fun to be challenged by gluten free flours and other allergens to avoid. So I’ve committed to making some new recipes up, adapting others, and getting more comfortable with gluten free scones. (As an aside, I’ll also be trying to avoid egg, dairy, and soy.)

Gluten free baking can be a huge challenge. The flours don’t stick together like they ought, it’s grainy, it’s dry, it’s crumbly, it’s…well, it’s just not wheat flour.

Scones are, thankfully for gluten free eaters, supposed to be crumbly. But they really aren’t supposed to be dry. No, really, scones aren’t supposed to be dry. They are supposed to be moist, filled with flavor and goodness.

These ones,¬†inspired by The Sensitive Pantry’s¬†Cinnamon Cream Scones, were somewhere in the middle of moist and dry. I¬†could have (and should have) used more coconut milk, but I erred on the side of dry and did not. I could have (and should have) allowed the¬†dough to sit for the flours to soak up the moisture.

However, what I did like about these scones was the subtle sweetness and the scone¬†crumbly texture. Scones aren’t supposed to be caky or gummy, and¬†previous gluten free scones I’ve tried have been both. (I don’t like caky scones.)

As I’m trying to¬†reduce refined sugars from my life,¬†I made some substitutions to the original recipe here, like¬†honey for granulated sugar, and coconut sugar for brown sugar. So it created a more subtle sweetness than¬†regular sugar would have, and I liked that.

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Ingredients:

3 ounces sorghum flour

2.5 ounces brown rice flour
1.5 ounces tapioca flour
2.5 ounces sweet rice flour
¬Ĺ teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/3 cup Enjoy Life¬†chocolate chips (I use this brand because it’s free from the top 8 allergens)
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon coconut extract (or emulsion–check for allergens)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons soy free butter substitute, chilled
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. Whisk together the extracts, 1/2 cup coconut milk, and honey.
3. Place the dry ingredients (sorghum flour, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, sweet rice flour, xanthan gum, coconut sugar, and salt) into a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Cover and pulse a few times until all the ingredients are evenly mixed.

4. Add the butter substitute¬†in small chunks, spread evenly on¬†top of the dry mixture. Cover and pulse until the mix resembles coarse meal.¬†You can choose to do this by hand, and if so, use a fork or pastry blender to work the chilled butter in until it resembles coarse meal. You don’t want any large buttery¬†clumps.

5. Transfer the dough to a large bowl. Add the shredded coconut and the chocolate chips. Give it a few stirs with a spatula to evenly distribute the ingredients.

6. Using a spatula, stir in the coconut milk mixture. Add more coconut milk a little at time if needed until the dough begins to form. (Don’t worry if you don’t use all the milk.) The dough should be a little soft and sticky but still be able to hold together when formed and cut.

7. Lightly dust the countertop or pastry mat with sorghum or rice flour and turn the dough out onto it. Form it into a circle about 1 inch high and 9 inches across. Cut the dough into 8 wedges. Brush with the rest of the coconut milk and, if desired, sprinkle with coarse sugar. Place wedges on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silicon baking mat.

8. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the scones are lightly browned on top. Remove to a wire rack and cool for about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The steps:

 

img_3185
Measure it out. Lots of ingredients mean lots of chances to forget something. Check it twice!
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Whisk it up. Combine 1/2 cup of coconut milk, the extracts, and honey and whisk well. Make sure you get that honey mixed in.
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Don’t forget your butter. And make sure that it’s chilled,¬†because it works into the dry ingredients better when it’s chilled.
img_3191
This is what “coarse meal” looks like. Pulse until you don’t see any big chunks of butter (or just turn it on full speed for less than a minute).¬†
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Now add the ingredients that you don’t want pureed: chocolate chips and coconut.¬†
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Add the coconut milk¬†mixture and stir.¬†It’s better if your dough is a little wet rather than dry with gluten free¬†baking because the flours tend to absorb more liquid than wheat flours. So let it get a little stickier than¬†flour scones would be.¬†
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Flatten it out into a 9-inch round and cut with a knife. If you’re cutting it atop a silicone mat like I am here, be gentle with the knife so you don’t cut your expensive mat!
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8 beautiful scones. 
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Use the extra coconut milk to brush the tops of the scones. Sprinkle on coarse sugar (or granulated sugar if you like).
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Bake until they’re lightly browned. They should look a little dry on top now too (but hopefully not dry inside).¬†
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Remove to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes before enjoying.

Results:

Lightly sweetened, these are a delight for a sensitive¬†body who ordinarily can’t enjoy scones. The unsweetened coconut and the
The only fault I find in this recipe is the lack of rise. I would try it again but add some baking soda and/or baking powder to create a more light and airy scone reminiscent of flour scones.
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