Lately I have been more enamored with my sewing machine than with my stove. Or rather, I’ve been bitten by the sewing bug and have been spending most of my free time reading sewing and quilting blogs, magazines, books and other resources, browsing over the amazing selection of fabrics that exist at local shops and online, and thinking about my next project (while still working on current projects). Discovering a new hobby and developing it into a skill is an exhilarating process. I feel like I’m slowly being let into the secrets of the sewing community. Each thing I make is a little better and more professional looking than the last. Every project teaches me a new technique – like installing zippers, using interfacing, or making binding. Accomplishing one thing energizes me for the next challenge. My technical skill is slowly developing along with an understanding of fabric, drape, and color/pattern balancing.
I have found myself less excited about cooking and eating. Chalk it up to the dreariness of the never-ending winter, dietary and health changes, quick and dirty weeknight meals, and lots of repeat recipes. But now that spring has finally arrived, I’m finding a renewed interest in the kitchen.
Sunday-afternoon cooking is a special time in the kitchen – like a magic witching-hour. Time slows down, there is still daylight, and the calm of the weekend has been fully realized. The frenzy of preparing for the week hasn’t yet started. It’s a time to really enjoy the process of cooking for cooking’s sake, unlike weeknight cooking when you’re frantically trying to get dinner on the table.
This Sunday there were lots of amazing smells emanating from our stove. My husband and I enjoy this side by side dance where we each create and craft flavor from our melange of ingredients. We chat and offer input into what the other is making, at least where the savory dishes are concerned. When it comes to baking, that’s all on me. His input is along the lines of almonds vs. walnuts, cookies vs. cake, or scones vs. bread. I’m glad this week he picked scones.
It provided the push I needed to finally work on crafting a dairy-free scone recipe. My first attempt was fine. Nothing more, nothing less. A scone should not be fine. Cardboard is fine. White toast is fine. A scone should be flaky, moist, full of nooks and crannies, and ready for jam. It should accompany breakfast or brighten afternoon tea. I knew I could do better than fine. And that is exactly what I did.
1/2 c. chilled, refined coconut oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. dairy-free milk (I used unsweetened Almond Milk)
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 large egg
1/4-1/2 c. of additives (nuts, dried fruit, etc.)
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Line baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper
3. In a separate bowl, stir dairy-free milk and white vinegar to combine and curdle. Set aside for at least 5 minutes.
4. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
5. Add chilled coconut oil, working it into the flour mixture until it forms a grainy dough. This is easiest to do by hand.
6. Add egg to curdled milk and whisk together. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir with a spoon or fork.
7. When it starts to come together, finish mixing with your hands to create a dough.
8. Add any additional filling items. I used chopped walnuts this time. Other tasty additions are: chocolate chips, pecans, raisins, cranberries, or blueberries.
9. Separate into two giant balls.
10. Smoosh balls onto cookie sheet.
11. Use knife, score flattened dough in a cross.
12. Separate each scone and arrange on the sheet so they have some breathing room, at least an inch apart.
13. Cook for 15-17 minutes, until they turn golden.
14. Let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.
For the full-dairy version of this recipe, see this earlier post.