Low-Fat Cherry Almond Scones

My original recipe for “Scones, Perfected!” was posted last year at http://yournutritionista.blogspot.com/2010/05/sconesperfected-cherry-almond-scones.html  It has been a favorite around here for a long time.  This week I made a batch to say thanks to my husband and kids for making my Mother’s Day so special.  After I got them into the oven, I realized that the Earth Balance (butter substitute) was still in the refrigerator!  Doh!  When they came out I was half expecting them to be more like biscotti, but to our delight and surprise, then turned out great!  They were lighter and still retained a great texture.  We all liked them better than the original!   If you prefer a more flakey and rich scone, then stick with the old recipe.  If you want to save yourself about 150 calories per scone, then omit the Earth Balance, and cut them a little smaller so that you end up with 12 instead of 8.

NOTE: There is still some fat due to the cashew cream, which is used instead of heavy cream.  Not only is cashew cream void of  the saturated fat and cholesterol in dairy cream, it is full of fiber, minerals and phytonutrients you cannot find in dairy products.  Cashew cream is a cinch to make.  Just take 1 cup of raw cashews and cover with fresh water.  You can let them soak overnight or, if you don’t have time, just for a few minutes while you prep other ingredients.  Drain the soaking water off the cashews and place in a blender along with enough fresh water to just cover the nuts.  Blend on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy, like a thick cream.  Add more or less water depending upon the consistency you are looking for.  For this recipe we are looking for it to resemble a thick cream.   Measure out 1 cup to use for the scones.  Save the rest for another use.  You can use it anywhere you would normally use cream.  It’s great over berries, just add a little vanilla extract. YUM-MY!

Here is the updated, lighter scone recipe.  Hope you like it!  Oh, and don’t forget the vanilla glaze.  It gives the scones just the right amount of sweetness.

Ingredients: (yields 12 scones)

SCONES:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 tablespoons raw sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup cashew cream (see note above)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 handful chopped dried cherries

1 handful chopped slivered almonds

GLAZE: 

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons soymilk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 tablespoons melted Earth Balance margarine

Directions:

SCONES:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  A wire whisk does a great job at mixing dry ingredients.
  3. Add cherries and almonds.  Stir to combine and create a well in the center of the mixture.
  4. Combine extracts and cashew cream and pour the wet mixture into the well of the dry ingredients.
  5. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine well, but do not over stir.
  6. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and form into a slab that is about 3-4 inches wide and 16-18 inches long.
  7. Cut in half, crosswise, then cut each half into 3 equal pieces.  Now cut each piece (roughly a square shape) diagonally, leaving you with 12 triangles.  Place your scones on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

GLAZE:

Tip #1: Whip this up while the scones are in the oven to save yourself some time.  This glaze is SO easy-peasy and really makes the scones the perfect level of sweetness.  

Tip #2: If you are making a variation like cranberry orange or blueberry lemon, you can citru-fy your glaze by just adding some zest and juice (enough to substitute for the soymilk), of either an orange, lemon or lime.  

Tip #3: Save yourself on the cleanup by placing a piece of wax or parchment paper underneath the wire rack that your scones will be cooling on.  Now you can drizzle your glaze right onto the cooling scones, without making a mess of your kitchen counter!

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in soymilk (or juice and zest) and vanilla with a wire whisk.
  2. Add the melted Earth Balance and continue to whisk out the lumps.  Now drizzle on the scones.
  3. What did I tell you, easy peasy!

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