This weekend I am co-hosting a bridal shower and the goal is to create a completely gluten-free menu. You see, my friend was diagnosed with celiac disease a few years ago and routinely has to either bring her own food or eat beforehand when attending gatherings. It really bums her out. There is something special about breaking bread with friends, sharing birthday cake, munching on the same stuff everyone else has on their plate, but it is not worth being sick over. Therefore, as she put it at our last get together, she doesn’t even bother to go by the food table because there is rarely anything there she can eat.
I know from personal experience with our own daughter who is gluten intolerant, she feels embarrassed or reluctant to ask for special menus, especially in a group. My dear friend feels the same way, not wanting to inconvenience anyone else or draw attention to her limitations. At the same time, she misses the camaraderie of fawning over a tasty dish someone brought or enjoying homemade baked goodies.
As happy as it makes me to feed people, it makes me equally sad when someone cannot join in. Personally, I am happiest when I create something that is special to someone, a favorite dish, an item that makes them smile, knowing it was made with them in mind. Since it is her daughter getting married, we certainly have her in mind. So much so, we want her and her family to be able to eat anything at the table—no special items set aside, no GF signs to seek out, have what everyone else is having, choose whatever she likes—to share in every part of the event.
Since the shower is in the morning, it seemed appropriate to include scones on the menu, but I hadn’t made gluten-free scones before. I am kinda picky about scones. Okay, I’m extraordinarily picky about scones. The way a New Yorker is picky about bagels. The texture captivates, the aroma fills your senses with anticipation, the flavors meld in perfection … Yes, I am talking scones!
♦ More like a biscuit, but not crumbly.
♦ Only sweet enough to really be complete with clotted cream and jam.
♦ Breaks apart with gentle pressure, but doesn’t fall apart in your hand.
♦ Slightly dense, yet tender. (After all, we are not eating a muffin.)
As you can tell, it is texture that makes a scone; flavor and shape can be customized to any whim. My first attempt was good, but the texture did not quite meet my demands. It took a little hunting, and testing, and reworking, but the second batch was so good I anticipate gluten eaters will be asking for this recipes. It was at Gluten-Free Gourmand that I found a recipe by Gina Kelley for Famous Gluten-free Scones. With a claim to fame, they must be good right? Well, certainly worth comparing to my first batch and the ingredient list was shorter too.
Unfortunately, I used all the citrus and cranberries I had on the first recipe, so it was time to search through the cabinets for inspiration. Walnuts, maple syrup, butterscotch flavoring, mint … couldn’t risk the maple syrup adding too much liquid … mint didn’t fit … opened the butterscotch flavoring—oh man, that intoxicating aroma … why haven’t I used this more often?!
My second attempt was underway. A few presto change-o moves to the ingredient list and out of the oven emerged a tray of beautiful gluten-free Butterscotch Walnut Scones worthy of any table, gluten-free or otherwise. So good, I could not stop eating them, which is bad; though I am delighted to have the scone recipe for Saturday figured out. I think my friend will be delighted too. 🙂
Adapted from Gluten-Free Gourmand’s Famous Gluten-free Scones
Butterscotch Walnut Scones [Gluten-Free]
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix -- King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 rounded teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 6 tablespoons butter -- very cold
- 3/4 cup crispy walnuts -- chopped
- 3/4 cup heavy cream -- less 2 tablespoons , set aside
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons butterscotch flavoring
- Heat oven to 425°F.
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined. Using a pastry knife or a food processor, cut butter into dry ingredients until the butter is the size of small peas (using a processor will produce more fine pieces).
- Mix walnuts into flour and butter until combined.
- Reserve 2 tablespoons of the cream in a cup or small bowl. In another bowl, whisk the remaining heavy cream, egg, and butterscotch flavoring to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the larger bowl and stir to combine. The dough will begin to hold together and may be somewhat stiff, depending on the flour mix used. If the dough is too dry, add a small amount of cream and mix-in.
- Divide dough into two equal parts. Sprinkle a small amount of GF flour mix to lightly dust the counter and place half the dough on the flour. Press dough into a disc approximately 6 inches wide and 1 inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut the circle into 8 equal pieces.
- Place the dough pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet 2 inches apart. Brush tops with reserved cream and bake for 10-12 minutes and light-golden browned.
- Serve with whipped cream or butter and jam.
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