October 10, 2010

Peanut Scones

With another race planned for the weekend, A and I decided we should bake some post-run recovery snacks- we really enjoyed the homemade protein bars we made for our last race. This time, we had a few "new" ingredients in the house that we thought we should take advantage of. One of these was a huge bag of sliced almonds generously donated by our grandpa for future granola making. With more than enough almonds to make many batches of granola, A decided to repurpose some of them for cooking. First, she froze the almonds. We actually keep all of our nuts and seeds in the freezer to keep them from spoiling. Next, she filled up our food processor and chopped the almonds into a flour-like consistency. Apparently if you use room temp nuts, you will make almond butter instead, but I'm not sure our food processor is that good. In fact, it's terrible. Anyway, we stored the finely chopped almonds in the fridge to throw into any number of potential dishes: oatmeal, pancakes, as a crust for broiled meats, etc.

The other new ingredient is peanut flour. I'm not sure how we haven't discovered this stuff before, because it's pretty cool, and you know we love anything peanut-y. It is powdery, like flour, and tastes a lot like peanut butter, but not quite as good because it is "partially defatted." Good flour to use for those that need to avoid gluten. Also, it has a lot of protein, which was important for our task at hand.

One of our favorite bloggers made some delicious looking scones recently, so A went on a search for a "healthy" scone recipe that could double as post-race fuel. She used her magic internet searching skills and found a peanut & almond flour based scone recipe. The original recipe is here. Of course, we modified it quite a bit.

First, I put the "wet" ingredients into the bowl. 1/3 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 T flax meal, and 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt (instead of the original applesauce). Mix this up, then add a cup each of the two flours, as well as a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and salt. Because the dough is pretty thick, I had to use my hands to get everything combined. Also, since the yogurt is a lot thicker than applesauce, I had to add in a largeish extra dollop to get everything mixed together.

Dough blob.

You're supposed to use parchment paper to bake (350F for 15 minutes) but I didn't have any, so some well-greased tin foil did the trick. Smush the dough out into a circular shape about 3/4" thick, and cut it into desired-size wedges. I used the non-cutting edge of a butter knife so that I wouldn't rip up the foil, causing my edges to end up a little crumbly. Some of the more solidified bits of coconut oil didn't blend in real well, but that's OK- it all ends up melting and incorporating in.

Our oven required an extra ten minutes or so over the suggested fifteen minutes, but we were looking for more of the dry-ish top that scones have. They turned out to taste a lot like... peanut bread. While they were good, they definitely need perfecting. The original recipe balances the salty nuttiness of the flour with the sweetness of applesauce and dried apples. The ones we made definitely lacked sweetness- perhaps they needed a bit more sugar, or a dried fruit (we like dried cherries). Pumpkin would be another taste element that could help balance it out. The texture was perfect- slightly crumbly yet still with a touch of moisture in the middle.

In other news, the race was awesome- perfect weather, a well organized event, flat course, and great performances by both of us.

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