Saturday, September 20, 2014

Chia Seed Scones

I’ve jumped on the Chia Seed super-food bandwagon, and consequently I've been sprinkling the tiny seeds on everything. I’ve put them in salsa, guacamole dip, meatballs, smoothies, and sprinkled them in salads. They are packed with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium, and they also have this weird ability to absorb 10 times their weight in water. If you let the seeds soak in water they turn the water into gelatinous goo that is a great thickening agent for soups and gravies.

But my passion is baking so I wanted to see how the seeds performed in the oven. But what to bake?  My favorite tea-time snack, Cream Scones, popped into my head. Yum. I’ve never met a scone I didn’t like, but my all-time favorite is a cream scone flavored with almond extract and poppy seeds.

Poppy seeds are tiny and black and chia seeds are (for the most part) tiny and black. This would be a perfect testing ground for the chia seeds .

The mixing…

The forming…

Just out of the oven…

The slicing...

Well if I do say so myself, these Chia Scones were excellent. Almond-ny, sweetness baked into a moist, puffy biscuit. Pure Bliss. I love the way the seeds dot the white scone with inky blackness. The seeds don’t add much flavor to the scones, but they sure are pretty.

And they are good for you!

I’m not much into healthy eating (I’ll give up any meal for a piece of chocolate cake), so if I can add something healthy to my dessert without sacrificing taste or texture I’m one happy baker.

So give Chia Seed Scones a try.  How often can you say that a carb-filled dessert is actually good for you?!!

Chia Seed Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour (9 ounces)
1/4 to 1/3 cup of sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
2 tablespoons Chia Seed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

3/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure extract (vanilla or almond or a combination of both)

milk or cream to brush on top of scones
2 tablespoons White Sparkling Sugar for the top

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place flour, sugar, chia seeds, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and whisk until combined.  If you want your scones only slightly sweet use 1/4 cup of sugar.  If you want them sweeter use 1/3 cup.  If you want them to be more of a dessert be wild and add 1/2 cup!
  3. Cut the unsalted butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture.  Using your fingers rub the butter into the flour until it resembles course meal.
  4. In a medium size bowl combine the heavy cream, egg, and desired extract.  (I use Almond but the Vanilla tastes good too.)  With a fork slightly beat the egg into cream.
  5. Pour the cream mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture, and stir with a spatula or your hand until a dough forms.  But don't mix too much.  The more you mix the tougher the scones will be. 
  6. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions.  Form each portion into a ball.
  7. Lightly dust a baking stone with flour.  Place the dough balls on the floured stone, and then flatten the ball into a disk shape.  The disk should be about 3/4 inch thick.
  8. Dampen the tops  with milk or cream, and then sprinkle the tops with the white sparkling sugar.  Make sure you remove any sugar that falls onto the stone.  Any sugar left on the stone will melt and scorch at the 400 degree oven temperature.
  9. With a damp knife, cut each disk into quarters.
  10. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until they are lightly golden brown.
  11. Remove scones from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.
  12. Serve warm with butter and jam, or just eat plain.
 Note: The dough can be flattened, dusted with sugar, and then frozen for up to 4 months. Bake frozen but add 5 minutes to the baking time.

Happy Baking,

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