Pumpkin Walnut Drop Scones

Pumpkin Walnut Drop SconesIf you’ve been looking through some of my posts, you might think my selection of recipes is a bit eclectic. Ranging from super-sweet treats to nutritious paleo delights, they can surely seem strange.

Why do I do it? It’s easy. Family.

Sure, some of the recipes are enjoyed by all, but some are just for me. I used to try to force my family to eat healthy, but it only led to fights and upset feelings. So now I try to find a balance between healthy and delicious, with some treats that only I enjoy. I figure that they can make the decision to eat healthier for themselves.

And, to be honest, I like making things that are sticky-good.

But for me, I make nutritious things that I can love. These scones certainly fit that bill.  They fulfilled all my autumnal wishes for flavor and still were healthy.

Plus they also utilized one ingredient that I had on hand from a failed project: xylitol. It had been hanging around my cupboards feeling forlorn after its rejection. It was good to give it a purpose.

These scones were super easy to make. The only problem I encountered was in sifting the dry ingredients; some of the xylitol grains wouldn’t make it through the sifter. Other than that, mixing and baking were a breeze.

And the taste? Good! They were soft in texture with a subtle flavor. Definitely a must for autumn mornings.

Almond Flour Scones with Chocolate Chips

almondfloursconesPerhaps they don’t have this product available in your neck of the woods, but around here, the grocery stores carry Two-Bite Scones. Have you seen these little treats? My husband and I certainly have. We were hooked on these sweet little things for quite awhile, buying at least two containers per week. Obviously, this wasn’t a healthy (or frugal) habit.

What to do? Well, I decided to make our own two-bite scones!

After a bit of searching, I found this recipe for Almond Flour Scones with Chocolate Chips. It looked simple–always a plus for me–and only included ingredients that I already had on hand. Another big bonus was that it would use up some of the chocolate that I had purchased awhile back from Bulk Foods.

These mixed up really easily, in only about 5 minutes. When I don’t have to drag out the stand mixer, it’s a good baking experience! As we prefer the small scones, I shaped ours like “cookies” rather than the traditional pie shape. In the oven they went, taking only about 8-10 minutes to finish baking. (One tip for summer baking: do all of your cooking in the morning or late evening so that it doesn’t heat up the house too much.)

And the verdict? Delicious, light and fluffy little treats. They are lightly sweet and perfect with morning coffee. To be honest, I actually prefer these over the store variety as they are satisfying and still provide some nutrients. And with such a short mixing and baking time, there’s no reason to go out and buy the super-sweet and expensive scones.

Making your own can be overwhelming sometimes, but in the case of these beauties, there’s no reason not to. To the kitchen!

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Coconut Flour Donut Holes

coconut flour donut holesWith a short time this morning between shifts, I decided to mix up a special treat for the family’s breakfast. There was one recipe I’d been eyeing for quite awhile–Coconut Flour Donut Holes. I knew that this one could be completed quickly during the time available and would certainly satisfy my family’s longing for something sweet. To the kitchen!

Although I didn’t have all of the equipment listed in the recipe, I was certain that I could do without. I would love those baking cups and the pastry brush, but I just don’t have them currently. Still, I managed to get by, even without that fun stuff.

I was able to gather and combine all of the ingredients in about 10 minutes, all while the oven was warming up. There was a moment of frustration when I first looked at the batter; it looked initially to be much too wet to form balls. However, after a minute or so, the flour absorbed most of the liquid, and my fears were put to rest. I was able to make each by hand and place them in the muffin tin.

These baked up nicely and resulted in a very light texture. My main problem came with coating them with the topping. At first, I thought I could dip each one in the coconut oil and then roll in the sugar mixture. Huh-uh…this was a disaster. Do not try this as the “holes” broke apart in the oil. I finally poured the coconut oil onto each donut in the muffin pan and then sprinkled on the topping. This worked rather well and avoided the earlier mess. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

My family thoroughly enjoyed this tasty treat. These are not all that filling, and so I would certainly recommend eating this with something else, such as yogurt or fruit. However, if you want a special something for breakfast, these can’t be beat!

Quick Sunday Breakfast: Almond Flour Muffins

almond muffinI had a bit of time this morning in between shifts, and so I decided to make us a hot breakfast. Although we don’t normally use the oven during the summer, sometimes I will cook in the mornings while it is still cool. Of course, I could have used the solar oven, but baking in it takes much more care and patience than I had this morning.

Having just bought some almond flour yesterday, I decided to make some muffins or scones. After a bit of searching, I found this recipe for Almond Flour Muffins. Other than looking super easy to make, the recipe only used ingredients that I already had on hand. Yay for almond muffins!

I was able to mix these up in about 5-10 minutes. Using the amounts in the recipe, I was only able to make about five muffins, so if you have a larger family, you may want to double the recipe. The muffins cooked up nicely and quickly before the kitchen became too hot.

And the verdict? The texture reminded me a bit of corn muffins; the almond muffins were a bit drier and coarser than the result when cooking with all-purpose flour. However, the taste was lightly sweet and was a wonderful complement to morning coffee. Add a little maple syrup to both, and you’re in business!

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone.