Vegan Chai Scones

Posted on February 15, 2011

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Yesterday I decided to try my hand at vegan scones.  I was inspired by a recipe from the awesome Cooking for Geeks.  I hesitate to call it a cookbook, because it’s more than that.  Either way, it’s a great book for anyone interested in the science behind cooking and I highly recommend it.  The original recipe contained butter.  I decided to substitute coconut oil- solid at room temperature and tasty in baked goods- rather than a liquid oil for structural reasons.  Then I started thinking, what flavors go well with coconut?  Cardamom was the first thing to come to mind, and that led me to chai.  A few more tweaks and adjustments and I was on my way to delicious baked goods.  How did they turn out?  Let’s just say I’ll be making them again when I’m not following a vegan diet.  I’m eating them with hot tea right now.  Mmmmmm, scones.  So here’s the recipe I ended up with:

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2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup coconut oil

3 Tbsp cane sugar

2tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup unsweetened soy milk

1 Tbsp chai tea (unbrewed)

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

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Get a nice clean jar with a tight fitting lid and pour the soymilk into it.  Add the chai, replace the lid, shake hard, and then pop it in the fridge.  You can use and type of chai you want.  I used a homemade rooibos blend because I prefer the flavor over more traditional black tea chai, but the black would work just as well.  Now leave the mixture to its own devices for at least an hour (two is better), shaking the jar whenever you find yourself in the vicinity of the fridge.  The color of the liquid should darken visibly.  This is good.

When the soy-chai mixture is done infusing you can turn on the oven to 425 F and get started on the scones.  Start by cutting the coconut oil into the flour with a pastry cutter or a couple of knives until you get a consistent crumbly mixture with crumbs no bigger than peas.  If the oil is a little soft just put the measuring cup in the fridge for a few minutes and use that time to chop up the apricots.  Once the oil and flour have been combined add the sugar, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.  Mix until well combined.  (Cooking for Geeks recommends using a whisk for this.  I tried it and it works really well.)

Now add the apricots and about half the soy milk- strain it to get the bits out first.  Mix.  If it’s not sticking together add more milk.  Mix.  Alternate steps until you run out of milk or the dough sticks together, whichever comes first.  Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or grease it with more coconut oil.  Spoon the dough onto the cookie sheet or form it into scone shapes with your hand.  Bake until lightly browned, 10-12 minutes.  You can let them cool if you want, but I’ll understand if you can’t wait that long.

Here is a picture of the finished product.  My food photography leaves something to desire right now, but don’t worry, I plan on getting a lot of practice!

And here is what they look like inside right after they come out of the oven.  Light, delicious, with a perfect balance of crunch and chew!

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Posted in: Cooking, Recipes