In spite of my huge love for yeast bread – the labor involved, the simple ingredients that through kneading and time create complex, rich flavor, the satisfying crunch of a deep brown crust, the smell as it bakes – I adore quick breads, with the humble, homely biscuit being my favorite kind. I quite possibly could live on biscuits alone (as long as I have a cup of tea or hot chocolate with which to wash it down and perhaps a schmear of jam). I’ve been messing around with biscuits quite a lot lately, with my attention mostly on the savory kind, but a recent cookie post by emmycooks got me thinking about chocolate and dried apricots. Sounds like sweet scone material to me!
Orange and chocolate seem so natural together and apricots add that nice, soft bite that complements the flaky scone. These make a not-too-sweet afternoon snack or a portable breakfast. With half the fat of “normal” scones, these are nearly guilt-free.
Chocolate Chip, Apricot & Orange Scones
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
zest from one orange
1 tbsp. egg replacer + 3 tbsp. water (whisk until frothy, then set aside for a minute or two)
1/4 cup vegan butter
4 oz. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4-1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
~2 tbsp. soy milk, for brushing tops of scones
Demerara sugar, for sprinkling, if desired
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 425F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and orange zest. Add the butter in chunks and blend until the mixture is the consistency of coarse meal.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg replacer, applesauce, maple syrup and soy milk, then pour into the dry ingredients – adding more soy milk if necessary. Just before the dough is thoroughly combined, stir in the chocolate chips and dried apricots.
Scoop the batter into a ball and place on a floured surface (or directly onto the lined baking pan). Pat dough into a circle that is about 1/2″ thick. Move the circle onto the baking sheet and cut into 8-12 pieces. Separate the triangles a little bit, then brush the tops with soy milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops are a nice, rich brown. Let the scones cool for a minute before putting on wire cooling racks. Eat while still warm!