Gluten-Free Small Bites (Da Capo, 2016) by Nicole Hunn brings bite-sized gluten-free options to eager home chefs. Whether or not you have a gluten allergy, these recipes are guaranteed delicious and perfect for all for the on-the-go moments in your life. The following excerpt is Hunn’s Miniature Vanilla Bean Scone Recipe.
There’s a certain coffeehouse chain that seems to have invaded the world, and it sells light, flaky, and petite vanilla bean scones that are juuuuust like these little gems. But since this isn’t that cookbook, I’ll leave the chain unnamed. Each of these miniature scones is gone in two to three bites, and they’re just enough to satisfy with a steaming cup of dark, rich coffee. This recipe calls for Lyle’s Golden Syrup, a liquid sweetener with a subtle buttery flavor. If you can’t find Lyle’s, try replacing it with light corn syrup. Honey is another possible alternative, but it has a much more prominent flavor than corn syrup or Lyle’s.
For the Scones:• 1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (227 grams) all-purpose gluten-free flour, plus more for sprinkling
• 5 tablespoons (30 grams) nonfat dry milk, ground to a fine powder in a blender or food processor
• 3 tablespoons (27 grams) cornstarch
• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
• 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter, chopped and chilled
• 1 egg (60 grams, out of shell), beaten and chilled
• Seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean
• 2 tablespoons (42 grams) Lyle’s Golden Syrup, light corn syrup, or honey
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
• 2/3 cup (5-1/3 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream, chilled (can use milk instead—just not nonfat)
For the Vanilla Glaze:• Seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean
• 1-1/2 cups (173 grams) confectioners’ sugar
• 2 tablespoons milk (any kind), plus more by the 1/4 teaspoonful, as necessary
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, and set it aside.
2. First, make the scones. In a large bowl, place the flour, nonfat dry milk, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the chopped and chilled butter, and toss to coat it in the dry ingredients. Flatten each chunk of butter between your thumb and forefinger. Whisk the egg, seeds from half of a vanilla bean, Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or light corn syrup or honey), and vanilla extract into the cream or milk. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the cream or milk mixture. Mix gently until the dough begins to come together. If necessary, press together with floured hands, handling the dough as little as possible.
3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured piece of unbleached parchment paper, and press into a disk. Place another piece of unbleached parchment paper on top of the dough, and roll out into a rectangle that is about 1 inch thick. Remove the top piece of parchment paper, sprinkle lightly with flour, and fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter. Sprinkle the dough again lightly with flour, replace the parchment paper, and roll out the dough once again into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Once more, remove the top piece of parchment paper, sprinkle lightly with flour, and fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter. Sprinkle the dough again lightly with flour, replace the parchment paper, and roll out the dough, but this time roll into a 7-inch square that is about 3/4 inch thick. The dough should have a smooth, even surface. Peel back the top piece of parchment paper, and with a sharp knife or bench or bowl scraper, cut the dough into 4 equal squares. Cut each square into 4 equal triangles by cutting an X through the center of the square. Place the wedges about 2 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet, and chill in the freezer until firm, about 10 minutes.
4. Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until the scones are puffed and very pale golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. While the scones are cooling, make the glaze. In a small bowl, mix the seeds from the (other) half of the vanilla bean into the confectioners’ sugar until the seeds are evenly distributed throughout the sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of milk, and mix well, until a thick paste forms. Add more milk by the 1/4 teaspoon, mixing to combine well, until the glaze falls off the spoon slowly, in a thick but pourable glaze. Add milk very slowly, as it is much easier to thin, than to thicken, the glaze. If you do thin the glaze too much, add more confectioners’ sugar a teaspoon at a time to thicken it. Either dip the tops of the cooled scones into the glaze, or spoon it on top of the scones and spread into an even layer. Allow to set at room temperature before serving.
Make-Ahead Option: These pastries can be made and shaped, then frozen raw in a single layer on a baking sheet before being piled in a freezer-safe zip-top bag and returned to the freezer. They can be baked right from frozen and finished by following the recipe directions; simply add a few minutes to the baking time. They can also be shaped and refrigerated in a covered single layer for up to 3 days before baking. Once baked, they are best eaten the same day.
Bigger Bite Option: Rather than cutting each of the 4 original squares of dough into 4 triangles, cut them diagonally through the center into 2 triangles. Increase the baking time by about 4 minutes.
More from: Gluten-Free Small Bites• Homemade Gluten-Free Flour Recipe
• Gluten-Free Black Bean Pupusa Recipe
Excerpted from Gluten-Free Small Bites: Sweet and Savory Hand-Held Treats for On-the-Go Lifestyles and Entertaining by Nicole Hunn. Copyright © 2016. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.