Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones | Gluten Free

Celebrate your Mum this weekend by baking her a batch of indulgent, fluffy scone filled with chunks of dark chocolate, sweet dried apricots, and roasted almonds. For bonus favourite-child points serve them as breakfast in bed with a pot of her favourite tea (or coffee) and the promise that you will take care of all the dishes.

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe older I get, the more I want to praise my Mum for all that she has done, and continues to do, for me from the first moment she knew she was going to be a mother. From sheltering me inside her own body, to sheltering my heart when it has been damaged by the world she has shown love every step of the way. She is only love. Thank you Mama for showing me that love is a verb, love is many verbs, and that the more love you give away, the more you have to give. Love is elastic. Happy Mother’s Day.

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMy Mum is the Queen of Scones in these parts. No one has her light as the wind touch, her cool hands, or her exacting knowledge of how to create perfect pearls of butter within the dough for a flawless rise and cloud-like crumb. These Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones are fluffy, but I know that I am only an apprentice of the scone compared to my Mum. My scones are a little more nubbly, nutty, more American scone than Australian scone.

These scones are full of hidden treasures. Each bite is filled with sweet, plump dried apricots, and crunchy roasted almonds. I love this combination so much! There’s almond meal in the scone dough too which adds an extra richness and depth to the flavour of the scones. These are perfect served with a slathering of butter and a large mug of sweet black tea. My Mum, sister, and I are going to enjoy ours at the farmers market for a pre-Mother’s Day breakfast tomorrow. It might not be breakfast in bed, but it is special time together with a delightful sweet treat just for Mum. And, I’ve already done the washing up ūüėČ

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThere are a few technical things to remember with this gluten free scone dough. Firstly, the dough is quite a bit wetter than other scone doughs. Gluten free flours are often greedy for moisture, and the wetness of this dough means you don‚Äôt end up with a crumbly, dry outcome after they are pulled from the oven. Secondly, they will not puff quite as much as a wheat based scone, but the crumb is not dense and glue-like, rather moist and fluffy and nubbly with almond meal. Thirdly,¬†please, please¬†freeze your butter ‚Äď it makes incorporating it into your dough so much easier! My scone dough is also enriched by the addition of an egg, which isn’t traditional in scone recipes. Here the egg provides extra protein to the dough – important for binding the gluten free flours together.

Now you are ready to make your Mum a delicious, gluten free breakfast!

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones

Gluten Free | Makes 8 wedges, easily doubled | Best eaten on the day they are made, but can be frozen, well-wrapped, for up to two months. Reheat in the microwave for 1 minute.

Ingredients

  • 80 grams sorghum flour
  • 80 grams brown rice flour
  • 80 grams white rice flour
  • 80 grams almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 75 grams butter, frozen
  • 1 cup plain Greek/natural yoghurt, reserve 1 tablespoon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together sorghum flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour, almond meal, baking powder, caster sugar, and salt.
  3. Use a box grater to grate frozen butter into the flour.
  4. Add frozen butter, whisk lightly with a fork, and then use your fingertips to gently ‚Äėrub‚Äô the butter into the flour mix until incorporated and the mix resembles large rough breadcrumbs.
  5. Mix grated chopped almonds, apricots, and chocolate chunks through the flour and create a well in the middle.
  6. Whisk yoghurt, egg, vanilla and almond extracts together.
  7. Add yoghurt mixture to the flour mix and stir from the middle to the outside to create a wet shaggy dough.
  8. Gather dough into a ball and place onto the lined cookie sheet. Pat the dough into a circle about 1-inch (2.5cm) thick.
  9. Cut the circle into 8 wedges and separate the wedges so that the hot air can circulate and bake the scones properly.
  10. Brush the tops with the reserved yoghurt and sprinkle with raw sugar.
  11. Place scones into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on your oven) or until scones are risen and the tops are golden.
  12. Remove and serve with jam, cream, and butter.

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan

Indulge in a healthy retreat to the tropics with my latest gluten free granola recipe. Filled with plump dried apricots, crunchy quinoa flakes, toasted coconut, and roasted cashews this is a little taste of the islands that will make your breakfast into an escape to a faraway locale.

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI have found the secret to enjoying Monday mornings. Three little things that make the start of the working week a pleasurable experience rather than something akin to ripping a bandaid off a blistered foot. Firstly: set your alarm for ten minutes before you actually need to get up. That way you can hit snooze and not feel guilty about it. I am loving having those extra ten minutes to snuggle under the covers with Chris and¬†I¬†wake up feeling happy and loved. Secondly: make it easy to get out the door. Make your lunch, pack your bag and iron your clothes (or if you are like me, don’t iron your clothes) on Sunday afternoon so that on Monday morning you just need to roll out of bed, shower, and get out into the world! Thirdly, and most pertinent for today: have a delicious breakfast to look forward to when you do manage to get out of bed. Enter: Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola.

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis crunchy, coconut-infused, quinoa flake granola had me bouncing out of bed this morning with a smile on my face. I knew that once I fought the traffic and made it to my desk that I had a superb, healthy breakfast waiting to fuel me through the morning. Plump, sweet dried apricots and chunks of roasted cashews are in generous supply and contrast with strands of toasted coconut, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. This mixture is coated in a touch of richly sweet golden syrup, mild olive oil, and coconut and vanilla extracts before spending some time getting golden and crispy in the oven. The result: light, crunchy mouthfuls of crispy quinoa flakes soaked in tropical coconut flavouring with a hint of sweetness from the chewy apricots and golden syrup counteracted by buttery roasted cashews and strands of toasted coconut.

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeQuinoa flakes are a great alternative for people who cannot tolerate oats. I have to say, the tiny crunchy flakes are just as delicious as the traditional oats usually found in granola. This is my new favourite breakfast formula! I love my granola served over thick Greek or natural yoghurt, or eaten in sneaky handfuls after I get home from the gym at night. It makes a great car tip snack too! So jump on board the granola train and make your Monday mornings shine!

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola

Gluten Free | Vegan | Makes about 2 1/2 cups | Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups¬†quinoa flakes
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped cashews
  • 2 tablespoons¬†sesame¬†seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon ground¬†cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons golden¬†syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots

Method

  1.  Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl stir together quinoa flakes, cashews, sesame seeds, salt, and cardamom until well mixed.
  3. In a small jug whisk together olive oil, golden syrup, vanilla extract, and coconut extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix carefully with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.
  5. Spread granola over the lined baking sheet and press down slightly with the back of the spoon to encourage some clumping.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes. Check and stir every 10 minutes to ensure the granola does not burn.
  7. In the last ten minutes of cookies (about 20 minutes into the cooking time) stir in shredded coconut.
  8. Once cooked, remove from oven, stir in dried apricots and allow to cool completely before serving or storing.

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Honey, Apricot, and Coconut Cookies (gluten free)

One of my favourite things to do while I’m baking is listen to podcasts. As the hosts chatter away among themselves, and educate me about various topics I feel like I am back in the kitchen with my family listening to them chatter away while I cook. I love that kind of company when I am cooking sometimes. The kind of friends who pull up a seat at the breakfast bar and talk to you while you have your hands in the dough and keep you entertained with their stories. I remember sitting at the kitchen table in the afternoons after school and spilling all the secrets, trials and triumphs of my day to Mum while she made dinner. It was the gathering place, the hub of our house, and it still is. When I visit Jess and she is creating something amazing in her kitchen, I pull up a bar stool, make myself a cup of tea and keep her company. My people, my friends and family, are mostly those who center themselves and their lives in the kitchen and this is where the big and small conversations and decisions in life happen. And when you are in the kitchen, keeping the cook company, you usually have the benefit of taste testing their creations first.

Apricot Coconut Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Apricot Coconut Cookies 3

If you had been keeping me company last weekend, you would have been the first to try one of these chewy cookies straight from the baking tin. I would have made us both a cup of tea while they were baking and when they made their appearance all golden and puffed up you would have had first choice of the two dozen cookies. But since I was alone, with my podcast friends, I had first choice. The honey is what hits you first here. You can actually taste it, and most of the sweetness comes from quarter cup of honey in the dough. I also suggest using a strongly flavoured honey. I used a local Manuka honey, dark, thick and slow to pour. A lighter honey will still sweeten the dough, but you won’t get the real hit of honey when you bite into the cookie. The dried apricots, oats, and coconut give the cookie a high chew factor. This is not a snappable ginger biscuit or a delicate melt-in-your-mouth shortbread, this cookie demands that you chew it and savour each bite. These are school bag biscuits, afternoon tea saviours, and the ones you want to keep in your handbag for emergency cookie situations. They are also good for keeping in a biscuit tin to entertain your kitchen table company.

Apricot Coconut Cookies 1

 Honey, Apricot, and Coconut Cookies

Gluten Free | Makes 24 biscuits | Note: if you do not require these to be gluten free you can substitute 180 grams plain flour for the flours listed below |

Ingredients

  • ¬†100 grams ¬†butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey (strongly flavoured is best)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 60 grams brown rice flour
  • 60 grams white rice flour
  • 60 grams sorghum flour
  • 1 cup gluten free quick oats (I used Freedom Foods)
  • 100 grams dried apricots, diced
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line two large cookie sheets with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl beat together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add honey, vanilla extract and egg and beat until well incorporated.
  4. In a separate medium size bowl whisk together baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown rice flour, white rice flour, and sorghum flour.
  5. Add whisked flours to butter mixture and beat until combined.
  6. Add oats, apricots and coconut and stir until all incorporated.
  7. Place dough in refrigerator and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Once dough has chilled remove from fridge. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Allow room for spreading.
  9. Place in preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. Cookies are done when the edges are lightly golden.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to a week.

Apricot Coconut Cookies 2