266. Sun or Almond Butter Scones [Grain and Dairy Free, No Sugar Added]

Sun Butter Scones (with dried fruit; flourless) | Grain and Dairy Free, NSA |Ann Ning Learning How

I love scones.  It’s impossible to grow up in this house and NOT love them.  Baker Smurf is a prolific producer of fantastic scones.  And I’m not talking about those huge doughy wedges you buy at the coffee shop or local bakery – not that I’m utterly opposed to these (esp. the strawberries n cream one at Panera) – they’re just…different.  Mommy’s are flaky, tender triangles (or little mountains if they are blueberry drop scones) with a light dusting of sugar on their golden tops.

I baked scones often in Oregon.  I always used all whole-wheat flour, and I used to always be surprised by how good Mommy’s scones were (all white flour) when she’d come to visit and leave some scones in my freezer for me.  I used to add a tablespoon of cocoa powder and some dried strawberries so I had delicious chocolate-strawberry scones.  That’s the only flavor I made.  And I used to brush the tops with half-and-half and sprinkle a little turbinado sugar on top from a little jar I kept in my cabinet solely for that purpose.

These are the first scones I’ve made since getting sick and I’m very excited about them.  I can make these since they are so simple – they are basically two ingredients:  sun butter (or almond; I haven’t tried PB yet, but I want to), and dried fruit. There is no need for butter, cream, flour, or sugar.  This is a small batch since I’m home again and I need to be able to fit things in my toaster oven since our home configuration doesn’t allow me to use the oven safely.  So you’ll get 6 scones out of this.  You have two choices:  1)Drop:  use a spoon or two to drop 6 mounds of batter onto a parchment lined (or greased) baking sheet, or 2) Wheel:  Pat the dough into one wheel/mound.  Use a butter knife to cut it into 6 wedges.  Place the wedges on your baking sheet.

They bake up in 10 minutes, so you can make these in a flash.

Sun Butter Scones or Almond Butter Scones (Grain Free and Dairy Free, NSA)

Preheat oven to 350
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper
Yield:  6 scones – this is a small batch

 

  • ½ c sun butter or almond butter (I haven’t tried peanut butter, but that’s next.  Sun tastes like PB to me, which I love.  Almond butter has a milder taste, and smells SO good as it bakes, so that is a fabulous choice, too.  It just depends on what you have on hand.)
  • 10 apple rings (dried), or scant 1 cup mixed (larger) dried fruit (by larger I mean that raisins probably aren’t a good choice.  I had a mix of prunes, apricots and apples I wanted to use up – you want things to be kind of chunky.)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • splash of vanilla (if using almond butter, feel free to add any other extracts you like, e.g. maple or almond)
  • 6 DF Chocolate pieces for garnish – optional – I did these on the sun butter version but dispensed with them the second time around

Combine everything except the fruit in a small food processor or the Ninja small cup (that’s what I used).  Blend well for about 30 seconds.  Add the fruit in.  Pulse about 10x.  You want things to still be chunky, not pulverized.  Remove the blade (careful!) and stir by hand.  Make drop scones or do a wedge wheel (see above).  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Serve warm.  (I like baking mine for 10 and then toasting them as needed in the morning for breakfast.)

Almond Butter Scones (with dried fruit; flourless) | Grain and Dairy Free, NSA |Ann Ning Learning How

 

Click HERE for more Grain Free treats.

254. Giant Sun Butter Cups [Dairy Free]

Sun Butter Cups | 5 Ingredients, Dairy Free | Ann Ning Learning How

On the way home from Oregon my first meal outside of the hospital consisted of some Chinese food (at Chicago’s Midway Airport) I was hoping would be reminiscent of the delicious meal I had with the J family at the “Kitty Cat Restaurant” in Burundi (so-called bc of the stray cat population that made the al fresco dining area more exciting), and chocolate peanut butter ice cream.  I think that must have been the most expensive cup of ice cream my father has ever purchased.  Thanks, Dad xoxoxo.

Chocolate peanut butter is a classic combination that everyone loves.   Unless you’re allergic to peanuts – in which case, this combination does not love you back.  But happily, you can make these sun butter cups at home and satisfy your craving, even if you didn’t know you had it.

In the first two days I spent at Ai Ai and Tim’s I made three or four batches of the chocolate layer in this cup.  I had to keep on making it because I kept on eating it all.  I was just starting my strict dairy-free phase and since I only used three ingredients I was sure there was no dairy in them.  You can make them plain, add some mint extract, stir in some PB2 – whatever you like.  Just add a syrupy sweetener to taste and pour it into the bottom of a small wax-paper-lined Tupperware and freeze it.  When it’s hard the wax paper will make it easy to lift out and transfer to a Ziploc bag so you can store it in your freezer.

Meanwhile, these cups are admittedly huge.  I misjudged the amounts I was filling the cups with.  But upon reflection I decided that I quite enjoy the appearance of abundance.  I generally can eat only half in a sitting, but I will not judge you if you eat the whole thing.  They are kind of messy, though, since they start melting outside of the freezer, so I wouldn’t eat these in company unless it’s with very good friends.

re. eating in front of people:

43.  I don't want anyone to see me like this...

43. I don’t want anyone to see me like this…

Giant Sun Butter Cups

Makes 6 regular sized muffins | Line a muffin tin with 6 liners

  • ¾ c cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • ½ c coconut oil
  • ¼ c maple syrup
  • splash of vanilla
  • about 6 Tbsp of sun butter – or the nut butter of your choice

Mix the cocoa, coconut oil, and maple syrup together.  If it’s cold you might need to microwave the coconut oil very gently.  Put a spoonful of chocolate in the bottom of each cup.  Let it set up in the freezer for 5 minutes.  Put a spoonful of the sun butter on top.  Freeze for 5 minutes.  Follow with the remainder of the chocolate mixture and freeze everything.  Store in the freezer.

252. How to make Sun Butter

Homemade SunButter | SunButter week! | Ann Ning Learning How

Welcome to Sun Butter Week!  I actually don’t LOVE sunflowers – they are a little too robust for me to relate to easily – but I love that they make me think of my favorite “radiant” verse, and their seeds make a fabulous nut-butter alternative.

221.  Radiant

221. Radiant

I am trying to be more inclusive on here since many dear ones live with nut allergies or have a peanut-restriction in their diet so I recently tried making a bunch of sun butter experiments.  I’ll post 3 this week, including this one.

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…

In order to make things with sun butter, you need sun butter.  You can either buy a jar at the store or make your own.  I opted for choice 2.  I bought 2 16 oz bags of sunflower seeds, 1 raw, and 1 roasted and salted.  I mixed the two together and ground them in my Vitamix in two batches.  I added a tiny spoonful of coconut oil to the first batch to aid the transition, and a drizzle of EVOO to the second batch.  Many people don’t add anything, though, so this is optional.  I only have the wet cup, so I used it and the tamper.  The process was fast and easy – it was obvious when the butter transition was happening and pretty soon I was scraping out creamy sun butter into my jars.  I got a couple of jars out of my 32 oz of seeds – probably 2-3 cups.  Sorry for the vague measurements, but what did you expect?

It tasted delicious, and I have long been devoted to peanut butter, and only peanut butter.  This was one of my first experiments.

240.  Sun Butter Brownies [GF & Vegan]

240. Sun Butter Brownies [GF & Vegan]

240. Flourless Dark Chocolate Sun Butter Brownies [Gluten Free and Vegan]

Flourless Sun Butter Brownies |Gluten Free, Vegan | Ann Ning Learning How

Surprise, surprise – I had one of those floppy brain moments again.  I was so busy patting myself on the back last week for pre-loading my posts through Tuesday that I failed to observe that I had counted the days/dates wrong and posted TWO on Monday.  Oops, my bad.  Welcome to my world.   Happily, however, I have no shortage of things to tell you about so after we got home yesterday (we spent a wonderful weekend with my siblings and their progeny at the Labor Day Conference) I opened the fridge, got my snack out, soaked some nuts, made some milk, and snapped a picture.  I have been plotting a “Sun Butter” week out of deference to the nut allergic among us (I’m so sorry you can’t eat PB) – in particular, Sgirl and CEF’s eldest.  You should still totally read about PB bread/PBJ bars, too, so I’m including them on the bottom of this post.  These and the Sun Butter Brownies are both so simple it’s astonishing.  I have to restrain myself from making them daily.

These brownies are heavy on the dark chocolate note, lighter on the sun butter note.  You can taste something nut/seed butter ish, but probably can’t put your finger on it – but I like the delicate sun butter fragrance, plus, using it eliminated the need for any other butter or oil. I didn’t sweeten this batch quite as much, and the chocolate note is richer :).  I used a loaf pan this time, and they turned out great – none of that weird, baking forever business as with the Thin Mint Brownie Pie.   I don’t think these are overly pretty, but I wasn’t planning to serve them to company.  I would have made a fabulous parfait or trifle with them, but I couldn’t bc I ate them all.

Flourless Dark Chocolate Sun Butter Brownies
inspired by Thin Mint Brownie Pie and Our Fifth House’s Paleo Brownie Pie
preheat oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan – but you’re  not making a loaf, you’re making brownies that turn out to be around an inch (or less) thick

  • 3 flax eggs – room temperature.  I just put 3 Tbsp of flax seed in a bowl, added 9 Tbsp of water, mixed it up and let it sit and thicken for about 15-20 minutes.
  • 1 c cocoa
  • 1/2 c maple syrup
  • 1/4 c sun butter (I used homemade)
  • generous splash of vanilla
  • 1/2 c DF chocolate chips

Mix everything and then pour into your loaf pan.  Bake for around 35-40 minutes.

A couple of notes:

(1) I call these “Flourless” even though my computer keeps on telling me that’s not a real word bc although I do not use flour in these I don’t want to call them “Grain Free.”  The tag, “Grain Free” is associated in my mind with Paleo eating, and I’m just going with gluten free + flourless since I’m still on my vegan kick and use flax eggs.  Flax isn’t a grain, it’s a seed – but I’ve read (I’m reading – thank you, VT!) that some Paleos frown upon eating flax.  So I’m playing it safe.

(2) As part of my effort to build better health habits in my life, e.g. my transition to no-sulfate shampoo, and now baking soda/ACV since I found out I’m allergic to that thing, I hereby rescind my recommendation to microwave your almonds etc. before making milk.  Now I’m going with the soak-for-real, method, or my soak in really hot water for an hour shortcut (although some might frown upon this, too).   I tried to research this, but my eyeballs got tired, so I’m just going with an extremely general explanation- there’s something that’s supposed to happen when you soak nuts, something that makes them more digestible and possibly enhances their nutritional value.  I know some people abhor the microwave.  Personally, I love mine.  But I would not want to mess with the process of soaking with my microwave technique.  I guess this is good, though, since it cultivates both forethought and patience in my life.

PS.  I need about another week to make sure I really do love the baking soda/ACV thing, and I’ll tell you about it.

239.  Flourless PB Bread and PBJ Bars [Grain Free, Dairy Free]

Flourless PB Bread | Grain & Dairy Free, NSA |Ann Ning Learning How

130.  Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins

130. Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins

This is actually an update of the popular “Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins” I posted a long time ago.  It was one of the first recipes I shared and it was clear from how I was throwing things in the blender that cooking/baking with me is not an exact science.  I’ve heard that you should be more precise when baking, but I’m sorry, I can’t.  However, I did manage to make the muffins more replicable by simplifying the recipe.   I took out the chestnuts, agave, and Greek yogurt!  Plus, this time you just need a bowl and a spoon, and I’ve updated the old post accordingly.

My compliments to The Detoxinista – I tried baking with just nut butter after looking at her recipe for PBCC blondies.  She used natural/thinner/oily peanut butter for her blondies, but I used “regular” (like Skippy or JIF) for all of my baking.  I think this resulted in a fluffier (not fudgey) result.  So go for the regular PB.

I baked flourless peanut butter things quite a few times this summer.  Here are two instances:

Flourless Peanut Butter Bread
(pictured at the top of this post)
Grain Free, Dairy Free, No Sugar Added | Preheat oven to 350, Grease an 8×8 square

I made these for Mrs. T, who is trying to avoid flour and sugar for health reasons.  After some coffee-break recon one Sunday I learned that she’s partial to peanut butter.  I did a “practice” batch for our family, and those among us who quite enjoy sugar liked these sugarless squares.  Personally, I liked them with some jam smeared on top, like in the picture.  I used a fruit-sweetened strawberry spread.

  • 1 c peanut butter (not natural-style or homemade)
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • splash of vanilla

Combine everything in a bowl.  Pour into your square.  Bake at 350 for around 20 minutes.  I’m sorry, I honestly can’t remember how long I baked them – just start checking at 20, and let them go a few minutes longer if they don’t look done.

Flourless PBJ Bars |Grain Free, Dairy Free | Ann Ning Learning How

Flourless PBJ Bars
Grain Free, Dairy Free | Preheat oven to 350, Grease an 8×8 square

229.  Flourless "Nutella" Bars

229. Flourless “Nutella” Bars

These were the treats I made originally to take to The Gym.  I had a batch in the oven before breakfast that morning.  I found out later, though, that peanuts are on the allergen list, so I switched gears and tried the Flourless “Nutella” Bars.  Thankfully my parents arrived that day so Baker Smurf could advise me when my test batch turned out too soft.  Basically, these are similar to the bread, but this is a thicker, double batch, and the jam is swirled on top so it’s baked into the bar.  Yay!!  Fun times.  My swirl would have been prettier, but Mommy hadn’t arrived yet.  Also, I sweetened these bars so they are more in the “PB Cookie” category than the “bread” category.

  • 1 c smooth peanut butter (not natural-style or homemade)
  • 1 c chunky peanut butter (not natural-style or homemade)
  • 2 eggs…I think I used flax eggs
  • pinch off salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ c honey or agave
  • splash of vanilla
  • 2 Tb jam of choice (for the top)

Combine everything except the jam.  Of course you can use all smooth or all chunky PB if you like.  Pour into your square.  Gently warm the jam (I put mine in a small dish) in the microwave.  Dot the top of your batter with the jam.  I made 9 globs.  Drag a toothpick or butter knife through the jam and batter to achieve a feathered effect.  Bake at 350 for around 25-30 minutes.