With spring comes a desire for lighter fare and fruitier flavors, and the imminent approach of brunch season. Most people assume you have to go out for brunch, but, really, it is such an incredibly easy meal to have at home. Don’t be intimidated by the fancy reputation or tricked into thinking you have to do anything complicated. A brunch menu can – and should! - be as simple as:
- Something with eggs: My favorite grain-free quiche is my go-to recipes, and I mix up the veggies to use whatever is in season or in my fridge.)
- Something green: Consider roasted or grilled asparagus, fresh, crunchy cruditees, or you can’t go wrong with a simple salad of baby greens!
- Something fresh: Fruit salad, a fruit plate, or berries and cream
- Something pastry-y*: Sure, you could go out and buy a box of croissants, but homemade is always better. Your guests can get a muffin or a doughnut at any coffee shop these days, and you’ll get major ooh and ah’s when you present a platter of homemade scones.
- Something caffeinated: Coffee or tea, obviously.
- Something bubbly: Mimosas or bellinis, with or without the alcohol (use fizzy water instead!) make it feel like an extra special meal
*totally an acceptable adjective, right? Humor me!
I’m telling you, this menu works like a charm! In fact, this is the exact menu I am planning to serve at my Mother’s Day brunch, and it covers all the bases. We will have dietary restrictions, picky eaters, and kids in attendance, but not matter what, everyone will be able to reach for a scone. In addition to being grain-free and low-glycemic, these scones are also flavorful and pillowy soft with chewy cherries in every bite. The almond taste is noticeable but subtle enough to be friendly to kid palates, and that’s not to mention that these are the ideal vehicle for butter and jam!
Cherry Almond Scones
- 1 box Simple Mills pancake and waffle mix
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 -2 Tablespoons (to taste) occonut sugar, or granulated sweetener of choice
- ¾ cup dried cherries, roughly chopped if very large
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup butter, vegan butter or coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract (see note)
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a nonstick pad and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the pancake and waffle mix, baking soda, sweetener and dried cherries. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients (eggs, butter, apple cider vinegar, and extract).
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until well combined.
- Use an ice cream scoop to portion the dough into 10 balls of dough and place them in two evenly spaced rows on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake for 11-14 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly before serving, or cool completely before storing.
- Dried cherries can be really expensive, so feel free to substitute dried cranberries, dates (chopped) or another dried fruit instead.
- If almond is not your thing, you can replace the almond extract with vanilla extract, which will be much more subtle and mostly serve to enhance the other flavors.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Note that the texture is best on the first day.