This recipe is for Vegan Sweet Cherry Molasses Scones, one of my favorite breakfast treats to make.
I knew my boyfriend was the one when he ordered a pastry with his mocha on our first date. I swooned when he offered to buy me something sweet to go with my chai latte (not coffee because my heart would have pounded out of my chest). I sheepishly told him no, making some excuse about having to eat French macarons that night – which wasn’t a lie. I was carrying a baguette and a box of vegan macarons from Whole Foods for my French Conversation Club event. But the real reason I couldn’t join Daniel in trying Tatte’s sweets was that I was vegan at the time and feared he would judge me if I brought it up right away.
As I watched him chomp happily on his pastry, my heart warmed. This boy obviously had a sweet tooth, which was perfect for me. I didn’t think that I could like someone who didn’t like my desserts. Nothing against Tatte – their pastries are quite tasty, as I know now that I’m no longer vegan. Yet I wasn’t threatened by their competition.
I expected Daniel to love my vegan cranberry pie, my stacks of vegan pancakes, my smoothie bowls, and my vegan chocolate truffles, but his fondness for my vegan scones came as a surprise. One day, I left out a fresh-cooked batch on my stove, and he asked if he could try one. I warned him that they tasted quite healthy, but he chomped them down with even more pleasure than the first pastry I saw him eat at Tatte. I swooned, feeling the same fluttering heart that I did on our first date.
Fast forward one year, when I moved back from Austria, I began baking scones almost every morning as a gesture of affection. I was heartbroken and a bit sick to my stomach when the only ones who ended up eating them were myself and the giant rat who lived in his apartment. One morning, after the rat had un-done my tin foil and nibbled a sizeable bite out of the biggest scone in the batch, I came to my breaking point. Not because there was a rat eating my scones, but because Daniel wasn’t eating them. I asked, teary-eyed, “Don’t you love my scones anymore?”
He replied, dumbstruck, “Of course. Just put them in a Ziplock bag and on top of my things so I don’t forget to take them to work.”
It’s funny how the things that seem to be the most grandiose problems in relationships – like losing interest in my baked goods – can be worked out by the simplest solutions. Ridding old apartments of rats, on the other hand, is another matter that is beyond the scope of this blog post.
Here is my recipe for a rendition of scones I’ve been making lately. The most important ingredient? Heaps of love.
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon coarse-ground sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon powder
¼ teaspoon ground ginger powder
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves powder
Fresh-squeezed juice of ½ lemon
½ cup coconut oil (can substitute for olive oil)
1 tablespoon molasses
¼ cup sweet dried cherries
Pre-heat your oven to 350° and set your cherries aside on a chopping board for easy access.
Mix 1.75 cups flour, brown sugar, baking soda, spices, and sea salt in a large mixing bowl and mix with a fork until evenly combined. Set aside the additional ¼ cup of flour on a chopping board.
Stir in un-melted coconut oil, lemon juice, and molasses into the flour mixture and mix until the ingredients take on a doughy consistency.
Stir the dried cherries into the dough.
Form the dough into 6-8 small balls.
Lightly flatten the top and bottom side of each ball into the additional flour, and then place the balls onto a baking sheet.
Bake the scones for 13-15 minutes at 350° F or until golden brown on the edges.
Cool for about 10 minutes and place in a safe, dry spot (away from rodents). These scones taste best if eaten within 2 days.