Sunday, April 22, 2012

GF Cherry Drop Biscuits

Baking I like. Baking for a cause I like even more. My insanely geologically and hygienically gifted artisan-soap-maker-friend hosted a vegan bake sale to benefit Autism Speaks. While I relied on some classics like Banana Bread and Biscotti which are always get omnivore shout-outs, I wanted to make something gluten free for those who eliminate gluten from their children's diet as means to treat autism. I've dabbled in GF baking before with some wins and some serious failures, but overall my results have been above average. So I figured I'd take a chance, and if it didn't work out, at least I'd get something passable to feed the dog for her morning snack (hopefully).

The venture began with a recipe for gluten free scones. Translating recipes into vegan recipes is one of my greatest pleasures, but there are risks. In this instance, I didn't have cream or even a good vegan equivalent on hand (like soy creamer or coconut cream). So I used "buttermilk" by mixing up some almond milk and cider vinegar. I have made buttermilk scones before, but not with this recipe. Turns out, that thick cream was needed to keep the dough together. When I substituted with something much thinner, I was basically left with a batter. If you've ever made scones, you know that you're supposed to get a dough, something you can work in your hands. This was pourable - crap!

I didn't have scones anymore. BUT the batter still held together and had plenty of leavening in it, so I knew it would at least rise in the oven. Scoop by scoop, I dotted my baking sheet with dollops of what I had hoped would turn into fluffy biscuits. Ten minutes later - success! I had fluffy biscuits. Two minutes of cool time and one bite later - double success! I had fluffy and delicious biscuits. Autism sure had something to say about that.

GF Cherry Drop Biscuits
Makes: 12 biscuits
Total time: 20 minutes


3/4 scant c. almond milk
1 tsp. cider vinegar

1 1/4 c. rice flour
1/2 c. tapioca starch
1/2 c. cornstarch
1/3 c. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4+ tsp. xantham gum
6 T. Earth Balance
1/4 c. apple sauce
2 tsp. orange zest
1 c. cherries, chopped (fresh or thawed from frozen)


Preheat the oven to 425*F. Coat two baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine almond milk and vinegar in a small mixing bowl. Whisk together and set aside.  In a medium bowl, mix the next 8 ingredients together. Drop in the Earth Balance one tablespoon at a time and use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut it into the flour. Keep mincing until flour is crumbly and no big pieces of EB remain.

Add the almond milk mixture and applesauce into the dry mixture and stir until just incorporated, trying not to work the batter too much. Fold in cherries and zest. Drop about 3 tablespoons of batter at a time on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the outer edges start to turn golden brown (don't wait to see a lot of gold here or they won't be fluffy!). Transfer biscuits carefully to cooling racks. When cool enough to handle, EAT.

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