Monday, September 21, 2009

Peaches and Ginger Cream Scones

One of my favorite quick desserts is fresh peach topped with crumbled gingersnaps. The combination is sweet, but with a spicy kick from the ginger. This recipe was inspired by that unique combination of flavors. The mascarpone cheese adds a creamy richness to this tender pastry and balances the sharp bite of the ginger. This scone is only small in size, but not lacking in satisfying, full-bodied flavor that will make your next cup of coffee or tea memorable. Weighing in at only 3.7 net carbs each, you don't have to feel guilty about eating two!

Peaches and Ginger Cream Scones
(Makes 32 mini scones)

1¼ cup almond flour (or finely ground blanched almonds)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Splenda, granular (not baking blend)
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons half & half (or light cream)
½ cup fresh peach (about ½ peach), chopped into small pieces
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, finely chopped
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water for egg wash

1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Put butter in freezer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Prepare cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

2. In food processor or in a large bowl, measure flours, Splenda, sugar, spices, baking powder and salt. Pulse to combine or stir with a fork to break up any lumps and set aside while you measure out the rest of the ingredients. Place chopped ginger and peach into a small bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons flour; set aside.

3. When all ingredients are assembled, place cold cubed butter into processor and pulse a few times until butter is distributed and mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg and mascarpone cheese and pulse again to combine. Add peach and ginger and pulse 2-3 times to distribute. Finally, while the food processor is running, add half & half one tablespoon at a time until a soft dough forms, then turn off machine. Do not over beat dough. (If not using food processor, cut butter into flour mixture with pastry cutter. Add remaining ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms.)

4. Turn dough onto a well floured counter or board (the dough will be quite sticky). Knead a few times to form a ball. Again, flour board and pat dough into an 8” x 8” square, about ¾-inch thick. Working quickly, cut dough into 4 strips, and then cut across to create sixteen 2-inch squares. Cut each square into two triangles until you have 32 mini scones. (If necessary, dip knife into flour between cuts to prevent sticking.) Using a spatula dipped in flour, place scones on cookie sheet about 1-inch apart. Brush tops with egg wash.

5. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer scones to wire racks to cool completely. These are best eaten warm out of the oven, or store in airtight container at room temperature.

Nutritional Information per mini scone: 69 calories, 4.3 g carbohydrate, 5.3 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0.6 g fiber, 1.6 g protein.

Original recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2009

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