The Weekend Coffee Break
During the week, our morning routines tend to be rushed and frantic. But weekends offer a different story, the time and space to extend morning moments and savor them.
That’s why weekends are such a pleasurable time to bake; no schedule, no expectations. Even when there’s a to-do list, you can usually sneak in a few extra moments of peace and quiet. A cup of coffee or a mug of tea and a freshly baked pastry will facilitate any late morning plans, whether it’s with the newspaper, a good book, or a much-needed catch up with a friend.
As spring rolls in, so do the occasional moments of sunshine and the promise of longer, warmer days ahead. It’s the first time we can walk outside and enjoy that coffee break in the sunshine, watching as the new buds bring life back into the branches, seedlings pushing up from the earth below.
Whether you’re enjoying the moment outside or in, take a little time for slowing down this weekend. This month we have two recipes for you to do just that, treats to be enjoyed on your own, with your family or an excuse to invite a friend over. Both recipes pair well with coffee or tea, and whether you have them during a lazy morning or during a break from working in the garden, they’re sure to please.
Anna Brones: Cardamom Currant Scones
These scones are gluten-free, and they are easy to whip up quickly, perfect for impromptu coffee breaks. Makes 8 scones
2 cups brown rice flour
½ cup ground almonds
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
3 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup milk or non-dairy milk
¾ cup currants
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt, cardamom and sugar. Add the coconut oil and mix until it resembles coarse meal.
Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Set aside about 2 tablespoons of egg in a separate bowl for brushing on top of scones. Mix the rest of eggs together with the milk.
Add the egg and milk mixture to the flour along with the currants. Mix together until dough forms.
Shape the dough into two round balls and place on a greased baking pan, or one lined with a silicone baking mat. Flatten the balls into discs, about half-inch thick. Cut each round into fourths and brush on remaining egg with a pastry brush.
Bake at 450°F for about 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a baking rack to cool.
Xoe Frederick: Chocolate Chip Muffins
These chocolate muffins are a breeze to make and don’t even require a mixer. They are perfect for busy mornings (or even lazy ones!). Makes 12 standard-size muffins
⅔ cup cocoa powder (Hershey’s extra dark is my favorite!)
1¾ cup all-purpose flour
1¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1½ cup chocolate chips
2 large eggs, beaten
¾ cup milk
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease muffin tin or line with paper liners.
Whisk together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and coffee in a large bowl. Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.
Combine eggs, milk, vinegar and vanilla, pour into dry ingredients and stir until moistened, add in melted butter and stir till combined.
Spoon into prepared muffin tins about three-quarters full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.
Let rest in muffin tin for five minutes before removing to racks to cool. Serve warm or cooled.