Spelt-Chocolate Scones

In Morocco, March was my favorite month of the year: breezy, sunny, still cool, with the countryside slowly flooding with green. In San Francisco, March was likewise brisk and some years particularly rainy; the farmers’ markets started to get more interesting and the windy first days of spring flung blossoms down to carpet park slopes and sidewalks. In Saudi Arabia, March is probably the last month we can still call “bearable”; today the high will be 100 F and it’s pretty dusty out there. Despite living in the desert there is a surprising amount of foliage, flowers, and trees in the area in which we live but it’s all often covered in a thin layer of dust. This time of year is when we miss opening the doors to let in fresh air (too dusty and hot) and already start counting down the months til November.

I feel a slight twinge of guilt when I turn on the oven during these high temperature days yet when I counter the outside temperature by dialing up the air conditioner I figure it will balance out. My carbon footprint has vastly increased in the past three years — no recycling unless I’m in the States, too much driving and no public transportation, air conditioning running on the regular — but I hope all that composting and taking MUNI and Golden Gate Transit somewhat compensates.

For there are little bites to bake and dinner to cook. Roasting vegetables is one of my favorite ways to put together an easy and nutritious meal, especially when they’re paired with quinoa, sunflower seeds, and perhaps a piece of baked salmon for the fish-eaters in the house. And my penchant for using spelt flour continues apace, shown to good advantage in these little refined sugar-free treats I made last week.

Scone? Breakfast cookie? Afternoon tea treat? All of the above? Does it matter?

Vegan, very lightly sweetened with maple syrup, and kept from being too healthy by the addition of chopped chocolate, these little scones are surprisingly buttery (even though there’s no butter, just coconut oil), flaky, and tender. Spelt flour makes for a lovely texture here as well. You could use the recipe as a base and experiment with adding different berries or fruit as well as nuts. (Next up for me.)

My ‘summer’ (err, spring, but it does feel like summer already) drink when I’m out is, this year, an iced latte, but we still have our morning cups of hot tea and coffee too when we’re in the mood. I loved nibbling a scone as a late morning snack once I finally got to sit down with a cup of something warm. In spring, it seems just the thing.

Even if spring looks a little bit different over here.

cucinanicolina by nicole spiridakis © copyright 2021. all rights reserved.