Recipe Review: Butterscotch Scones

I have been craving butterscotch scones for years. And unlike most cravings, I can trace this one’s origin to a very specific moment in time.

It’s The Big Bang Theory‘s fault.

Sidenote: I have never figured out why Leonard didn’t eat the pancakes and scones BEFORE telling Sheldon the bad news. Am I right?

Ever since I first saw this episode, my taste buds have been longing for a butterscotch scone.

Problem: butterscotch chips, which every since butterscotch scone recipe calls for, contain palm kernel oil. When I was diagnosed with celiac disease back in 2003, I was told that palm kernel oil had gluten in it (palm oil, for some reason? Safe).


(c) HealthyEmily

There are a few instances where I ate things and got sick later, and the only shifty ingredient I could ID was palm kernel oil, so I believed the hype.

Recently, though (since starting my nutrition degree), I’ve been researching this claim and can find nary a shred of proof anywhere. Nothing I can find anywhere indicates that palm kernel oil actually contains gluten, including the allergen information on the butterscotch chip bag.

So, dear readers, I decided to finally take a risk. I bought some chips and made some scones, and they were worth the wait!

While they did, in fact, taste like respect and affection, they do not contain a pound of Crisco (only a half a stick of butter).

I used a new scone recipe, one from Orangette (it’s a recipe for Scottish Scones, and if you know me at all, you know that’s enough to make me get out the mixing bowls). My usual


(c) HealthyEmily

scone recipe turns out pastry that’s more like a dessert, and I wanted to try something a little more hearty. This one did a pretty great job.

I used Pillsbury GF All-Purpose Flour, which I am 100% in love with. The only issue is that the scones were a little flat and dry – I think if I had used a flour with more protein in it, that would have allowed for a better rise, which would have made them more tender and pillowy. Next time, I think I’m going to use Gluten Free on a Shoestring’s GF bread flour for half the amount of flour called for, and the all-purpose for the other half. Hopefully that will give the scones a better rise.

And, of course, I mixed in a cup of butterscotch chips.

I’ll tell you..they do not look very pretty. But, despite the dryness and flatness, they are very tasty.

Let’s just hope the chips really are gluten-free, and that the next few days prove gastronomically uneventful. If you’re celiac and don’t want to risk the palm kernel oil, substitute chocolate chips, caramel chips, or frozen/dried fruit.

The recipe with my changes is below. Give them a try this week for a tasty breakfast/lunch/tea/snack.

What have you heard about palm kernel oil and it’s relationship with gluten? Are they besties? Are they enemies? Let me know!

Gluten Free Scottish Butterscotch Scones

½ c two percent milk
1 egg
2 cups Pillsbury GF All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
3 Tbs sugar
1 c butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beat together the milk and the egg and then set aside. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Rub the butter into the flour mixture, working until you have no lumps bigger than a pea. This is my favorite part of making scones! It’s very cathartic to squish the cold butter into the flour mixture. By the time you’re done, you should be able to squeeze a pinch of the mixture together and have it hold its shape. This is because the butter has been broken up and worked into every bit of the flour mix. Later, when the scones are baking, the butter melts, creates steam that partially cooks the pastry on the inside and separates it into the layers that make it flaky. Kinda cool, huh?

Add the sugar and chips, and mix. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Bring dough together gently with a wooden spoon.

Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper. It’s going to be a little crumbly, as a lot of gluten free pastry dough is. Knead it (aka squish it around until it forms a cohesive ball that doesn’t fall apart). Flatten the ball of dough into a flat circle that is about ½-inch thick, and cut into 8 or 12 wedges. Place the wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  The scones will grow a little, so leave at least an inch between them on the sheet. .

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden (mine took 13 to be perfectly done). Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes, and then dig in!


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