Hibiscus Hazelnut Scones with Marionberry and Anise

S: In the words of N’Sync… it’s gonna be Maaaay. And with that comes one of my favorite holidays! And no, it’s not Cinco de Mayo.

I remember growing up every year on May 1st, my mom and I would put together May Day baskets —thoughtful cards, goodies, treats, along with a bouquet of flowers—  leave the baskets on the doorsteps of our most loved, ding-dong-ditch them and await their reaction as they opened their door to a special surprise. How could you not love this?!

If you’re not familiar with May Day, the origins of May Day actually started with the ancient Celts, who actually called it “Beltane”, the day halfway between spring and summer, and it coincides with the return of fertility to the earth. Add in baskets full of flowers, colorful ribbons, and Maypole dances, and it’s the ultimate spring time celebration!

 

Wondering where the celebration of this holiday stemmed from, my mom’s response to why we celebrated May Day was because she did it with her mom, which makes the tradition that much more meaningful and full of joy to me. If you haven’t celebrated May Day, it’s an occasion for all family and friends, so pick out those that need some extra lovin’, grab some flowers and get to baking these scones as the perfect treat for your May Day baskets!

For this recipe we wanted to use real dried flowers, but for some reason we were lacking the know-abouts of where to find them in Seattle (if anyone knows where to find edible flowers, let us know!) so with a little creative thinking, we used tea leaves to create hibiscus-infused scones. Flora is blooming all around so we thought, why not incorporate it into our scones?

Scones tend to have a bad rep, as they can often be bland and dry without much complexity. The delicate hint of hibiscus is complemented by the floral notes of marionberry jam, married with the contrasting crunch of the roasted hazelnuts and topped with a sweet-savory drizzle of anise honey. Since these are using gluten-free flour, the texture is a bit more doughy and softer than the crumble of a regular scone, but given that G went back for a second scone after saying she didn’t like scones, I’d say it’s a win in the scone book.

Hibiscus Hazelnut Scones with Marionberry and Anise

Serves: 6-8 people

Ingredients:
½ cup Three Trees unsweetened vanilla almond milk
½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 flour
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup coconut oil
1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts + a few for garnish
1 Republic of Tea Natural Hibiscus tea bag
3 Tbsp of My Local Honey ( or any local honey)
1 tsp of anise
1/2 cup of marionberry jam (or any local jam)
zest of 1 lemon
sea salt

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Prepare baking sheet by covering it with a piece of parchment paper.
3. In a small mug, heat almond milk until near boiling for making tea.
4. According to directions, steep tea bag in almond milk 5-7 min.
5. After the tea has cooled, cut open the tea bag and mix the hibiscus flowers into the almond milk. The tea will be a magenta cool, don’t worry about clumps. Set aside.
6. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Mix thoroughly.
7. Next, work the coconut oil into the flour mixture with a fork until almost all coconut oil is mixed in, with some small clumps remaining.
8. In the center of the dry ingredients, make a small well, add the hibiscus almond milk tea and mix to combine. Be careful not to overwork the batter.
9. Transfer the batter to a floured surface and use your hands to form a round about 1-inch thick. Cut into 8 wedges with a floured knife. Transfer the wedges onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle some coconut sugar on top of each scone.
10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden and crispy.Let cool.
11. While scones cool, put honey in a small bowel and heat for no more than 10 seconds in microwave. Quickly stir in anise and blend well.
To prepare scones, drop dollops of jam and drizzle anise honey on top. Finish off with crushed hazelnuts.

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