orange fruit goodness

as i wandered around the grocery store the other day i came across a yellow bag filled with dried golden berries. i clutched at it eagerly and threw it into my basket. i love these little tart berries; never mind that they're packed with bioflavinoids and are from the land of the incas. i was introduced to them in the chocolate aisle (yes they have aisles with just chocolate, box after intoxicating box, filled with a variety of bars for every craving). they were a little box of yummy dark chocolate covered berries neighboring the box of dark chocolate covered guava i had been reaching for. i've never looked back, but those little boxes get pricey.

so, today i had the brainstorm of making my own chocolate coated golden berries. i started by melting a dark chocolate bar in a double boiler and dipping the berries in the melted goodness. as each one was covered i placed them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. when all of them were done (about 30 count) i put the whole sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes to solidify. when time was up, into a lidded container they went for easy snacking reach in the refrigerator. it could have been less than 25 at this point, but i'm not keeping record. what's great about this combination for snacking is that there are amazing health benefits to each; golden berries are really nutritious, rich in vitamin p and each contain about 15% protein, dark chocolate in moderation is full of antioxidants and is heart healthy by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. also, they're a wonderful emotional pick-me-up when one feels the dark clouds of melancholia closing in.

another yummy fruit that i added to my cart was kumquats, which they happened to be stocking as i was browsing the fresh fruit aisle. this is definitely one weird fruit; the skin is sweet and the insides are sour, so you eat the whole thing (like a grape). when one has so many, what is there to do but bake something with them? one of my favorite recipes for kumquats are scones. you can use just a couple (for a pleasant light flavor) or a whole bunch (intense, with a piece of fruit in each bite). needless to say, but i lean towards the second option.

kumquat scones
1 cup pastry flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
3-7 thinly sliced kumquats, skin only
1 egg or energy egg replacer equivalent to 1 egg
1/2 cup almond milk

preheat oven to 400 degrees

in a bowl combine dry ingredients. using two knives or a pastry cutter, cut in butter until small. stir in fruit. add egg and milk and mix until moistened. transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface. if dough is too sticky knead in a little bit of flour until a less sticky mass is made. knead 10-12 strokes. mould into a flattened circle about 1.5" deep, cut into eight wedges. place each wedge about 1" apart on a parchment covered baking sheet. sprinkle sugar on top of each and bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown and a knife comes out clean. (sometimes it takes 20-30 minutes if there is a lot of juice in the kumquats, just keep checking every 5 minutes after the first 15 minutes.) let cool on rack. for an extra fancy treat, serve with devonshire cream and fresh blueberries or raspberries.

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