Thursday, May 10, 2012

Recipe: Savory Chive and Sharp Cheddar Cheese Scones


These easy to make scones would be a perfect Mother's Day treat.

It's chive season in my kitchen garden! I've been sprinkling freshly snipped chives on all sorts of things, but my favorite way to celebrate this easy to grow perennial is in a variation of my popular Savory Feta Cheese and Scallion Scones, a recipe I created 20 years ago during a scone craving when there was no butter in the house. It uses softened cream cheese instead of butter, which quickly mixes into the flour with a fork.

Fresh homegrown chives are an inexpensive gourmet luxury. You'll find more about growing and using chives, along with my simple homemade herbed yogurt cheese recipe here.

These scones are light and moist on the inside, with a pleasant little crunch on the outside. Serve them warm from the oven instead of rolls: plain, buttered, or with cream cheese, goat cheese, or homemade herbed yogurt cheese. I like to split and toast them in the toaster oven, then slather both crunchy halves with butter. They're great for making little sandwiches, and I've even used them in place of burger buns.

They also freeze beautifully. Defrost them at room temperature and heat at 375° for about 5 to 8 minutes. If you're in a hurry, you can defrost them gently in the microwave and then heat them in the oven or toaster oven (I love my Oster toaster/convection oven for things like this).

Recipe below. . .


Farmgirl Susan's Savory Chive and Sharp Cheddar Cheese Scones
Makes one dozen 3½-inch scones (or 8 larger ones) - Adapted from my Savory Feta Cheese and Scallion Scone Recipe


I highly recommend investing in a couple of heavy duty commercial rimmed baking sheets. At less than $14 each, they're one of the best kitchen deals around. Treat them well—I usually line mine with sheets of unbleached parchment paper, which is wonderful stuff—and they'll last for ages. I've been using the heck out of some of mine for 20 years for everything from baking cookies to roasting Brussels sprouts.

Half & half will give you richer scones with a slightly nicer texture, but whole milk works fine. As always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients; they really do make a difference.

The optional egg glaze gives the scones a beautiful shine and dark golden color. Look for farm fresh eggs at your farmers' market or natural foods store, or search for a local farmer on LocalHarvest.org. You won't believe the difference compared to commercial eggs laid by unhappy hens living in horrible battery cages. The yolks are sometimes so dark they're a gorgeous deep orange, and they taste wonderful.

2½ to 3 cups organic all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it's fresh!)
1½ teaspoons salt
4 ounces cream cheese (or Neufchatel cheese), softened in the microwave 15 to 30 seconds (you want it very soft)
4 ounces (about 2 cups) finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I like extra-sharp)
1/2 cup (about 7/8 ounce) chopped fresh chives
1 cup organic whole milk or half and half
1 large egg

Optional egg glaze:
Beat 1 egg and 2 Tablespoons organic milk (or half and half) well with a fork

1. Heat the oven to 400°.

2. Combine 2½ cups of the flour, the baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

3. Add the cream cheese and cheddar cheese and toss gently with a fork until combined.

4. Add the chives and toss gently with a fork until combined.

5. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, beat the milk (or half and half) and egg with a fork until well combined, then gently fold it into the dry ingredients, mixing lightly with a rubber spatula just until a soft dough forms. Add up to 1/2 cup additional flour if the dough is too sticky.

6. Divide the dough in half. On a floured surface, gently pat each half into a circle that is 1-inch thick and about 6 inches across. (To make 8 larger scones, don't divide the dough, just pat it all into a 1-inch thick circle.)

With a sharp knife (I use a large serrated knife dipped in flour), cut the circles into 6 wedges each. Place the scones on a heavy duty baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper.

7. Brush the tops and sides of the scones with the egg glaze if desired (I use a silicone pastry brush). Bake for 20 minutes (25 minutes for larger scones), or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm, or cool completely and refrigerate or freeze in a heavy zipper bag or airtight container.

More Farmgirl Fare muffin, scone, and quick bread recipes:
Cranberry Christmas Scones (tasty any time of year!)
Beyond Easy Beer Bread (my most popular recipe)

Savory scone recipes from other food bloggers:
Bacon, Cheddar, and Green Onion Scones from Confections of a Foodie Bride
Carrot and Rosemary Miniature Scones from Chocolate and Zucchini

Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

© FarmgirlFare.com, home of one serious sconehead.

8 comments:

  1. Those photos are making my mouth water.

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  2. Oh this is making my mouth water!! they sound so yum!!

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  3. Yup. My mouth is watering too. I MUST try these.

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  4. I love the beautiful golden color the egg glaze gives them! Yum, Yum!!

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  5. Hi Farmgirl,
    I just finished making another batch of your farmhouse white bread. The house smells great!
    I was wondering if you had ever made cheddar/jalapeno scones or biscuits? If so, do you have any recommendations on the volume of peppers to add?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Maria,
      I'm so glad you're enjoying the Farmhouse White!.

      As for cheddar/jalapeno scones or biscuits, I'm afraid I've never made them. Unless you want them really hot, I would go easy with the jalapenos on the first batch to get an idea of how much heat and flavor they add. Maybe just 1 or 2 small chopped peppers to start?

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  6. Replies
    1. Yes, they freeze beautifully. I just toss them into a zipper freezer bag. See the fourth paragraph of this post for reheating instructions.

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