For the longest time, I thought that I hated scones. They were dry and dense, and frankly I didn’t understand why anyone made those things in the first place. Until a few years ago, when I was surprisingly inspired to try making my own, by this truly wonderful cookbook. The very simple, classic scone recipe turned out to be one of my favorite things I had ever baked.
I’m still very reluctant to try store-bought scones, but at least now I know all the greatness that scones are supposed to be. And these savory scones will not let you down – even if you too have had an iffy relationship with scones in the past. Give them a second chance, guys. It’s time.
These are incredibly fluffy, and almost creamy in their consistency. They’re full of flavor from sharp cheddar cheese, green onions, and red pepper flakes.
Some important things to keep in mind when making scones:
1. Use cold ingredients. Unlike most cookie and cake recipes that call for room temperature ingredients, the butter, cream, and eggs should all be very cold for this recipe. I cut my butter into chunks in the morning, and then put it back in the fridge (or even the freezer!) until I was ready to bake.
2. Don’t over-mix! This is an important tip for many baking recipes, but it is especially essential for scones, biscuits, and muffins. Over-mixing leads to a dense, heavy texture. I like using a spatula to fold the wet and dry ingredients together.
3. When you mix the butter into the flour mixture, you don’t want to incorporate it fully. The chunks of butter will help create the flaky consistency that makes these so delicious. I think your fingers are your best tool here! Especially if you haven’t made this type of dough before, using your hands gives you more control than an electric mixer.
That’s pretty much all you need to know! Don’t be intimidated by these instructions. It will all make sense once you get started. Along with the trusty guidance of Martha Stewart, I’m sure you can handle it. Have fun!
Cheddar Green Onion Scones
adapted from MarthaStewart.com
makes 12 scones
4 ounces extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup minced green onions
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3 large eggs, beaten lightly, plus 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (use just 1/4 tsp if you don’t want any spice – it will still add a little flavor. I chopped mine just a bit, but I don’t think it’s necessary. If you’re concerned about spice, you could use paprika instead, as Martha suggests in the original recipe.)
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, roughly chopped
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper, and set aside. Place the cheddar cheese, chives, and 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl, and toss to combine; set mixture aside. In another small bowl, combine the 3 lightly beaten eggs and the cream, and set aside.
- Combine remaining 2 cups flour, baking powder, red pepper flakes, and salt. Add butter; combine with your fingers (or whatever utensil works best for you) until the chunks of butter are pea-sized, or a little bigger. (You can also use an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed for for 1 to 2 minutes.) Add egg and cream mixture; fold together until just blended. Add cheese mixture; mix until just combined.
- Transfer dough to a well-floured surface, and pat into a 9-inch circle. Using a sharp knife dipped in flour, cut circle into 12 wedges. Dip the knife in flour after each cut. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet; brush tops with egg wash. Place in oven; bake, rotating baking sheet halfway through cooking, until outside is crusty and inside is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
The next day reheat in the oven, or for 10 seconds in the microwave.