Saturday, March 15, 2008
savory cheese scones
The lovely hostesses Julie of Kitchenography and Meg of Pigtown Pigout held a brunch last weekend for some local bloggers, many of whom are designers and foodies. In my opinion, the two groups of peoples with the best taste. It was potluck style, and we cozied up in Julie's amazing kitchen, gathered around the large island, laid out with food. I have to admit, I did not want to leave that breathtaking open kitchen, with the antique stove and fireplace, and farmhouse dining table. Mr.S diagnosed me with a serious case of kitchen envy.
Julie put together an endive salad, but alas, the yolk-based dressing broke. She also had delious little pots of red pepper pesto. Meg made two versions of a breakfast strata, one with sausage, the other vegetarian, and a buttery fresh cranberry bread.
John of The Baltimore Snacker brought a creamy, sweet lemon buttermilk pie.
Jamaila of Ancestral Pile whipped together a fruit salad, beautifully flavored with mint, lime, and honey.
Ann, aka Prêt à Voyager, who also writes for Design Sponge, was in attendance, but for the life of me, I can't remember which dish she brought!
Janet, of ~JCB~, who is a curator at the National Gallery, was also there, with champagne.
Rachel, a colourist, writes Hue Consulting, made a vegetarian quiche of spinach, pinenuts, and potato from the Whole Foods Cookbook.
Xani and Erin, of Black Coffee and a Donut, brought some Mediterranean treats: pita chips and hummus, and tabbouleh salad.
And me, a lover of scones, baked up a batch of mini ones that morning, flavored with Gruyère, crispy lardons, rosemary and black pepper. This is a very versatile savory scone base, so many and any addition can be mixed in, just use your imagination. Any sort of grated or crumbled cheese, fresh chopped herbs, toasted nuts, and spices would be lovely. My next batch will feature aged cheddar cheese and diced apples, sprinkled with fleur de sel.
Savory Cheese Scones
yields 32-36 mini scones
3 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled
1 cup grated cheese
1 1/4 cups cold buttermilk
mix-ins of your choice (diced bacon, herbs, spices)
whole milk, for brushing
1. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter piece by piece and toss in the grated cheese. With a pastry cutter, work everything together, until the butter becomes the size of small peas, and is well incorporated. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 400F. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the flour mixture and gently mix in the buttermilk, making sure to not overmix. You will have a sticky dough. You can turn the dough out onto a work surface and shape the scones into circles or triangles. Alternately, I am lazy, so I work straight from the mixing bowl. I use a medium ice cream scoop to make "drop" scones onto my prepared pans.
3. Brush the tops of the scones with milk. You may sprinkle with extra cheese, if you'd like. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the tops turn golden. Remove and cool on the pan or on a rack. Serve immediately.