Savory scones? Considering the American breakfast palate, that is almost an oxymoron. Most coffee shop scones feature blueberries or cinnamon sugar or currants, all surrounded by a rich, sweet dough. I myself was initially skeptical to a more savory version – but then, I stopped and thought about it. Scones are essentially triangular biscuits. Savory biscuits are excellent. Red Lobster’s cheddar bay biscuits taste like heaven in a basket. Why not make savory scones? After a bit of research I was reassured to learn that savory scones are definitely a thing — and a thing that I needed in my life.Jump to Recipe
These cheese and onion scones take inspiration from Prue Leith’s cheese and chive scone recipe. It’s worth noting that Prue’s scones follow the traditional British model – we Americans would probably call them biscuits, considering their shape and their light, airy texture. The scones we’ll make below are the classic American size and density, perfect for your next breakfast gathering.
If you’re looking for more recipes to complete your brunch menu, my friend Reesa at MommaLew has an awesome recipe for “eggs in a hole” – the classic egg-within-toast breakfast dish – made in a sheet pan so you can easily serve a crowd. One of these cheese scones dipped in an over-easy egg is my idea of a perfect morning meal.
First, gather your ingredients. In terms of dry ingredients, you will need flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. You will also need half-and-half (though you can substitute milk or cream, if that’s all you have on hand). One egg will give these scones a bit of rise, but the much of the airiness will come from the use of frozen butter. We will grate this butter into the dough; as the scones cook, the butter will create air pockets as it melts, resulting in a light, fluffy final product.
The main flavor for these scones comes from – you guessed it – cheese and onions. Green onions offer a mild yet pungent flavor; I only needed to use two for these scones. For the cheese, I used a combination of shredded cheddar jack and gouda. You can use whatever flavors of hard cheese you like best, though I recommend using something that melts well, like cheddar jack, to do your final “sprinkling” as the scones finish baking.
Now that you have assembled your ingredients, it’s time to bake! In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use a cheese grater to shred your frozen butter into your dry ingredients. Once all of the butter is grated, use a pastry blender or food processor to mix it into your dry ingredients.
Chop your onion and place it – and all of your shredded cheese – into the bowl containing your dry ingredients. Stir until the cheese and onions are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
In a separate bowl, beat together the egg with the half-and-half. Pour this mixture over the bowl containing your dry ingredients. Mix until the dough is just combined – but be careful not to overmix!
Use your clean hands to press the dough into a ball and transfer the ball to a lightly floured surface. Press the dough ball into a disc, roughly 8 inches in diameter, before swaddling in plastic wrap and placing in your refrigerator to rest. (This will help the butter slightly solidify, again promoting future melting and air-pocket-creation in the oven.) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Once your oven has preheated, remove your dough from its plastic wrap and place on a prepared baking sheet. Cut your dough disc into 8 equal wedges and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top of the scones start to turn golden brown.
Remove your baked scones from the oven and allow them to cool before serving.
Congratulations – you just made some savory scones! Will you serve these for brunch? Or perhaps they’re on the menu for your next garden party? Wherever you serve them, please tag @WhiskAverseBaking in your social media posts, or leave a message in the comments below.
Cheese and Onion Scones
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup unsalted butter cold/frozen
- ½ cup half and half
- 1 egg
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese plus more for sprinkling
- ½ cup shredded Gouda cheese
- 2 tablespoons green onions diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt) in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Grate the frozen butter into small shreds. Use a pastry blender or food processor to mix this into your dry ingredients. Stir cheese and onions into this mixture and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg with the half and half. Pour this mixture over your dry ingredients. Mix until just combined – do not overmix!
- Use your (clean) hands to gently work the dough into a ball and place it on a lightly floured surface. Form the dough into a disc, roughly 8 inches in diameter.
- Place the dough disc in the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Once your oven is preheated, place your scones on a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. Use a large knife to cut your scones into 8 equal wedges.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the scones are just beginning to turn golden brown. Optionally, sprinkle an additional ¼ cup of cheese over your scones during their final 5 minutes of cooking.
- Allow the scones to cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve.