Cheddar-Chive Scones: The Recipe

(Thanks to Jean of Lemons and Anchovies for these photos!)

This week, it’s Tres Leches cake. Last week, it was Tibetan momos. A month or so ago was Hainanese chicken rice.

When life gets busy, some people like to daydream where they want to go on vacation when they get a break. Me? I like to daydream about all the things I want to cook when life simmers down again. My list is growing longer every week. But no matter, because once I’m done with school, I’ll have free time up the wazoo.

Right? Right??

Wait, don’t answer that. Ignorance is bliss, after all.

(Thanks to Jean of Lemons and Anchovies for these photos!)

In the meantime, I’ve been making these scones like crazy. I feel like I’ve been bringing them with me to every single party or brunch or potluck we’re invited to recently. And every single time, they’re a hit. Perhaps you have had them. Or perhaps you’ve heard of them and tried bidding for them back during the online Bake Sale for Japan (which, by the way, I am about three months late in relaying my thousand thanks!) Whatever the case, here is the recipe, after much much delay.

These savory, cheesy, slightly crunchy – Yes! Really! There’s cornmeal in there! – scones have easily overthrown those Lemon Berry Scones of yore, as the standard scone made in the Rice & Wheat household.

Because let’s face it, when life hands you a dissertation to write, what better way to cope than playing with butter?

Adapted from a recipe in The Cheese Board cookbook.

3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
½ tsp baking soda
1½ tsp baking powder
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cornmeal
½ cup (1 stick) + 1 Tbsp of butter, cut into little cubes, keep cold
8 oz cheddar cheese (I like the extra sharp kind)
handful of chopped chives
1 cup buttermilk, keep cold
½ cup heavy cream, keep cold
1 egg, beaten (optional – if you want pretty golden-brown tops. I only do this when I feel fancy, i.e. not most days :)

Mixing things up: Preheat oven to 375F. Prep two baking sheets by lining with parchment paper or baking mats.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cornmeal and cayenne. Mix well. I suggest using a whisk because you just don’t want all the baking soda/powder to be sitting in a clump somewhere.

Throw in the butter cubes and toss everything around so the cubes are coated with flour. With your fingers, start rubbing the butter and flour together, so you break up the cubes into smaller pieces. You want to do this until you only have pea-sized lumps of butter left and the flour looks a bit like coarse sand.

Add in the cheese and chives. Using your hands, gently toss things around so the cheese and chives are pretty evenly distributed.

Make a well in the middle and add in the cold buttermilk+cream. Using a spatula, gently fold everything together. BUT please do NOT overmix the dough or the scones will be tough. If in doubt, err on the side of undermixing. It’s ok if not everything looks homogenous and there’s loose flour left in the bottom of the mixing bowl.

Show time: Using a large spoon, drop balls of batter on the baking mat. You should have enough for about 12-14. Make them about an inch apart at least because they’ll spread out during cooking.

After you’ve portioned out all the dough, wet your hands (to keep them from sticking to the dough) and gently pack/mold each dollop of batter together into a little puck. You don’t want to smush things too hard, just enough so it’ll stay together. Wet your hands as needed to keep them from sticking to the batter. If you’re using the beaten egg, brush the tops of the pucks with it.

Bake for ~30 min. Check them about halfway through and if they’ve spread out too much, you can gently mold/pack them back to together. Two spoons work well for this, unless you have fingers of steel.

Once the tops are golden brown, take them out of the oven and leave them on the baking sheet to cool for ~5 min (this is the most difficult step of the entire recipe). Then transfer them to cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack. Oh, who are we kidding, just eat them piping hot!

Yield: about a dozen scones
Time: ~10 min prep + 30 min baking


  1. Christine said:
    15 June 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I wish I could reach into the screen and grab one. You’re making me hungry.

    • angi said:
      20 June 2011 at 8:28 am

      Thanks Christine! ^_^

  2. Liren said:
    15 June 2011 at 11:53 pm

    I should have known better than to head over here for a visit when I really should be heading to bed, especially considering the fact that I am fighting a very strong urge to head down to my kitchen for a midnight snack. After seeing these scones, I’m done for, I must go get a snack. It won’t be as satisfying as these scones, but hopefully, I’ll get to bake these over the weekend!!

    Good luck as you deal with the dissertation stress! Thank goodness for butter :)

    • angi said:
      20 June 2011 at 8:29 am

      Haha, sorry Liren! But just think, once you make a batch of these, you’ll have them at the ready for midnight snacking, right? ;) Thanks for the luck – I’ll definitely need it. Hope to see you again soon.

  3. Jean said:
    16 June 2011 at 7:47 am

    Angi, what a treat to have been able to enjoy these at the brunch and to be lucky enough to get another special delivery from the scone fairy last weekend. :-) I put half the scones in the freezer so we can enjoy them this weekend. I can attest to why these are oft requested and always a hit. Thank you so much–I’ll be sharing this post on my FB page. They were an instant hit when I posted a picture. :-)

    • angi said:
      20 June 2011 at 8:30 am

      Thanks so much for sharing on your FB page, Jean! And let me know how the frozen scones reheat – I’ve always wondered how well these freeze actually.

  4. 16 June 2011 at 8:58 am

    I am SO glad that Gina shared your post on facebook because I love the look of them! I’m a big scone lover (you have to try the double ginger scones sometime) and these are next on my list to make. Jean’s photos are amazing and really show the wonderfulness of those buttery bites. Thanks for passing the recipe along!

    • angi said:
      20 June 2011 at 8:31 am

      Thanks for visiting, Mom Chef! I agree that Jean’s beautiful photos totally showcased these scones in all their buttery glory. Hope you enjoy these!

  5. pachecopatty said:
    16 June 2011 at 10:01 am

    Yum, delicious scones and beautiful pictures! I’m so glad I had the pleasure of meeting the person behind this wonderful blog ;-)

    • angi said:
      20 June 2011 at 8:31 am

      It was so great to meet you too, Patty! Hope to see you again soon.

  6. Lisa said:
    18 June 2011 at 9:17 am

    Delish! These scones are amazing! I just might have to make these over the weekend since my mouth is drooling right now. Great photos Jean! Thank you for posting and it was great to meet you at the brunch! :-)

    • angi said:
      20 June 2011 at 8:33 am

      It was so great to meet you too and hope to see you again at another event, Lisa. I’m glad you liked these scones and can’t wait to hear how you like the recipe! ;)

  7. Joyti said:
    27 June 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Yes, I remember them from the Bake Sale for Japan. I make my own version of cheddar scones, without the cornmeal and egg. Yours looks waaaayyy prettier, all golden and yummy. And I have to try it, I bet the cornmeal adds great texture.

    • angi said:
      25 July 2011 at 9:21 am

      Thanks Joyti! And yes, definitely try adding a little pinch of cornmeal…it’s such a nice surprise, texture-wise.

  8. Jenny said:
    23 July 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Just wanted to stop by and let you know that I have finally made my blogroll and you are on it! Check it out at =) Love your site!

    • angi said:
      25 July 2011 at 9:23 am

      Thanks Jenny!

  9. 2peas said:
    25 July 2011 at 12:44 pm

    I will make these! They serve a similar biscuit with butter and honey at BLT fish, he has the recipe in his book on fish, and they NEVER work out, no idea why. I’ll give these a shot. Thanks

    • angi said:
      25 July 2011 at 4:44 pm

      Cool! Hope you like them!

  10. Sharlene said:
    24 November 2011 at 12:37 am

    I just made these to take to the office with me. I had one just out of the oven. Bites of heaven! Delish!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’m sure this will become a staple for me.

    • angi said:
      5 December 2011 at 12:47 pm

      Thanks Sharlene! I love hearing that readers are trying my recipes and even more when they turn out well. :)

  11. dennis unites said:
    25 December 2012 at 7:50 am

    Great scones, we may have started a new Xmas tradition!

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