Savory cheese scones for tea time or any time
Scones aren’t necessarily sexy. But my cheese scones recipe layers the flaky goodness of a traditional scone with the aphrodisiacs of fragrant rosemary and the tang of Colby Jack cheese. Both ingredients are historically aphrodisiac. You can learn more about both cheese and rosemary in our Dictionary of Aphrodisiac foods.
And although we’re all about aphrodisiacs, I really just created this recipe with everyone who likes both bread and cheese in mind. (Who doesn’t?) They’re made so that the cheese melts and bubbles as the scones bake, fully integrating it into the dough so that every bite has the satisfying texture and flavor of cheese.
You may be accustomed to eating scones as a sweet, either at breakfast, or, if you’re a fan of British tradition, at tea time with fruit preserves and perhaps some Devonshire cream.
And although I, too, love a scone slathered with clotted cream, this cheese scones recipe is a savory bread, meant for accompanying a meal. (Or as an aphrodisiac upgrade to your typical salty snack.) Serve them warm as a snack, slathered with butter, or as a side dish to salads, soups or any time you’d enjoy the tangy flavor of a cheese scone. If you like egg sandwiches, try slicing one of the scones in half and using it as the bread. Although I think it works the best with soft scrambled eggs, you can also try it with a fried egg if that’s what you prefer–eggwich heaven!
Some suggestions for cheese substitutions
If you like your cheese bread with a bit of a “bite,” you can try using a sharp Cheddar in place of the Colby Jack. Colby Jack, sometimes called Cojack, is a blend of Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses. It offers a mild tang and gives a fairly smoothy cheesy note to the scones.
But sometimes you just want the cheese to stand up and call attention to itself. If that sounds like the flavor you desire, switch to Cheddar, and make sure it’s a fairly sharp cheese. Now, a sharp Cheddar will be slightly drier than the Colby Jack. This might change the consistency of your dough slightly. But don’t worry! If the dough feels too dry, just add more of the buttermilk. Just be careful to add it a tiny splash at a time.
Rosemary Cheese Scones
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- lg pinch sea salt
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup Colby Jack cheese
- 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary, (1-1 1/2 tsp finely chopped)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine dry ingredients with the exception of the sea salt. Sift.
- Dissolve sea salt into buttermilk.
- Remove stem of the rosemary and finely chop. Toss rosemary into the sifted, dry ingredients.
- Slowly add buttermilk to dry ingredients. (You may not need all of the buttermilk.) When there is enough liquid, pack all the ingredients into a thick disc, without an excess of moisture. Stir in cheese.
- Shape into disks using a cookie cutter or the mouth of a glass and transfer to a parchment-covered baking tray.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes depending on size of scones, until golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack until cool enough to eat.
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