It was New Year’s Day and I decided to have a few friends over for brunch. It was lovely, I think I may make this an annual event. Here all the ladies are together in the middle of chewing and talking. I love catching people in the middle of chewing and talking, it’s fun. They may not like it but it’s not about them…well I guess it is.
While the ladies chatted at the table the fellas made their plates and gathered together in the living room with TV trays to watch a football game. It was all very 1953.
The menu was baked spinach, mushroom and pancetta eggs, potato and salami tortilla, cheddar and chive scones, latkes and big crumb cinnamon apple coffee cake. I plan to share all the recipes with you this week along with do ahead tips.
The biggest hits were the baked eggs and cheddar chive scones.
Wonderfully delicious savory scones.
These scones are a do ahead dream. You can prepare the scones a day or a week ahead of time and freeze them. The day of your brunch place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and pop them in the oven. No need to thaw them out, just put them in and you’ll have fresh baked scones.
First chop up about 1/4 cup of fresh chives. Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a hot skillet, add chives and sauté until soft, about 1 minute. The will be come very fragrant.
In a small bowl add cheddar cheese, flour and chives.
Mix everything together until the cheese is evenly coated with flour and chives, set aside.
In another bowl, combine the rest of the flour with baking powder, salt and cubed butter.
Using a pastry cutter or fork cut butter until it is pea-size and crumbly. Butter crumbles make for delicious scones.
In another bowl combine 2 eggs and cream and whip together.
“Whip your hand back and forth, whip your hand back and forth.”
Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture.
Think about this for a moment. Here we have cream, eggs and butter….Mmmm. We still have cheddar and chives. You know this is going to be good.
Using a wooden spoon, fold mixture until it begins to come together and add the cheddar.
Mix the dough until everything is incorporated.
Turn the dough out on a well-floured surface and knead gently for less than one minute.
Roll dough 3/4- to 1-inch thick and cut into 8 triangles or with a biscuit cutter.
I wanted to be different and decided to cut them out into squares. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with egg wash. At this point you can either place them in the freezer or stick them in the oven.
If you are freezing them, freeze them on the baking sheet and then transfer the frozen scones into a re-sealable plastic bag.
When you deiced to bake them you will be treating yourself to delicious tender cheddar and chive scones. My friend Amanda said they were like Red Lobster’s biscuits but fancy.
This is only my second time making scones. I avoided scones for a long time believing that they were a dry and brittle form of biscuit. I have yet again been proven wrong. These are tender and delicious, very tender and delicious.
Cheddar and Chive Scones (Adapted from Peter Oleyer at Calexico Carne Asada in Brooklyn, via NYMag)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbs. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 8 tbs. cold butter, diced
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 eggs
- ¼ lb. sharp Cheddar cheese, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh chives, diced
- Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water)
Preheat oven to 400. In a small skillet, melt ½ tablespoon of butter. Sauté chives until soft, about 1 minute. Place in a small bowl with Cheddar cheese and coat with 1 tbs. of flour. In another bowl, combine the rest of the flour with baking powder and salt. Cut in remaining butter with a fork until the butter is pea-size.
Lightly whip eggs and cream and add to the flour-and-butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, fold mixture until it begins to come together. Add the Cheddar-and-chive mixture to the dough and mix until everything is incorporated.
Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead gently for less than one minute. Roll dough ¾- to 1-inch thick and cut into 8 triangles or with biscuit cutter. Brush with egg wash and place on well-oiled baking sheet.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.