Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ham and Cheese Scones

These were just too good.  I don't even know what else to say.  These scones literally melt in your mouth, and remind  me of my Cheddar Parmesan Biscuits (found here) but these have more Cheddar than Parmesan and have ham and no garlic.  I wouldn't change anything about these scones, though. They are so darn good!  I think using heavy cream instead of milk/buttermilk makes a big difference...it makes these scones so much richer...just the way I like it.  The cream is definitely the cause of the melt-in-your-mouth effect.  But the ham is probably the star of this savory scone.  I insisted on getting fresh Virginia Ham from the deli in our grocery store because I had been wanting to make this ham and cheddar scone recipe. One thing I love about ham is how versatile it is.  They can jazz up omelets, be built into sandwiches, mix in a casserole, or star in this soft and buttery scone. Scones are generally sweet, not salty, but these savory scones are now my favorite. They are little triangles of buttery bread goodness, packed with the salty flavor of ham and cheddar cheese and the mild flavor of green onion. They're easy to prepare and work as either a side dish or a breakfast.  These seriously lasted minutes in my house.  I was actually really angry at my parents because they ate them all when I wasn't looking before I could grab a third.  My new rule: the cook gets the last one!

Yield: about 8 scones

2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) All-Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons white sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) cold  butter
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan chese
1/3 cup (about 1/2 ounce) snipped fresh chives, or finely diced scallion tops (the green part, 3/4 ounce)
1 cup cooked ham pieces - about 1 inch, torn from the slices
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream or whipping cream, or enough to make the dough stick together

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
1) Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
2) Work the butter into the flour until the mixture is unevenly crumbly.
3) Mix in the cheese, chives, and ham till evenly distributed.
4) Add ¾ cup of the cream, stirring to combine. Try squeezing the dough together; if it’s crumbly and won’t hang together, or if there are crumbs remaining in the bottom of the bowl, add cream until the dough comes together. Transfer the shaggy dough to a well-floured work surface.
5) Pat the dough into a smooth 7" disk about ¾" thick. Transfer the disk to the prepared baking sheet.
6) Use a knife or bench knife to cut the disk into 8 wedges, spreading the wedges apart a bit on the pan.
7) Brush the scones with a bit of cream; this will help their crust brown.
8) Bake the scones for 15-17 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the pan. Serve warm, or at room temperature. 

adapted from Heat Oven to 350

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