Saturday, June 20, 2009

Scones shaped like biscuits

One of the many, many ways in which weekends are better than weekdays is that instead of eating the same old yogurt for breakfast, I actually have time to bake something.

I've done coffeecakes, but they're simply too much for two people, and I want to cry scraping the end of something I baked into the trash. So, muffins and scones tend to be the way to go.For some reason, I often have cranberries in the freezer, so cranberry muffins are a frequent choice. That or cream currant scones, a favorite from Baking Illustrated. Those scones come together quickly into a floury little ball, and then you simply pat them into a round, cut, brush with cream and sugar, and bake. That's a great recipe.

Today, though, I felt more in the mood for something savory. I looked through my Barefoot Contessa cookbook and found a recipe for cheddar-dill scones. I love the Barefoot Contessa's recipes, most likely because they always seem to call for a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, and cups upon cups of heavy cream. As the Contessa herself would say, "How bad can that be?"

I decided to try these scones, subbing chives for dill. I didn't have any dill in the house, plus, I'm not a huge dill fan. I don't mind it, but there's something about that feathery texture, much like fennel fronds, that gives me the heebie jeebies.

I mixed the dry ingredients in the stand mixer, cut in the butter, then pulled it together with eggs and cream. The eggs were surprising to me; my standby recipe only relies on cream to moisten the dough. Next came the sharp cheddar, cut in small cubes, and the herbs. Finally, I rolled out the dough, cut it into rounds with a juice glass, and popped them into a hot oven.

The scones turned out flakey and perfect, with a mild oniony flavor from the chives and a salty richness from the cheese. The husband divulged that he preferred these to the usual currant scones. I had to concur. I will definitely be making these again.

While devouring the crumbly and delicious little scones, we discussed what the difference was between scones and biscuits. A quick search on the Internet informed me of some rather silly distinctions--scones are served at tea or breakfast, while biscuits go with dinner; scones are triangular while biscuits are round. The only reasonable distinctions I could find were that scones usually include cream while biscuits are more likely to have milk or buttermilk. In addition, biscuits don't have eggs, while scones often do. But, sometimes they don't, such as the Baking Illustrated scones.

Biscuits, scones, they all make for a pleasant start to the weekend.


  1. I'll take one too. I love biscuits.

    Ann (Thibeault's Table)

  2. Cee: Next batch, I'll save one for you.

    Ann: Thank you for stopping by!

  3. I never really considered how similar they were! I always have scones with jam and biscuits with butter and so scones always seemed much sweeter but I guess they aren't really...

  4. I've tried scones a few times, and they never come out crumbly like they do at bakeries. My homemade ones are always more biscuit-like in texture. They're still yummy, though, and yours look that way too!

  5. Megan-I agree on the sweet/savory difference, especially since I married a Kentuckian who likes biscuits with country ham! And I do think scones generally have more sugar, though not this recipe.

    Erin-I think more butter=more crumbly? Thanks for the compliment.

  6. Those look great! I love scones & coffee and I'd love to give it a shot, but baking anything never works out well for me. Any recommendations for must-try scones in the city?

  7. hoodscope: I like the cheddar scones, and also the currant ones, at Noe Valley Baking Co. And I would trust anything they make at Tartine!