Cheese Scones

 YummyCheese Scones

These are a fabulous savoury alternative to traditional scones, they can be made in about 15 minutes and are absolutely delicious with chutney, salads, cheese platters or just on their own.  Using a variety of herbs changes the flavour profile dramatically - rosemary cheese scones are full bodied and robust, thyme and parsley ones are delicate and light.  I also like to add different cheeses (strong vintage cheddar, fetta, parmesan) to alter the taste.  Of course additional flavourings like olives, roasted capsicum, chillies, sun-dried tomato, chutney and bacon can all be added, however I prefer to keep the flavours fairly simple so that additional toppings can be added to the scone once cooked.  I have included a basic recipe below – feel free to experiment with your own flavours.  Don't be alarmed by the cream, it is what gives the scones their light fluffiness, without adding egg which can make them heavy.
These also freeze well and make a super  stand-by food to have with soup or casserole.

3 cups of self-raising flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

100 grams cheese

½ teaspoon sugar

60 grams of butter

1 cup milk

½ cup cream

1 tablespoon of fresh herbs – chopped chives, parsley and thyme

Pepper

¼ teaspoon of mustard powder

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C

Using your fingertips, crumble the butter, mustard, pepper, sugar, salt, baking powder and flour to a breadcrumb consistency.  Add the herbs, rubbing them into the flour to release their oils.  Add the milk a little at a time, using a butter knife to cut through the mix.

Once the dough is just starting to form stop adding the milk and add the cream and the cheese.  Continue to pull the dough together with the cream until it can be kneaded.  Knead for about 3 minutes, or until the dough is pliable and soft.  Reserve a little of the cream.

Use your hands to press the dough flat (rather than rolling it)  and cut out scone rounds using a scone cutter or un upturned, lightly floured drinking glass.

Lay the scones on a baking tray, baste with the reserved cream and add a little extra grated cheese to the tops of the scones.

Bake in a moderately hot oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden on the top.

Makes 16.