Hot, buttery, flaky scones, fresh out of the oven and steaming when you break them apart are a breakfast classic. Whether it's the famous Zuni Cafe Orange Currant Scones, or your mom's raisin and cinnamon version, scones are always welcome.
I wanted that buttery goodness to go with dinner the other night, but sweet scones don't work well with supper. So I tried something new instead. These are not for every night, but a wonderful indulgence - the deliciously delicate flavor of chives and the salty tang of Parmesan get infused through layers of buttery scone, rich and good on a cold winter's night.
The main rule of scones is not to over-mix; you want to work the butter in as finely as possible, but after the wet ingredients go in you should barely stir it together. Just get a dough that holds together but don't knead smooth at all. Slap it on the counter and cut it up, and you'll get tender, flaky scones.
Parmesan Chive Scones
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan
1/2 cup chives, chopped fine
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup cream
Heat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift or mix the dry ingredients, including the Parmesan and chives. Chop the butter into small squares and work into the dry ingredients with your fingers until texture is like tiny peas or marbles. (Alternate method: put the dry ingredients and butter into a food processor and blend until well mixed. This has the benefit of keeping the butter cold.)
Add the egg and cream and mix with your hands just until the dough barely holds together.
Turn out onto a floured countertop and shape into a rough wheel. Again, handle the dough as little as possible; if it's lumpy and floury that's OK. Cut the wheel into small triangles and put on the baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes or lightly golden.