Savory Scones with Goat Cheese and Chives

Savory buttermilk scones made with goat cheese and chives.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Ever wonder what the difference is between scones and biscuits?

The light, sweet scones enjoyed in England are nothing like the heavy, somewhat dry scones we usually have here in the states. They are more like our biscuits, but sweet.

Of course “biscuit” in England means what we here would call a cookie. So confusing.

I set out to make a light, savory scone, and in the process learned that, at least here in America, what I was making would more normally be called a biscuit. (According to some, scones have eggs, biscuits don’t.)

Savory Scones with Goat Cheese and Chives

But also here in America, if the baked good in question is round, it’s called a biscuit, and if it is triangular, it’s called a scone.

So, call these what you will. Here’s a recipe for delicious buttermilk scones/biscuits, made with goat cheese and chives, and shaped into wedges. You can shape them any which way you like.

Savory Scones with Goat Cheese and Chives Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 8 scones

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of freshly chopped chives (can also use chopped green onions)
  • 1 5-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup buttermilk (plus an extra tablespoon for finish)

Method

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

2 Make the dough: Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using fingertips, rub butter into dry ingredients until coarse meal forms.

Stir in the chives. Add cheese and buttermilk; stir with fork just until a sticky dough forms (bits of cheese will be visible in dough).

3 Knead the dough and form into rounds, cut into wedges: Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 8 times with floured hands. Do not over-knead!

Form into a round, about 3/4-inch to an inch thick. Cut the round into 8 wedges.

4 Use a pastry brush to brush on some extra buttermilk over the surface of the wedges.

5 Bake: Arrange wedges about 1/2 inch apart on an un-greased large baking sheet and bake at 400°F in the middle of the oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Cool on a rack.

Best eaten just baked and warm, with a little butter.

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Showing 4 of 25 Comments

  • Susan from Food "Blogga"

    What a great post! Having lived in New England, the South, and now California, I’ve noticed that scones and biscuits vary by region even here is the U.S. Now that I think of it, I sure have eaten a lot of scones and biscuits in all three regions.

  • Mel

    Wow! 30 minutes ago I first saw this post and now I’m eating one of these delicious biscuits. I didn’t have any chives or spring onions but they are lovely. Like Red Lobster cheese biscuits but not nearly as salty and way nicer. Thank you so much!

  • sarah

    I had noticed the differences you describe (I’m a scot living in Virginia) but had never been set to musing on what american scones are most like in the uk (is it very bad to ask you to say that instead of ‘England’?). The answer I came up with was rock cakes, although I do wonder if this is just an unfortunate reflection on the scones I have tried here – never had a scone I liked here, never had a rock cake I liked back home! I’m looking forward to trying your rendition of British scones though :)

  • Elise

    Hi Chrissy – If you want to make a British style scone, I would do a search for scone recipe at Google UK. Use the Google Calculator to do the measurement conversions. Or experiment and take an American recipe for biscuits and remove the salt and savory elements and add some sugar.

  • sandi @ the whistlestop cafe

    In the south we know our biscuits! They are light and fluffy, with lots of butter and jam… or maybe with some sausage gravy.
    Drop in and we can have a cup a tea.

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Buttermilk Scones with Goat Cheese and ChivesSavory Scones with Goat Cheese and Chives