Ham and Cheese Scones
Lately I have been reading and rereading one of my favorite cozy mystery series, Tea Shop Mysteries, by Laura Childs. She is one of my favorite writers and I adore her Tea Shop books that bring me back to my visits to Charleston, South Carolina. Set in the old part of town, the main character owns the “Indigo Tea Shop” and always seems to stumble upon dead bodies. With the help of her tea shop employees and good friends, no murderer gets away! Her tea menus always have me drooling over not only the amazing teas she serves but the food and desserts served to her patrons. The latest book I read was her Tea Shop Mystery #12 Scones & Bones that had me thinking of delicious scones the whole time.
Contrary to popular belief, scones do NOT have to be dry, crumbly bricks that have no taste! Scones can be light, fluffy pillows of perfection with sweet or savory ingredients. They are perfect with a cup of tea, as a breakfast, lunch, snack, or dessert treat and very easy to make.
Since this book had me drooling over scones, I decided to make a batch this weekend. My pantry was in short supply and I didn’t want
a traditional sweet scone, so into the fridge I went. We had a leftover package of sliced deli ham as well as half a bag of shredded cheddar cheese. PERFECT!
As I said, scones are easy and actually quick to make, which makes them the perfect item to bake when you have the urge but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen or end up with a tower of dirty dishes. Below is the recipe I used and one I plan on using again and again!
Note: I never have buttermilk in my kitchen as I never have enough need for it before a container goes bad. Anytime I have a general recipe that should have buttermilk, I use the trick of adding a two teaspoons of white vinegar to the amount of milk (preferably whole milk) I need for the recipe. Let the milk and vinegar sit for about five minutes and the whisk together before adding it to your recipe.
You will need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon roughly ground dried rosemary
1 stick butter
3/4 cup buttermilk OR 3/4 cup whole milk with 2 teaspoons of white vinegar
1 cup shredded cheddar or other favorite cheese
1 cup diced ham (small pieces)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. and line your baking sheet with a silicone baking mat (LOVE THESE) or oven-proof parchment paper.
In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and rosemary and mix together well.
Cut your stick of butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture.
Use your hands to mix the flour and butter until the crumbles are pea size.
Add in the buttermilk, cheese and ham and mix until a very soft dough forms. If it is too wet, add in a little extra flour. You want the dough to just hold together but not be too dry or stiff.
Pat your dough together and place on your lined baking sheet. Using your hands, flatten and shape until you have an approximate 9-inch circle.
Cut the circle into 8 equal slices and then spread them out on your baking sheet so they are not touching.
Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges and firm to the touch.
Serve hot and enjoy!