Cheddar & Black Pepper Scones

I returned Saturday from a great 2-week vacation to the Midwest, visiting both David’s and my family for Christmas. It was a great holiday, in part because I found this waiting for me under the tree on Christmas morning (thank you David!).

I am actually an owner (shareholder) of the Green Bay Packers. Of course there’s thousands of us, but it’s still fun. The Packers have had a great season, and since I’m no longer working Sundays at the restaurant, I’ve been able to catch every single game. And every Sunday I wake up thinking it’s a great idea to make cheddar biscuits, cheddar scones, or beer bread. But as lazy Sundays go, I never quite managed to get a batch together before the game started.

Before heading home mid-December, I saw this cheddar and pepper scone recipe on Epicurious. Not only do these scones have the sharp tang of cheddar, but the dough is studded with flecks of freshly ground black pepper, which adds depth and dimension to the flavors, keeping these scones from being flat and dry. I also think the pepper helps boost the flavor of the cheddar so you don’t need to go all out with an expensive block of cheddar. Not that I’d recommend going with the cheapest cheese you can find, but the pepper + cheddar combination ensures that the scones are greater than the sum of their parts.

In addition to swapping out some of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour, I halved the recipe. These scones are delicious warm from the oven, and keep well the next day if you eat them for breakfast, but their shelf-life doesn’t extend much further than that. Because the original recipe made 40 small scones, I trimmed the ingredient list to make the number of baked scones more manageable for a household of two.

Cheddar & Pepper Scones
Adapted from

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
1/2 Tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

1) Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter and cheese. Stir in the pepper. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

2) Preheat the oven to 400-degrees and set a rack on the upper-middle level. Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper.

3) Gently stir in the buttermilk or yogurt into the flour mixture to make a soft, sticky dough. Gather the dough into a ball with your hands. On a well-floured surface, roll or pat the dough into a 12-by-8 inch rectangle approximately 3/4-inch thick.

4) Using a dough scraper or knife, cut the rectangle into small squares, about 2 inches wide. Use a large spatula to transfer each scone to the prepared baking sheet. Brush each square with a little buttermilk. Bake for 20 minutes or until they’re lightly brown on top. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool slightly, and serve while still warm.

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2 responses to “Cheddar & Black Pepper Scones

  1. megstermeter

    Hey! This is random but I clicked on your scones from foodgawker, and had to tell you that I am also a Meg and I am a HUGE packers fan – i’m from WI, but living in the south now. Just wanted to say these look great and I’ll definitely check out the rest of your blog!


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