Whether you are a pro at making scones or this is your first time, my super easy Mini Cheddar-Dill Scones recipe is for you. When filled with slices of smoked salmon, these moist and buttery scones make a unique, impressive two-bite appetizer. And, my step-by-step instructions ensure these scrumptious scones come out perfect, every time!
Easy-to-Make Savory Scone Recipe
I was first introduced to the wonderful world of scones while traveling in the United Kingdom on business. I arrived at my London hotel, and my room wasn’t yet ready. The hotel staff graciously offered me “tea” in the lobby lounge while I waited. In addition to a variety of flavorful hot teas, they also provided me with a delicious array of small sandwiches – and scones with clotted cream and jam. Similar to a Southern biscuit, the scones were a bit more dense, crumbly and super delicious. I devoured them all in no time!
After arriving home, I decided to try my hand at making a batch of scones, and was pleasantly surprised at how easy they are to prepare. And, because they are basically a quick bread they don’t take much time, either – no rising or kneading required. All you do is mix, cut and bake. That’s it!
Creating Cheddar Dill Scones
Years ago, there was a deli in Denver that sold several different varieties of savory scones, including a cheddar-dill version. They were both pretty and delicious! After discovering how easy it is to make scones, I decided to create my own mini-sized Cheddar-Dill version. Sharp Cheddar cheese and lemony-fresh dill complement one another perfectly, and add not only depth of flavor but also brightness and pops of color to the scones, with subtle flecks of orange and green.
What makes a scone different?
Scones may appear to be similar to biscuits, but actually they are very different. Scones are made with eggs and/or cream, biscuits with butter and milk or buttermilk. Scones are more sturdy and crumbly, while biscuits are light and flaky.
Serving Cheddar Dill Scones as an Appetizer
While these scones are delicious as is, placing a slice of smoked salmon, a sprig of dill and a piece of lemon zest inside turns them into a unique, impressive, two-bite appetizer. And for your non-salmon eating friends and family, you can fill a few with sliced ham or duck breast and honey mustard. They’re a light starter that’s perfect for entertaining at home or taking to a potluck, as they can be made and assembled ahead of time!
Cheddar Scone Recipe Ingredients
Like many of our recipes here at A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®, everything you need to make these savory scones can be found at the grocery store. Here are the ingredients:
- Large eggs
- Half and half
- Fresh dill
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Table salt
- Ground pepper
- Unsalted butter
- Sharp Cheddar cheese
How to make Cheddar Scones with Dill
Here are the easy steps to follow in making these tasty scones:
- Prep oven and baking sheets.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place rack in upper 1/3 of oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix wet ingredients and dill.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and half and half until well blended. Whisk in chopped dill and set aside.
- Mix dry ingredients.
Place flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process to mix.
- Add butter.
Cut 6 tablespoons of the butter into small (1/2-inch square) pieces. Add to flour mixture and pulse just until butter is incorporated.
- Add cheese.
Add the grated cheese and pulse one or two times to blend.
- Add half and half.
While the machine is running, quickly add half and half mixture through the feed tube and process the dough just until moist clumps begin to form a ball. Don’t over process or your scones will be tough.
- Shape and cut dough.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Using your fingers, gently flatten dough to 1/2-inch thickness. (Do not make thinner as the scones won’t rise.)
Cut out mini scones with a 1- or 1 1/2-inch round cutter and place on prepared baking sheet. Re-roll scraps and continue cutting.
- Brush with butter and bake.
Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and brush over top of each scone. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 10 to 13 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove scones from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Storing & Reheating These Savory Scones
Baked scones should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last for 3 to 4 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature before serving.
How else can I serve these scones?
Mini Cheddar-Dill Scones are extremely versatile. Besides as an appetizer, I’ve served them alongside one of our main dish salads – both with and without the smoked salmon inside. They’re also a great savory addition to a brunch menu, balancing out sweet muffins and breads. Make them larger and use them to make Breakfast Sandwiches with Egg!
Savory Scones Troubleshooting
When cutting out the scones, it’s important to push a floured round cutter straight down onto the dough, and don’t twist it! If needed, move it sideways to separate the cut-out scone from the rest of the dough. If you twist, your scones will rise unevenly.
To ensure your scones come out moist:
1. Don’t overmix the dough,
2. add the ingredients in the order listed in the recipe (especially the butter), and
3. use enough half and half to create a moist dough.
There are a few keys to ensuring your scones come out with the right texture:
• Use cold butter (and eggs and milk). To get a scone with a nice layered, crumbly texture, it’s important to use cold butter. Using cold eggs and half and half will help as well.
• Don’t overmix. Over-mixing when preparing the dough can cause the scones to be dense and tough.
Here are a few possible reasons why your scones didn’t rise:
• Your baking powder had expired.
• Your dough was too dry.
• You rolled the dough too thin before cutting out the scones.
• You used too much butter, or your butter wasn’t cold enough (this will make the dough spread out, resulting in flatter scones).
Pin it now to save for later!
Super easy to prepare, Mini Cheddar Dill Scones are moist and buttery. When filled with smoked salmon, they make a unique, impressive two bite appetizer. They can also be served alongside salad or soup, and make a great addition to a brunch menu.
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup + 1/2 tablespoon half and half
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, divided
- 1 1/2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
Smoked Salmon Filling
- Smoked salmon pieces – see Variation below
- Sprigs of fresh dill
- Lemon zest pieces
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place rack in upper 1/3 of oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and half and half until well blended. Whisk in chopped dill and set aside.
- Place flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process to mix.
- Cut 6 tablespoons of the butter into pieces, add to flour mixture and pulse just until butter is incorporated.
- Add the grated cheese and pulse one or two times to blend.
- While the machine is running, quickly add half and half mixture through the feed tube and process the dough just until moist clumps begin to form a ball. Don’t over process or your scones will be tough.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Using your fingers, gently flatten dough to 1/2-inch thickness. (Do not make thinner as the scones won’t rise.)
- Cut out mini scones with a 1- or 1 1/2-inch round cutter and place on prepared baking sheet. Reroll scraps and continue cutting.
- Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and brush over top of each scone. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 10 to 13 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and place scones on a wire rack to cool.
- Once cooled, slice scones in half horizontally. Place a piece of salmon, a small piece of fresh dill and a small piece (or two) of lemon zest inside each scone. Serve immediately.
Make ahead: The mini scones can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigeratoar for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Variations in filling: other fillings you can use include sliced ham or duck with honey mustard.
Variation in scone size: Cut the scones out larger and use to make Breakfast Sandwiches with Egg.
Keywords: scones, breads, smoked salmon