Tomorrow is Brunchday! The most magical of all days. Any day that lets you add champagne to your orange juice and vodka to your V8 is a winner in my books. Brunch is everything you want in a meal but can’t justify on a regular basis. Alcohol? Check. Salty, fatty meat products? Check. Tasty things that are practically dessert? Checkmate! In the spirit of this deliberately debaucherous day, I present these Cheddar Sage Scones with Whipped Honey Butter. Because adding honey butter to a scone with this much cheese in it is simply inappropriate – except on glorious Brunchday.
Before we get to the heart of this blog post (i.e. scones), I have to get a minor annoyance off my chest. If listening to people complain about inconsequential things makes you want to scream, scroll past the next paragraph. I don’t want to be responsible for any noise complaints. If you’re about the ranting, proceed because I’m about to tackle an ultra-pet-peeve of mine: calling brunch a “trend”.
Ugh! People have been calling brunch a trend for, like, ten years. This leads me to wonder, when do things cease to be trends and become part of our social fabric? And frankly, I reject that brunch was ever a trend. Weekend breakfast food pig-outs were always a thing in my family and, while I like to think we’re particularly charming, I wouldn’t call us “ahead of our time”. And classic diners have known for decades that people are about breakfast food whenever. Brunch isn’t some sort of “millennial trend”, the joy of finding bacon and syrup canoodling on the same plate is for everybody. Always has been, always will be. Rant over!
Okay, sorry about that. I actually had to ask my boyfriend if that was too angry. I took his laughter as a good sign. So if you hated everything about that last paragraph, you can blame him and his encouraging laughter. Let’s move onto less emotional charged things – let’s move on to buttery things. Namely, these Cheddar Sage Scones with Whipped Honey Butter.
I don’t generally make scones. When I crave scone-like substances, I always default to my grandmother’s tea biscuits. They are the perfect vehicle for molasses and every soup known to man, so it’s hard to leave them behind. But every now and then, classics just won’t cut it. I had been wanting to do something with cheddar and sage for a while now. I thought the two would be the perfect foil for one another. Cheddar has a brightness to it that I figured would contrast beautifully with the vaguely musty (I mean this in a good way) flavor of sage. I originally thought of putting the two in a tea biscuit, but one disappointing scone from a chain coffee shop later, I landed on Cheddar Sage Scones. Sometimes the only way to block a horrible baked good from your memory is to replace it with something infinitely superior.
The Whipped Honey Butter came about when I realized a savory scone destroyed the thing I love most about brunch: the co-mingling of sweet and salty. I’m the type of person who hates a brunch menu that makes you choose between sweet and salty. That is that Sophie’s Choice of culinary decisions. I don’t want to put anyone through that! So I whipped the honey into the butter, and after I had done that, it seemed only logically to slather some on the scones themselves. Not only does the honey take the scones up a notch flavor-wise, it also makes them look oh-so-photogenic. You definitely want that in a brunch item.
These bad boys will give your usual brunch a run for its money. With their threads of gooey, sharp cheddar, ribbons of earthy sage and glossy honey brushed tops, these scones are a triple threat in the truest sense. Their base is part soda bread, part tea biscuit, and full-on evil. When they’re slathered in butter kissed with honey and sea salt, the world slides away. Yes, these Cheddar Sage Scones are that good.
So what are you waiting for? Celebrate the wonders of Brunchday with these Cheddar Sage Scones and Whipped Honey Butter!
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups white cheddar (I used Kerry Gold), shredded
- 1/8 cup fresh sage, finely chopped
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 whole egg
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Honey for glaze
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Place a pizza stone in a cold oven. Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt together into a large mixing bowl. Add the cheddar and the sage and toss to combine.
- In a large measuring cup, whisk the buttermilk, egg and butter together until incorporated.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour the buttermilk mixture into the centre. Stir until it forms a sticky dough.
- Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface. Knead the dough for 3 minutes, then form it into a boule-like shape. Using a bench scraper, cut the dough like a pizza into 8 even pieces.
- Place the scones on the heated pizza stone and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Take the scones out of the oven and immediately brush with honey.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Place butter in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk butter on medium speed until pale in color. About 6 minutes.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly pour in the honey followed by the salt. Increase the speed to medium and whisk for another five minutes.
- Scrape butter into a small bowl, drizzle with additional honey and serve alongside scones.