ON COOKING: Mrs. Chef Dez creates ham and cheese scones, perfect for Mother’s Day

Be sure not to overmix the scones or they will be tough

Send your cooking questions via email to Chef Dez at: dez@chefdez.com

by Chef Dez

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and a great way to treat that special lady in your life is to make her breakfast in bed. One of my all-time favourite breakfasts are the ham and cheddar scones that my wife, Katherine, makes for me. I request these time and time again, and I am happy to share the recipe with you.

Anytime we have made these for anyone, they always get rave reviews. The biggest tip I can give you is to not over mix the dough – this will make them tough. Work the dough until it just holds together. Even if the dough looks a bit shaggy, that is ok… we call that “rustic” in the culinary world. Enjoy!

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Ham and Cheddar Scones

Recipe created by Katherine Desormeaux (Mrs. Chef Dez)

“Omit the ham to make cheese scones or omit both ham and cheese for plain scones. You can add raisins or fresh blueberries to the plain scones.”

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup very cold or frozen butter

3/4 cup old cheddar, grated or cut into quarter inch cubes

3/4 cup ham cut into 1/4 inch cubes

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 tbsp. whipping cream, optional

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare a jelly roll pan or two cookie sheets with baking spray.

Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. Using a medium fine grater, grate the butter into the flour mixture, stirring occasionally to coat the butter pieces in flour. Toss in the ham and cheddar cubes to coat with flour.

Add the butter milk and stir only enough to moisten. Do not overmix.

Divide dough in half. Directly on the baking sheet, form (but don’t over work) each half of the dough into a six-inch flat circle approximately one-inch thick. Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour as necessary.

Cut each disk into six wedges, but don’t separate the wedges from each other – the support from the scones being side-by-side will help them rise better. Optional – brush the tops with the whipping cream for a shinier finish.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

Immediately upon removing from the oven re-cut the scones on the score lines. Cool for five minutes on the pan.

Makes 12 scones

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– Chef Dez is a food columnist and culinary instructor in the Fraser Valley. Visit him at www.chefdez.com. Send questions to dez@chefdez.com or to P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, B.C. V2T 6R4

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