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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Snack Week! - Ham & Cheese Scones

There are good scones, and there are bad scones. I’ve been unfortunate enough to have had many, many bad scones. In the winter months in Madison, WI, the Dane county farmers market migrates inside. If you head to the beautiful Monona Terrace, overlooking lake Monona, you can still get local produce, fresh baked deliciousness and dog treats. Although I think it’s mean for them to sell dog treats, when dogs aren’t allowed at the farmers market. Such a tease for the pooches.

It was during one of these cold, wintry weekends that my parents came for a visit. As we’ve discussed before, winter is not the most desirable time of year to visit Madison. Unless you like ice fishing, apparently ice fishing on lake Mendota is amazing. So ice fishers, head to Madison. Back to the parents, I decided we should head to the farmers market, because there isn’t much else to do on a cold Madison Saturday. We stocked up on jams, carrots and cheese then picked up some pastries from the Amish table.

Nothing against the Amish table, I’ve had lots of their baked goods. The pies are amazing, the cookies are perfect, but these scones… let’s just say the dog would have loved them. They were dry and lacking flavor. I was so sad, we stopped at Starbucks and got some cookies. The Amish cart redeemed itself later in the summer with another knock-out pie.

So, while I’ve had some pretty amazing scones, they are so heavy and calorie laden that I try not to indulge that often. The average (delicious) scone from Starbucks has over 450 calories. More of a meal than a snack. Here I introduce a protein rich, lower calorie scone. It’s not filled with sugar and dried fruit, it’s filled with ham and cheese, yum.

Ham and Cheese Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
3 tbsp chilled butter, cut into pieces
¾ cup reduced fat sharp cheddar
¾ cup diced ham
¾ cup fat-free buttermilk
2 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and red pepper. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives. Stir in cheese and ham. Combine buttermilk and egg whites then add to the flour mixture until just mixed.

Turn dough out onto the counter and knead to bring all the flour together. Plop the dough in the middle of the prepared baking sheet. Pat out into a 8-inch circle. Using a knife, or pastry cutter, score the circle into 8 pieces. Do not cut all of the way through the dough circle.

Bake for 20-24 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool on baking sheet on a wire rack. Break apart and enjoy with mustard!

Nutrition: Calories - 217, Fat – 7.2 g, Protein – 10.4 g, Carbs – 21.7 g

I like to eat them with mustard!
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