Prize-Winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

2021 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Recipe

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Fresh-baked prize-winning parmesan & chive scones

These homemade, aromatic, prize-winning parmesan & chive scones are simply the best savory scones, in more ways than one.

You will relish their phenomenal taste and tender yet firm texture. Their golden brown appearance is drool-worthy for sure. If you love savory scones like we do, be sure to bake these soon! They are perfect for weekend brunches and snacks in between meals.

Prize-winning parmesan & chive scones

This remarkable recipe comes from Amy Ellenberger.

Blue Ribbon Baker - Best Scone Winner 2021 MN State Fair

Amy won “Best Scones” at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair with this recipe. One taste and you’ll know why this one is a winner.

We asked Amy what her secret to winning was. In her words: “Because scones are a fairly simple baked good (as in few ingredients), it is important to use the best quality ingredients, as there isn’t much to hide behind. For this recipe I like to use (Minnesota-based) Hope Creamery butter, a sour cream (like Daisy) that doesn’t contain thickeners and other artificial ingredients, garden fresh chives, and high-quality Parmesan cheese that is freshly grated.”

Step by Step Tutorial

Take Amy’s top tip and begin with the best ingredients.

Parmesan Chive Scones

You start by mixing the dry ingredients with the cheese and chives.

Prize-winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

Next, you cut in the cold butter. By the way, Amy’s family buys Hope Creamery butter by the case.

Prize-winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

At this stage you want to see the chilled butter in tiny clumps, roughly the size of peas.

Butte Cut in Stage - Prize-winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

You also use both sour cream and buttermilk in the recipe, plus an egg.

Prize-Winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

Mix the sour cream, buttermilk and egg smooth, then combine that mixture with your flour mixture.

Prize-winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

Once everything is together, you want a shaggy look to the dough.

Be careful not to overwork the dough. Shape it into a flat circle. You want it 1 ½ inches thick.

Prize-winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

Then cut out the scones. You should get 12 (2-inch size) rounds (or squares if you prefer that shape).

Prize-winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

As your final step, you brush each with heavy cream, then sprinkle with parmesan, a pinch of sea salt, and fresh cracked black pepper. You also want to chill them 30 minutes at this stage.

From Amy: Don’t skip the chilling step. This ensures the butter is solid and won’t leak out of your scones during baking.

Prize-Winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

After the chill time, the only thing to do is wait for them to bake (at 350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 25-30 minutes.

Prize-Winning Parmesan & Chive Scones: every bite will be pure delight. Seriously. Hit the kitchen and bake these now!


p.s. Scones are best eaten shortly after they are baked. However, you can opt to freeze the dough to fresh bake the scones later (ideally within 2 months). Or you can freeze them after baking. Just pop a frozen one in the microwave for about 30 seconds before you nosh.


Prize-Winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup freshly shredded, high-quality, parmesan cheese, divided

1 bunch chives, chopped (about ½ cup)

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

1 cup sour cream

¼ cup buttermilk

1 large egg

Heavy cream (for brushing on scone dough)

Freshly ground black pepper and flaked sea salt for garnish, optional


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, ¾ cup parmesan, chives, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, and black pepper until combined. Cut in the butter until the size of large peas.

In a small bowl or mixing cup whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk, and egg. Add to the flour mixture and mix with a spatula until the dough just holds together in a shaggy mass.

Turn out onto a floured surface. Dust top of dough with flour. Pat into a circle, about 1 ½ inch thick. Use a 2-inch circle cutter, dusted with flour, to cut into 12 rounds. You may need to gather dough and gently reform into a circle to use all the dough. Be careful to not over work. Alternatively, pat into a 1 ½ inch thick square and cut into 12 squares.

Place scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush tops of scones with heavy cream. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup of parmesan evenly on tops of scones. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and flaked sea salt, if desired. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes. (At this point, the scones may also be stored in the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap for up to a month. You will need to add 5-10 minutes to baking time if fully frozen).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place baking sheet on middle rack and bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

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