After a couple of years, Lola’s is back in historic downtown Leesburg!
Not a new bakery, alas — but our fresh-baked cookies are now available each weekend at the Very Virginia Shop.
You might remember that our little bakery once shared a building with Very Virginia: We opened our doors at the same time in 2006, with Very Virginia in the front of the pink house and Lola’s in the back.
Lola and Leo the Leesburg Bear
Very Virginia’s owner Sola Pallotta has been a great supporter of Lola’s ever since. (Sola is a great supporter of everything Leesburg. Besides selling lots of local goods, she books all the music acts that make First Fridays so much fun.)
For quite a while now, Sola has wanted me to sell cookies through her store. This fall she asked again, and the timing was finally right.
While you’re getting your Lola’s fix, I hope you’ll linger in Very Virginia. It’s a charming shop full of local flavor: Foods and merchandise from right here in Leesburg, from Loudoun County, and from Virginia more broadly. If you need a gift with some Leesburg character, it’s a terrific place to shop.
In fact, this is the perfect time of year to rediscover all the shops in our lovely downtown. Stroll around with a Lola cookie in your hand — what could be better on a fall day?
Because my bakery was named “Lola Cookies & Treats,” people generally didn’t come to buy savory items. For these scones, however, they always made an exception.
I started making cheddar chive scones for my customers at the local farmers’ market: Each week I cut fresh chives from my garden, and with every new batch these scones became more of a cult item. Not just with my patrons, either. Before the market started each Saturday, neighboring vendors would circle around my stand for their new favorite breakfast.
Because they were so popular, we started offering cheddar chive scones at our storefront, too, sending out the fresh-baked word via social media. For years they were the only savory item on our menu.
Cheddar chive scones are best eaten warm. Sliced lengthwise and toasted, they work wonderfully for tuna-fish sandwiches — although a simple toasted, buttered scone is heaven in its own right, too. Customers loved to eat them with soup and stews; I think they’re the perfect match for a bowl of chili.
Bonus: Use this same recipe to make Cheddar Bacon Scones — just substitute bacon bits for the chives.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Stir until mixed.
Add chopped chives and grated cheese, stir.
Slowly stir in half-and-half until ingredients are just combined. DO NOT OVER MIX.
The moment this batter has come together, scrape it out of the bowl and put it on a lightly floured surface.
Now, use your hands to form the dough into a log shape. The dough will be stiff and sticky, so use a little flour to help handle it — but be sparing. When you’re done it should be evenly shaped, smooth on the surface, and not sticking to the counter anywhere.
Use a dough divider (or a knife) to split the log of dough in half.
Take half of the dough and pat it down into a circle that's about 9 inches in diameter and at least ¾ inches thick.
Using the dough divider, cut this circle into six pieces shaped like pie slices.
Repeat for the other half of the dough, for a total of 12 scones.
Put the scones on a pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. For the best presentation, brush them with an egg wash just before baking.
Bake for about 22 minutes. They should be golden brown on the edges when you take them out.
You can also use this recipe to make Cheddar Bacon Scones, which are equally excellent. Instead of chives, substitute an equal amount of bacon bits. Before baking, sprinkle extra bacon bits over the egg wash after you apply it.
We never shortened the name of these scones, even though it barely fit on our labels at the bakery. Why? Because each element was a crucial part of the description. These are scones with a lot going on.
There’s sweetness, plus a little tart, from the apricots. Crunch and character from the walnuts. Smoothness and more sweet oomph from the white chocolate. Texture and a visual flourish from the sugar on top. Combined with the lightness of the scone, all of this added up to one of our most-requested breakfast items — and a big reason for the lines each Saturday morning at our farmers’ market stand.
No need to stand in line anymore: Just brush up on my tips for baking scones, then make up a batch yourself. Serve them warm from the oven with a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy the sweet complexity.
I started by selling cookies at the farmers' market. Then, in 2006, I rented a few small rooms in an old Victorian building in historic downtown Leesburg, Virginia, and turned them into the bakery of my dreams.
We baked everything in our open kitchen using no preservatives and no artificial flavors — because that's how it tastes best.
Lola's was featured on The Rachael Ray Show and Fox 5 TV; in Washingtonian magazine and Northern Virginia magazine; and on the cover of Loudoun Magazine.
In 2013 our building was sold and converted to office spaces, so we closed — at least for the moment. So many customers asked for our recipes that I started this blog in response.