Monday, April 23, 2012
Cheddar Jalapeño Scones
For some reason, it seems to be getting colder and colder in New York. It doesn't matter that it's technically spring, and that we're approaching the end of April and that school is almost over and that finals are coming up (omg) and that it's spring...oh wait, I had said that one already. The fact of the matter is...it's cold. It's cold and rainy and gray. Normally, I kinda like these sort of days, because I'm definitely into wearing sweatpants and watching a movie wrapped up underneath a blanket. I think that sounds like a fantastic idea just about all the time. But I mean, come on. I did enough of that during the winter. It's spring; where is my sunshine!?
Until the weather decides to cooperate with me for a bit and warm up and make the clouds go away, here is yet another delicious oven-required baked recipe. I mean, you might as well turn your ovens on and put them to good use when the weather isn't exactly ideal. I want to take advantage of as much baking as I can, because I don't know about you, but I certainly get just a bit lazy about baking when it's summer...I just never want to deal with unnecessary heat! Speaking of heat though...here's some heat I'm ready to deal with all the time...in the form of a cheddar jalapeño scone, of course.
Scones truly are one of my favorite breakfast treats to enjoy from time to time. They're just so flaky, buttery, and delicious, and there's really only a handful of things that could possibly be better than breaking open a scone that's just been taken out of the oven and then adding just a dab of butter to top off the scone. I'm being completely serious. This really is one of the greatest things ever, don't even try to convince me otherwise.
These scones are a breeze to make (although most scones are, to be honest). You start out just like you would with any other scone recipe, with lots of butter (shhh, we can exercise and worry about the "bad effects" butter has on our bodies later, we're talking about scones right now, and that is clearly more important). The key to making a really delicious and flaky scone is to start out with really cold butter. In fact, what I like to do, is dice the butter I am going to use, and then stick it in the freezer while I gather up the rest of the ingredients that I need to ensure that the butter is as cold as possible. Whatever you do, make sure your butter is nice and cold, because if it's not, well...you're not going to have very flaky scones, and that would be a shame, seeing as that's one of their best attributes.
Let's get back to the heat that I was talking about before. Jalapeños! I love them! I like them in just about anything, whether it's eggs, in sandwiches, on top of burgers, or anywhere else I can think of. They're one of my favorite toppings, and I just can't seem to get enough of them, so when I got the idea to make jalapeño scones with cheddar cheese, I knew I had to make them! Feel free to adjust the amount of jalapeño you add to the scones according to your taste. I used two jalapeños, with the seeds scraped out, and the scones ended up with a very nice, mild heat that was appreciated by those who aren't as enamored with the jalapeño pepper as I am. If I were to make a batch for me, myself, and I, I think that I would experiment with adding one jalapeño with the seeds scraped out, and the other with the seeds, just to see if I can get a little more heat in these scones. Experiment!
Cheddar jalapeño scones are seriously amazing- the cheddar flavor and the heat from the jalapeño really work well together, and when combined with the buttery, flaky goodness of a scone...there are simply no words!!!
Cheddar Jalapeño Scones
recipe from Smitten Kitchen
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced, and cold
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 eggs, divided
1/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (plus extra for topping)
2 small jalapeños (to taste)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, and set an oven rack in the middle of your oven. In a small skillet, melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter, and sauté the jalapeños in the butter until they become soft. Remove the jalapeños from the heat, and set aside to cool slightly. Add the jalapeños to a bowl with the cheddar cheese and 1 tablespoon of the flour. Toss to combine.
Combine the remaining flour in a bowl with the baking powder and salt. Cut in the chilled, diced butter with a pastry blender or two knives, until the butter breaks down and forms pea-sized bits. Lightly whip two of the eggs with the cream, and add to the butter/flour mixture. Fold the eggs in with a wooden spoon, until the mixture just begins to come together and form a dough. Add the cheddar-jalapeño mix, and mix until everything has just incorporated.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead gently for about 1 minute, so that the dough begins to combine. Pat the dough out into a 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick round, and with a sharp knife, cut the dough into 6 triangles (or you can use biscuit cutters if you want). Combine the remaining egg with a teaspoon of water, and brush the egg wash over the tops of the scones. Sprinkle the stops of the scones with a little extra cheddar cheese. Place the scones on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet, and bake in the oven until the scones begin to turn golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 25 minutes.
Makes 6-8 scones, depending on how you shape them.