Musical pairing – I’m on Fire by Bruce Springsteen
Pssst . . . not to be the bearer of bad news but (deep breath) . . . . Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. I don’t know about you, but this time of year gets super busy in our house and since we love hosting Thanksgiving, I look for recipes that can be made a day or two ahead or things I can make ahead and freeze – like these Jalapeno-Cheddar scones. I made these for last year’s Thanksgiving dinner and there wasn’t a single crumb left . . . not a creature was stirring, not even a . . . oh wait . . . wrong holiday . . .
I’ve lost count as to how many times I’ve made these scones: Sunday morning brunch, weekday breakfast with a scrambled egg, sausage patty in the middle – left over turkey in the middle – you get the picture. They’re quite versatile not to mention quite delicious and aren’t too spicy – honest, pinky swear.
I found the recipe over at Smitten Kitchen, you know her, right? A total rawk star and her name is Deb, so of course I love her! The recipe uses both cream and eggs for a wonderfully light, tender and nearly impossible to mess up scone – but if you have a scone-phobia, the tips listed here will apply to this recipe.
Scones are best eaten the day they’re made; however, as I’ve already said, I make the dough ahead, cut them into the size I want, and freeze to bake later – just add 5-10 minutes extra baking time coming straight out of the freezer.
Very slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick or 4 ounces) cold butter, diced
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 eggs, divided
- 1/4 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, diced (I used 3 ounces sharp cheddar AND 1 ounce pepper jack cheese + ONE jalapeno pepper)
- 2 small jalapeños pepper, minced OR omit the jalapenos altogether and just use all pepper jack cheese (which I have done as well)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small skillet, melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter and sauté the jalapeños in it until soft, about two minutes. Let them cool, then place them in a small bowl with the cheddar cheese and coat them with one tablespoon of the flour (from the original 2 cups listed above).
- Combine the remaining flour with the baking powder and salt.
- Cut in the remaining butter with a pastry blender, fork or two knives, until the butter bits are pea sized. (I tossed the dry ingredients in my food processor, pulsed a couple times to blend and then added the diced butter; pulse, pulse, pulse until the mixture resembles small peas – DON’T OVERMIX or the dough becomes tough! I transferred the flour/butter mixture to another bowl and proceeded with the recipe.)
- Lightly whip two of the eggs and cream and add to the flour-butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, fold mixture until it begins to come together. Add the cheddar-jalapeño mixture to the dough and mix until everything is incorporated.
- Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead gently for less than one minute. Pat dough out to a 3/4- to 1-inch thickness and either cut into 8 triangles or the shape of your choice with a biscuit cutter.
- Make an egg wash by beating the remaining egg with a teaspoon of water. Brush the scones with egg wash and place on a parchment-lined (or well-oiled) baking sheet.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
SMITH BITES NOTE: When I make these for Thanksgiving, I use a smaller biscuit cutter (approx 1-1/2 to 2-inch size) which my family appreciates because there’s always so much to enjoy – you want a little taste of everything!