Last week, I did something I’ve never done before. I asked my Facebook page followers to vote on this week’s recipe. Out of five recipes, Jalapeño-Cheddar Scones were the clear winner.
I was excited to get to make these–I don’t think I’ve thrown jalapeños into a scone before, but they turned out pretty well. Since my batch seemed just a tad bland to me, I adjusted the salt to bring out a bit more flavor. The 2 cups of cheese seems generous, but I felt that I could have added even more to give it an extra-cheesy flavor. I definitely recommend extra-sharp cheddar here, the sharpest you can find, as the rest of the ingredients drastically dilutes the flavor of the cheddar.Yield: 12 medium scones
Prep time: 40 minutes*
Baking time: 15-20 minutes
*included in this prep time is chopping the jalapeños and shredding the cheese
1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp dry mustard
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper (or to taste)
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and chopped
2 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I used Tillamook)
3 jalapeños, stemmed, deseeded (if desired), and chopped into half-moons
3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg
1 tbsp water
1) Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Whisk together flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, dry mustard, and pepper.
2) Add the cold butter and work into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender. Some larger, pea-sized chunks are okay.
3) Add the shredded cheese and jalapeños to the dry ingredients and toss to mix, breaking up any cheese clumps with a wooden spoon.
4) In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup buttermilk, the sour cream, and 1 egg together, whisking lightly to combine well. In a second small bowl, combine the second egg and water, and whisk with a fork until combined. Set aside.
5) Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the buttermilk mixture into it. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix.
6) Add additional buttermilk, if needed, until you have only a few dry crumbs remain unincorporated.
7) Turn out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead three or four times to bring the dough together and incorporate any dry bits. Try not to over mix.
8) Flatten out dough so that it is about 1/2- to 3/4-inch high. Using a 4-inch cookie cutter (or the rim of an inverted drinking glass), cut out as many rounds as you can. When you have only scraps remaining, knead the scraps together just enough to prevent the dough from breaking apart, and cut out more rounds. Repeat until you have to freeform the last one or two scones.
9) Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with the egg-water glaze.
10) Bake at 425ºF until golden on top. The scones should smell strong and cheesy at this point.
11) Transfer to a cooling wire and allow to cool for several minutes. Best enjoyed warm, but they also taste delightful once cool.
As I said, my batch seemed a bit bland to me, but I think that could be solved by the addition of just a tad more salt. I could have used more spice, but I deseeded all my jalapeños to avoid bringing my tasters to tears. If I make them again, I would leave some seeds in or add 1/4 tsp or so of red pepper flakes to bring up the spice level a bit.
These scones rose quite well, and had a nice, crispy cheesiness. They complemented pasta and red sauce quite well, I have to say. Definitely a repeatable recipe, with a few adjustments in the future.