jalapeño and white cheddar scones

these scones have been a brunch favorite of mine since i discovered this recipe for jalapeño-cheddar scones on smitten kitchen. my recipe is not much different than the original, but i had to share them.

what may be most wonderful about these is that you can freeze them the night before so all you have to do is wake up and pop them in the oven. brilliant. i also tend to make them in batches of 3 or 4 and keep the rest frozen. scones are always better the first day you make them so this way you have fresh scones on demand from the freezer.

when you do end up with leftover second day scones, my favorite thing to do is cut them in half, butter and toast them in a frying pan, and eat them with sautéed onion and scrambled egg in the middle.

jalapeño white cheddar scones
makes about 10

2 jalapeño peppers, minced
8 ounces sharp white cheddar, diced
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon butter, chilled
2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour reserved
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream or non-dairy alternative
2 eggs

dice jalapeño and sauté in 1 tablespoon butter for 3 or 4 minutes. i chose to seed one of the peppers and ended up with the perfect level of heat with plenty of flavor. when soft, remove from heat and let cool.

while jalapeño is cooking, dice cheddar cheese. if you have the real sharp stuff, it tends to crumble itself into chunks; don’t fight it, let your chopping be dictated by where the cheese cracks itself. put in the refrigerator to sit.

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mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. cut butter in with pastry blender, or your could try my secret trick. using a cheese grater, grate the stick of butter on top of the flour mixture. you can incorporate most of it with a wooden spoon, and then use your fingers to blend in the rest. when finished, the mixture should be roughly the texture of cornmeal with some larger chunks.

add in cream and eggs and mix until they begin to incorporate. at this point combine the cooled jalapeño and white cheddar and coat well with 2 tablespoons flour. (do not skip this step unless you want cheese running all over your baking sheet!) add to flour mixture and mix well. if necessary, kneed dough for a minute or two.

if you like, you can roll out the dough and use a cup or cookie cutter to make perfectly shaped scones, but i just roll out and flatten balls of dough. they still taste delicious.

bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. i suggest baking these on parchment paper as the cheese likes to ooze out and get crispy no matter how hard you try to make it otherwise.

if you prefer to freeze some, follow all of the steps outlined above except when you bake, add an additional 5 minutes to the baking time.

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