I’ve made jalapeno cheddar scones a couple dozen times over the past few years but when I was invited to a clothing swap on Saturday and had a enough jalapenos to make a double batch I decided to make one batch of regular scones and then one batch of mini biscuits.
The only difference was that instead of making the circle like I normally do for the scones, I rolled out the dough to about 1/2 inch thick.
I used one of the smaller biscuit cutters and cut out 24 biscuits and made one lumpy one with all the extra little bits. They were a huge crowd pleaser and were easy for folks to munch on while swapping clothes and sipping on wine.
On Saturday morning at Whole Foods they were giving away samples of their cheddar sourdough bread and after a lap around the dairy section, I decided that the bread would make great croutons for a summer salad. If you haven’t made your own croutons, you really should give it a try because in total it will take you about 30 minutes (that includes baking) to make this delicious treat.
Step One: Cut up day old bread into bite sized pieces.
Step Two: Melt a stick of butter (yes, a whole stick) over the pieces and toss. Make sure each piece got some butter love.
Step Three: Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and create an even layer of bread bits. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the bread pieces. You can add more seasonings, like garlic but because this bread already had “seasoning” from the cheddar I didn’t add any.
Step Four: Move an oven rack to the highest level and turn the oven on broil. Now do not walk away from the oven, you will need to hang out and monitor the croutons because once they start to brown, you need to take them out and flip them (with a spatula or by hand) place them back in the oven and when they have browned on the second side, they are finished!
Step Five: Let them cool off on the baking sheet, and then toss them with a salad to take to a cookout or put them in a container and use over the next few days.
Smitten Kitchen’s Jalapeno-Cheddar Scone recipe is great. But now that I have made them about seven times, I’ve figured out a few things. One, more cheddar. Two, I never have heavy cream and always use half and half. Three, make them in to biscuit shapes. Below is my version of the recipe.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
8 tablespoons (1 stick or 4 ounces) cold butter, diced
1/2 cup half and half
3 eggs, 2 for the biscuits and 1 to coat before baking
2 cups or 1 bag of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3 small jalapeños pepper, diced (hello, food processor) include half the amount of seed from one jalapeno, discard the rest
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,coat them with one tablespoon of the flour then place them in a small bowl with the cheddar cheese. In a separate bowl combine the remaining flour with the baking powder and salt. Cut in the stick of butter with a pastry blender, fork or two knives, until the butter bits are pea sized.
In a small bowl, lightly whip two of the eggs and cream. Add eggs and cream 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. Don’t be afraid to use your hands.
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 with a biscuit cutter. Place on a parchment-lined (or well-oiled) baking sheet. Beat the remaining egg and brush the scones with “egg wash” and sprikle them with sea salt. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.