Jalapeño Cheddar Scones

Jalapeño Cheddar Scones on a baking sheet

Hot Ones
The growing season in California this year has been bizarre, to say the least. It is the first week of October and my tomato plant is finally producing tomatoes at a rate that would normally happen in early August. On top of that, I have two chili plants that are producing Fresno and Jalapeño chilies that are nuclear hot.

I love jalapeños because they are relatively mild but still give you that spicy chili punch of flavor. The chilies that I am pulling off of my plant are volcanic. A few weeks ago, I decided to pickle some of them because we are a family that likes nachos and nachos are better with some pickled jalapeños. I will generally open the windows in my kitchen when I do this because the gases from the chilies can make your eyes water.

These chilies? We ended up opening every door and window in the house. It permeated every corner. It was like someone had emptied a can of pepper spray in the living room. The good news is that pickled jalapeños generally mellow once you process them and let them sit a bit…or so I thought.

Last week my husband was working from home and decided to use the canned chilies in a quesadilla. According to him, he didn’t use that many chilies. But, his idea of not a lot is other people’s pile it on. His text said that his entire mouth was numb. That lasted for an hour. And yet, a few days later, he went back for more. Feel the burn, indeed.

Since it’s been on the cooler side lately, I made a batch of chili to have on hand for the nights that I just can’t. I’m one of those people who can’t eat chili without some cornbread or something carb-y to go with it. I’m going to take a chance that baking with my chilies will result in good flavor and not harm my family. And, these Jalapeño Cheddar Scones are a perfect accompaniment to a hearty bowl of chili….

Jalapeño Cheddar Scones Recipe
Adapted from Bake It with Love
Yields 8 to 12 scones

These Jalapeno Cheddar Scones are big on flavor and loaded with cheddar and jalapeños. They are great at dinnertime—especially alongside a bowl of chili.

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoon butter
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup pickled jalapeño slices
3/4 cup whole milk

Preheat your oven to 375º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Cube the cold butter without and keep it cool. Dice or mince the pickled jalapeños.

Mix the dry ingredients
In a large bowl, add the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Then whisk the dry ingredients to combine.

Cut in the butter
Cut the 6 tablespoons of cold, cubed butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, a set of butter knives, a fork, or your fingertips. Continue until you achieve a fine crumble that is about pea-sized.

Add the cheese and jalapeños
Add the 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (mild or sharp cheddar are both excellent!) and ½ cup of diced pickled jalapeño slices and stir them into the flour mixture.

Add the liquid
Pour in the whole milk and gently incorporate it into the dry ingredients. Work until the flour just combined, being careful to not over-mix the dough.

Form the scones
You have two options for shaping the sconesShape it into a rectangle, or the standard round. The rectangle will make 12 smaller scones and the round 8 larger ones.

Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured working surface and pull the dough together.

For the smaller scones, form the dough into a rectangle, and cut it in half lengthwise. Then cut each of the halves into 3 square portions. Then cut those in half on a diagonal so you have 12 triangle shapes

For the larger scones, form the dough into a round shape and cut like a pizza into 8 equal portions.

Transfer the cut scones to your prepared baking sheet and set them in the fridge for half an hour to chill (optional, but worth the extra step).

Bake the scones
Bake the scones at 375º F until the bottom is just beginning to brown and the tops are still pale (about 16-18 minutes,).

Remove the scones from the oven when they are golden brown. You can tell they are done if you tap them with your finger and they sound hollow. Also, a toothpick inserted into the thickest part will come out clean.

Allow the scones to set on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. And, transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely or serve warm. Allow them to cool completely if you are storing them.

Store your scones in the fridge for one to two days. Or, freeze them in an airtight freezer bag. Use a sheet of parchment paper in between if you are layering them or wrap them individually in plastic wrap.

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