The holidays are here again and just as they bring added joy to our everyday routines, they seem to bring a similar sweetness to the things we eat. Pies, yule logs, ginger snaps & cheesecakes are lurking around every corner. And then there are holiday cookies, which are not just everywhere but seem to be the perfect homemade holiday gift. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’ll take a luscious cheesecake or chewy snickerdoodle cookie any day, but what about everything else?
Not surprisingly when our office decided to hold a holiday pot luck last week, the sign up list was filled up with all things sugar. As I perused the list, contemplating what to make I noticed the discrimination and concluded that I would be playing on behalf of Team Savory. My holiday cookie recipes & gingerbread house would just have to wait their turn.
Ironically enough, my final contribution was a variation on a typically sweet item – the scone. Except this one was speckled throughout with pockets of melted cheddar cheese and bits of spicy jalapeno. It was creamy & moist and the consistency was so perfect you felt like a scone scientist looking at all of the different layers after you broke it in half.
I found the recipe from Smitten Kitchen who states the recipe is adapted from Peter Oleyer at Calexico Carne Asada in Brooklyn, via NY Mag. With little to no recipe tweaks on my end except a little extra cheddar and jalapeno for good measure, this recipe is incredible. If my description above isn’t enough to convince you, please I beg, just make the darn scones for yourself.
Jalapeno-Cheddar Scones from Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Peter Oleyer at Calexico Carne Asada in Brooklyn, via NY Mag
makes 8 large scones
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
2 small jalapeños pepper, minced (I wimped out and used only one only to find my scones entirely heat-free)
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. 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.
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.
Jalapeno-Cheddar Scones, Part II: How to make an AWESOME breakfast sandwich
The holiday potluck turned out fantastic and to my surprise, the dessert table was not the largest spread there! Take that sugar (I’ll see you again soon I’m sure, however). The scones were also a big hit and at the end there were only a few leftover. Now, usually scones are best to be eaten on the day they are made. These bad boys however were quite moist and given the proper attention, I was positive they could be re-purposed over the weekend.
Sunday was the perfect day to find out. A gloomy and lazy day from the start, brunch on the couch with a large pot of coffee seemed quite fitting. I checked out the scones waiting patiently in my fridge and once I deemed them fit for service, came up with these Bacon, Egg and Cheese sandwiches on Jalapeno-Cheddar Scones. And the surprise, I paid homage to the season as well as the scone’s sweet roots by adding a bit of honey. Sweet & savory, now that is truly the best of both worlds!
Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sandwich on Jalapeno-Cheddar Scones
4 slices bacon
Cheddar Cheese (or whatever you have on hand)
2 Jalapeno-Cheddar Scones (I made mine smaller than it says in the recipe above)
Slice scones, place in low oven until just toasted. Cook bacon in a skillet until done to your liking. Remove grease and melt butter over low-medium heat. Fry eggs in skillet 2 minutes until just set. Flip over and place cheddar cheese on top, cover with lid. Cook another 2 minutes until cheese is soft and melted.
Spread bottom of scone with honey, place egg & cheese down and top with bacon and the scone top.
And yes, this was deemed as the best breakfast sandwich ever as one happy guest stated.
The second sandwich was already eaten so pardon the crumbs!