Smokin’ Cheddar & Herb Scones
August 21, 2010 § 2 Comments
Wait—what?? The scones are smoking!! What’s going on??
This is not how my Saturday morning was supposed to start, with stupidity and melting wax. So here’s what happened: I woke up with scones on my mind (as per usual, one could say, these days). I limped downstairs, dragging my clubfoot, started the coffee and scanned the kitchen for ingredients to toss into a batch of scones. Bingo: cheddar cheese and herbs. They wouldn’t pair very well with the blueberry jam I made yesterday, but savory scones with coffee just sounded ideal on this blurry-grey morning.
I wanted to have the scones ready for my mom and sister when they woke up, so I was trying not to make a racket (you know how boisterous people can get when baking), but somehow mom found her way downstairs at the early hour of 9:00, small yorkshire terriers close behind. Thank goodness she did, too, because I ran into a disaster 5 minutes after putting the first pan of scones in the oven. Okay: check out the above photo. Does it, or does it not, appear that those cartoon cookies are sitting on a sheet of this wax paper, which in turn, is sitting on a standard baking sheet?
I should know that when wax gets hot, it melts. But, as it turns out—-that slipped my mind. I baked my first batch of cheddar herb scones on wax paper instead of parchment. I realized my mistake when the scones started to smell like melting crayons instead of savory herbs and butter. When I opened the oven door, mom started shrieking: get those scones outta there! We made quick work of transferring the scones to parchment paper, then Jules started lecturing me about kitchen safety. I countered her with the fact that it looks like the cartoon cookies are baking ON the wax paper! We scoured the box of wax paper and found no warning not to bake on it. Mom suggests we try to sue “Homelife Wax Paper.” I don’t know how far we could get in that legal battle. As you can see, not all was lost. The cheddar herb scones came out just fine after that first scare. I recommend eating them with coffee and a glass of milk. I do not, however, recommend spreading them with blueberry jam. You probably didn’t need to be told that… There are some things you just don’t combine. Things like hyper-sweet with mega-savory. Things like wax paper and 400-degree ovens. Twenty-five-year-old women and ambiguous illustrations of cookies on cardboard boxes.
Cheddar Herb Scones
2 cups flour….4 tsp baking powder….1 cup shredded cheddar cheese…..5 Tbsp unsalted butter…….1 Tbsp white sugar…….2/3 cup whole milk……1/4 tsp dried thyme…….1 tsp salt……..3/4 tsp dried basil….then various pinches of other herbs (herb of Provence, ground red pepper…well—do this at your own risk)
Sift flour into medium-sized bowl, add baking powder, herbs, sugar, and salt. Stir this well. Now, wash your hands. (Well, this should have been the first thing you did, but—yeah, make sure you do it at this point is all.) Use your fingers to crumble in the 5 Tbsp of cold butter and add the cheddar cheese. Now make a well in the middle of this tumult. Pour the milk in the well. Knead all this until you get a sticky mass of dough. Now comes the tricky part: put dallops of this onto PARCHMENT PAPER and bake for about 13 minutes at 400 degrees. I cannot stress the paper detail enough. Don’t use the wax paper. Why even buy it? Good goll.