Smitten. I love that word. It makes me think of Jane Austen novels and brushing curbside kisses. It reminds me of handholding and blushed cheeks. It has that breath taking, knock you on your ass, turn your world upside down essence.
Smitten. Yeah, I really love that word.
Not that long ago, I visited Victoria, B.C. I walked the streets. I explored the shops. I ate my way from restaurant to restaurant. And, I visited a little coffee spot. It made me sit down and catch my breath. It was the kind of place you should go with a novel and spend hours ordering more coffee than one should drink. Its small menu was perfect for a girl’s chat session. Its sparse décor and crowded tables were ideal for a late afternoon date full of handholding–knee jockeying–footsie foreplay.
I was smitten. Especially when my cheddar scallion scone arrived warm, with a pat of butter on the side. Because there’s not much better than layers of soft warm cheddar pastry, except perhaps soft warm layers of cheddar pastry with a pat of butter.
Damn right I was smitten.
But, Victoria’s not just a hop, skip, and a jump. It’s an hour seaplane ride, three-hour Clipper trip, or a four-hour drive. So, I spent awhile tweaking a cheddar scallion scone recipe. I packed it with cheddar. I added extra scallions. Now, I have a freezer full of smitten worthy cheddar pastry just 17 minutes from being a puffed – butter patting good time.
Cheddar Scallion Scones
Makes about 12 scones
Scones are a particularly great baked good because they store really well in the freezer and can be baked at a moments notice. If you don’t need a whole batch of these babies, line a second cookie sheet with parchment paper, load it with the extras, freeze for 1-hour or until solid, and then transfer to a freezer safe zip lock bag until later. Bake for the same 17 minutes at 400 degrees and they’ll be ready to go.
8 TBS unsalted butter, cold (1 stick)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TS baking power
6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (about 1½ cups)
8 scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup milk (the richer the milk, the richer the scones)
Using a cheese grater, grate cold butter onto a plate and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Whisk to combine.
Note: You might be wondering, “Where’s the salt?” But, there’s enough cheese in these babies, you won’t need it.
Cut cold butter into flour until mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Note: You can use a pastry cutter or two knives, but I like to use my hands.
Toss shredded cheddar and scallions in the butter/four mixture. In a medium bowl, beat two eggs and milk until combined. Pour liquid into flour mixture and stir until a shaggy dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead gently until it just comes together into a ball. (Takes about 6 kneads.)
Pat dough into a 1-inch thick layer. Using a 2½ -inch pastry cutter, cut scones and place them on the prepared cookie sheet.
Note: You can reform scraps of dough and cut again, but remember, the more you handle the dough, the tougher your scones will be.
Whisk remaining egg and 1 TBS water. Brush scones lightly with egg mixture. Bake until puffed and golden, about 17 minutes, rotating cookie sheet once during cooking.
Serve warm with a pat of butter or at room temperature.
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