I think I might be one of the few folks who’ve not bared witness to the awesomeness of Game of Thrones. Call me whatever you want, now that the show is entering into its final season; it’s not that I live under a rock. Rather, I’ve only recently become a binge watcher of anything other than a few select TV shows.
Now that I’ve entered into the realm of binge-watching, I highly recommend Versailles and maybe even Reign on Netflix, but that is all for another post.
But this…THIS post is all about the Game of Thrones character Jon Snow.
Knowing I love to bake, my friend Edie recently challenged me to create a scone for each of the now iconic characters in Game of Thrones, as the show enters its final season. She loves the show, and she came up with this awesome play on it all:
GAME OF SCONES
I had to get her low down on what each character was like, and she dutifully obliged. I’m a little behind the proverbial eight ball in getting her the 1st scone because I’ve been playing nurse-maid to my daughter who had surgery on both shins last week, but that, again, is for another post. [I know, it’s been a while since I posted anything, but the reasons for that are exciting, and all quite good!]
My first scone is based off Edie’s description of Jon Snow:
He’s HOT, and he was banished to the North for a bit, where it’s dang cold. We’re all really craving some John Snow after waiting an entire season. For him, a jalapeño cheddar scone with WHITE cheddar because…snow. And because Westerners need to understand white cheddar. John knows white.
I utterly adore her description. Westerners need to understand white cheddar. BAHAHAHAHA!!! All you Mid and Westerners in the US need to understand we Northern New Englanders like our Vermont cows that create Cabot Cheddar’s Seriously Sharp cheese.
And why does cheese have to be orange, anyways???
And I love that she said dang…what little I know about the setting of GOT, I know it seems more than dang cold. I’d go so far as to say booger-freezing fucking cold. But that’s just me, and if you read this blog, you know that’s how I roll.
Edie has moderation. I lack this skill.
In search of a jalapeño cheddar recipe I went and came across Smitten Kitchen’s Jalapeño Cheddar Scones.
Let us start with the size of the pepper, ’cause size matters sometimes. There should be nothing lost on you that my big peppers are on a pig cutting board. I plan to maow down on this scones when they come out of the oven. But you want to make sure your scones have some heat, so DON’T wimp out on size here, and don’t cut back on the amount…you’ll lose spicy heat in the final product because when jalapeños meet the heat of an oven/grill, the pepper’s heat starts to mellow. After making these, I might even say you could add another jalapeño to this recipe.
And this scone is in honor of JON SNOW, dammit! And while I don’t watch the show, I’ve seen pictures of him, and he’s a pretty good looking dude. you want SPICY, baby.
Now, you do what you want here, but I’m going to recommend a few steps between the image above and the image below.
- Get some medical gloves when you’re dealing with spicy peppers. When you cut into them, those oils get on your fingers and under your fingernails. I do not have remotely long fingernails, and when that oil gets under your nails, it burns like a mofo for days. Even after washing your hands. Multiple times. And then you make the mistake of rubbing your eyes. And wiping yourself when you have to tinkle… yeah. You wanna talk heat?! Just take it from someone who’s made the mistake. Wear gloves.
- I de-vein and de-seed my jalapeños because while I like heat, I want to feel my lips for the next 48 hours after eating one of these scones. But if you wanna seriously spice up this scone, you go all the balls to the wall that you want with leaving the veins and seeds in. To each their ever loving own. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, veins and seeds in jalapeños = way more heat.
The next step is to sauté the jalapeños in 1/2 tbsp of butter. This allows the peppers to soften so you’re not biting into a raw piece of jalapeño in the finished scone.
Now here we go with the cheddar…WHITE CHEDDAR. We New Englanders understand and appreciate white cheddar. And its bloody JON SNOW people! Snow is WHITE and why would you ever put orange cheddar into a scone honoring Mr. John SNOW!??
Dice up the white cheddar, and mix it with the sautéed peppers and a tbsp of flour. The flour here helps the cheddar and peppers stayed somewhat suspended throughout the scone vs. all sinking to the bottom. See, if you don’t bake a ton, you just learned something.
Now cut the butter into the flour, soda, and salt until the butter is in pea sized chunks. If you plan to make scones with any regularity, I highly recommend getting a decent pastry cutter. If not, have fun with those two forks.
When you’re done with cutting the butter into the flour, soda, and salt, it should look like below. No worries if there are bigger pieces… those will create lift and air in the final product. Bigger butter = yummy.
On the note of butter, find a high fat butter. Maybe even a European butter. It tastes better. Just sayin’. Americans seem to want to add water to their butter. Boo.
Your next step is to mix the heavy cream and eggs into the this mixture. In true fashion to me, I added some homemade hot pepper extract. Why? Why not? And it is frickin’ hot-ass Jon Snow. We want spicy. After adding only 1/2 tsp to the liquid mixture, and tasting the final product, I’d actually go up to a full tsp. ‘Cause he’s HOT people!
Where do you get your own hot pepper extract? Make it. Cut up a bunch o jalapeños and add them to a bunch o vodka or rum, shakey shakey every few days, and after about a month, you gotcha yourself hot pepper extract. You might be amazed what it goes with. Or look up some recipe. Hell. Looks like Amazon has something for that, as well.
Your next few steps are crucial. When it says mix ingredients just until incorporated, it means just that. See how barely mixed my dough looks? The more you work the dough, the more the gluten will develop in the dough, and the tougher the final product will be. A scone is all about tenderness, and I can only presume there is some tender side to Mr. Hottie McHot Hot Jon Snow since he did get married, after all??
I actually had to add in a dab or two more of cream to get it to come together because it was so crumbly. And once you flour your working surface so you can briefly knead, you will be adding even more flour in, so proceed with caution from here.
The directions say to knead the dough for right under a minute to make it cohesive. When I set my timer for one minute, I only ended up kneading for close to 20 seconds. I could feel the dough start to change and resist. At this point, flatten it to 3/4″-1″ in thickness and cut in triangles or use a cutter of your choice (like a square or round biscuit cutter).
Key to cutting dough? Sharp tool. Make sure your cutter is sharp and you press straight down and hard. No twisting; this isn’t a dance. Sharp edges means the shape holds in the final product.
Now I do this thing regardless of what a recipe says: I freeze my scones for at least 20-30 minutes before baking. Debate this all you want if you’re a baker, but I know that my scones hold their shape and seem to rise better because the butter is icy cold. Cold butter means fluff and rise. Warm butter means spread.
It’s my truth, and I am sticking to it.
I forgot to egg wash the scone before I baked it, and while it would’ve made a nice deeper topping look (nice technical term, eh?), no harm, no foul. The end result is lovely and delicious.
It says to bake the scones for 25 minutes. I know well enough to always set the oven for at least 5 minutes less, and check and gauge the finished product by both smell and sight. At 20 minutes, these scones were done in my oven. Your oven is different than mine, so just follow my advice if you don’t often bake, and set the timer for 5 minutes less and check what it looks like at that time. And whatever you do, DO NOT make these Jon burnt Snow jalapeño scones.
Oooooo…look at those crispy bits of white cheddar that have ooozzzed from the scone. Don’t throw those away. Break them off and enjoy the snowy bits of Mr. Snow’s white cheddar scone.
Look at the gorgeous bits of white cheddar oozzing throughout the scone… delish!
These are going to be best served right out of the oven, or popped in a toaster oven after making to heat up that cheesy goodness. It’s likely there will not be leftover to pop into a toaster oven, though.
These will make a delicious afternoon snack with a shot of, say, maybe a fine tequila or served with a delicious batch of chili whilest riding out winter and drooling of the hot John Snow in the final season of Game of Thrones.
Thank you Smitten Kitchen for inadvertently creating the Jon Snow scone 😉
John Snow’s Jalapeño White Cheddar Scones
John Snow is HOT, so we dedicate this spicy scone to his spicy-ass self. This will make winter tolerable.
- 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.
Scones are always best the first day.
Recipe originally: Adapted Peter Oleyer at Calexico Carne Asada in Brooklyn, via NYMag