I'm not a person of hyperbole, usually, but THIS RECIPE IS POSSIBLY THE BEST THING I'VE MADE IN THE PAST TWO YEARS!!! Salty, creamy, fluffy, cheesy, buttery, herbaceous, when executed correctly (which doesn't take much effort or know-how) these scones could seriously be a game changer in the world of patisserie. Usually, bakers, to preserve that traditional flaky texture of the scone, will use a hard sharp cheese like cheddar or gruyere. I wanted to see how I could incorporate a softer, silkier, more luxurious texture to this already luxuriously buttery and creamy pastry. And thus, the unofficial birth of the cheese puddle scone, pockets of liquid gold oozing from seams of pillowy flaky pastry.
Cooking out of my small home in San Diego, I sometimes wonder whether the rest of the world gets to enjoy the deliciousness that just a few sprinkles of flour and cheese can procure. It's partially the reason why I like writing this blog because I feel like this type of mouthgasmic amazeballness just needs to be shared. If you're looking for a cheap, easy gift for your special momma this Mother's Day look no further...actually look further...down this recipe...okay just keep reading.
2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
5 tablespoons of chilled, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 wedge of brie, you'll need about 7-8oz, or about 40 small cubes of brie
1/3 cup of snipped chives, about a normal-sized bundle from the supermarket
1 cup of heavy cream
1. First things first, cube and chill the unsalted butter in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. If you've heard me say it once, you've heard me say it twice, a scone is not a type of bread; it's a pastry. And, with all pastries, it starts with cold cubed butter. This ensures we get a delicate, flaky pastry. Quick sidenote, that's also why we use melted butter for things like cookies and brownies because it makes the final product chewier.
2. Speaking of cubing and freezing things, let's cube and freeze the brie. Like you see in the picture, cut the brie fairly small, but not so small that you can barely taste it; I cut mine into approximately 3/4 inch pieces. Line them on some wax paper and freeze for at least 15 minutes or until they are completely solid and your fingers don't stick when you touch them. When I was developing this recipe, I had trouble figuring out how to get the brie to not stick to each other in the dough. In my preliminary batches I had scones ranging from brie-less, to literal cheese mounds. I'm not complaining. Those cheese mounds were happily consumed in the basement closet without the glaring eyes of my family.
3. Assuming you've cubed and chilled the butter and brie, let's begin assembling these scones. In a food processor, add the flour, baking powder, and salt and pulse it a few times to sift and combine. Then add the chilled butter and pulse until the mixture looks like fine sand. If your butter isn't cold enough you'll get lumps.
4. Add the flour and butter mixture to a large mixing bowl along with the cubed brie and snipped chives. With your hands, gently mix the flour so you have an distribution. Stir while pouring in the heavy cream. Knead the dough until it sticks together (about 10-30 seconds).
5. To make that signature triangular shape, press the dough into a floured 8x8 inch pie pan. Flip the dough out and portion into 8 pieces. This is a trick I learned from Smitten Kitchen who says this is a much easier way to form your scones than doing it by hand.
6. Place these on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. The scones won't expand much so don't worry about putting them too closely. Of course some of the cheese will ooze out in which you might want to put them an inch or two away from each other. Bake at 425F for about 15-17 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden and delicious. Don't worry about over-baking, as long as you stay within the 15-17 minute time-frame you're scones will come out perfectly for consumption.
Serve hot and with a cold drink. The best part about this recipe is that it can be made the morning of and enjoyed fresh, bubbling from the oven. The moment you bite into that flaky soft inside, pools of brie line the tongue with liquid gold. The taste of chives is so reminiscent of sunday brunch at the local bagel shop. I don't know how to explain it. These scones are so awesomely good that I'm sad I had to wait 16 long years to discover them, and even more sad that my parents waited longer. Am I being melodramatic. Nah...these scones are that good.
For all of those desperate children and husbands out there scavenging for an inexpensive yet heartfelt mother's day gift, give these scones a try. Who knows, Momma might even share with her favorite son/daughter/husband. Although, after she tastes them the chances are unlikely. And as always,
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