Bacon Is Always The Answer by Amanda Liew


20150404_0004_Scones 20150404_0006_Scones For the most part, I'm a total cheater when it comes to baking. Despite being a prolific hashtagger of #bankerbydaybakerbynight, I stealthily use box recipes and then throw something crazy into it to make it sound homemade. I mean...chocolate peppermint cupcakes stuffed with junior mints sure sounds like something you would find on Pinterest, but in reality I accidentally "invented" it because all the grocery stores were closed by the time I got out of work at 11pm, and I had to improvise with ingredients found at CVS. Now if that's not a true #bankerbydaybakerbynight, I don't know what is!

Nevertheless, special occasions deserve an extra touch of specialness, and this Easter I decided to whip up a batch of Bacon Cheddar Chive Scones with my awesome friend and fellow-lover-of-food, Katie! Why? Because bacon is always the answer. I'm not going to lie, the recipe took us a while, but I mainly blame that on my insistence in cooking the entire package of bacon rather than what the recipe actually called for. When I make these again, I think it would be smart to bake the bacon while I prep the rest of the ingredients. I'm quite proud of my developments as a baker considering I had to Google Image search "chive" while at the grocery store to make sure I was getting the right thing...

So the verdict in the end? These things are HEAVENLY. Katie and I were particularly impressed with how the bacon and cheddar actually flavored the dough (as in, it wasn't just a bland bread item with yummy chunks scattered about) and also how the chives weren't too overwhelming. It's a densely packed scone, and for that reason I think the mini scones would make more sense in the future. I think we could have baked them a little longer or used a little less of the heavy cream (we used the extra 2 tablespoons that the recipe lets you flex on) to make it crispier. Nevertheless, all around phenomenal!

Many thanks to King Arthur and our good friend / chef extraordinaire / California travel buddy Victoria! To find the recipe, see below or go to the original link here.

And if you're interested in mixing it up with a sweet scone recipe, I highly recommend Raspberry Buttermilk Scones! There's a lot less prep in this one since you just toss the raspberries in.

King Arthur Flour Bacon-Cheddar-Chive Scones

2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur  Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Perfect Pastry Blend 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon baking powder 2 teaspoons sugar 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) cold  butter 1 cup (4 ounces) very coarsely grated or  diced cheddar cheese 1/3 cup (about 1/2 ounce) snipped fresh chives, or finely diced scallion tops (the  green part, 3/4 ounce) 1/2 pound bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled (about 1 cup) 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (7 ounces) heavy cream or whipping cream, or enough to make the dough cohesive

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.

1) Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.

2) Work the butter into the flour until the mixture is unevenly crumbly, with some of the butter remaining in larger pieces.

3) Mix in the cheese, chives, and bacon until evenly distributed.

4) Add ¾ cup of the cream, stirring to combine. Try squeezing the dough together; if it’s crumbly and won’t hang together, or if there are crumbs remaining in the bottom of the bowl, add cream until the dough comes together. Transfer the shaggy dough to a well-floured work surface.

5) Pat the dough into a smooth 7" disk about ¾" thick. Transfer the disk to the prepared baking sheet.

6) Use a knife or bench knife to cut the disk into 8 wedges, spreading the wedges apart a bit on the pan.

7) Brush the scones with a bit of cream; this will help their crust brown.

8) Bake the scones for 22 to 24 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the pan. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Yield: 8 large scones

Baker's tips •Want to make scones now, freeze and bake later? Make scones up to the point they're on the baking sheet, cut and ready to bake; don't brush them with cream. Freeze, then remove from the sheet, and wrap airtight in a plastic bag. When you're ready to bake, remove however many you want to bake from the freezer, place on a baking sheet, brush with cream, and bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.

•Make mini-scones: Divide the dough in half, and roll each half into a 5" round. Cut each round into 8 wedges. Bake in a preheated 425°F oven till golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes; or for about 25 minutes if frozen.