Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bacon, Cheddar, and Green Onion Scones

What do you bring to a pot-luck brunch when: (a) you don't want to wake up early to cook; (b) you want to stop at the gym for an hour or two on the way to the party; and (c) you don't want to cop out with some store-bought concoction?

Why, savory scones, of course!

These little gems solved all my dilemmas. I could make them the night before. They weren't going to go bad in the back of my car during my spinning class. They did not require me to fight for the oven. And (most importantly), they were quite tasty.

That said, I didn't love these as much as I'd hoped. They were just a little dense for my taste, I guess. I am going to give the recipe the benefit of the doubt, and assume that I just overworked the dough, or should have more carefully adjusted baking time when I chose to make smaller scones. Next time (and yes, I think they are worth a next time), I'll stick with a simple 8 wedges and see whether that makes a difference. In the meantime, if anyone has any experience with this, let me know!

Bacon, Cheddar, and Green Onion Scones
(from Confections of a Foodie Bride)

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper (cut back to 1 tsp, if you're not a pepper lover like me)
  • 1 stick chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • heavy cream, optional (I didn't use it, but you can substitute for half the buttermilk, if you like)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp water
Preheat oven to 400.

Grab your peppermill and start grinding - use a full tablespoon for a wonderfully peppery background or reduce by 1 tsp for less pepper flavor.

Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl on low speed.

With mixer running, gradually add cubes of butter until the mixture is crumbly and studded with flour - butter bits about the size of small peas.

Add grated cheese and mix just until blended. (This can also be done by hand: In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Gradually cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in cheese.)

Add green onions, bacon and 3/4 cup of the buttermilk to flour and cheese mixture. Mix by hand just until all ingredients are incorporated. If dough is too dry to hold together, use remaining buttermilk, adding 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is pliable and can be formed into a ball.

Stir as lightly and as little as possible to ensure a lighter-textured scone. (This is likely where I messed up.)

Remove dough from bowl and place it on a lightly floured flat surface. Pat dough into a ball. Using a well-floured rolling pin, flatten dough into a circle or rectangle about 1/2 inch thick (the circle might be anywhere from 8-10 inches wide).

Cut dough into 8 wedges, if your dough is a circle. To make smaller scones, divide a rectangle or dough into squares and cut along the diagonal to make little triangles. 

Whisk egg and water in a small mixing bowl to combine.

Brush each wedge with egg wash.

Place scones on a Silpat- or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and no longer sticky in the middle. Serve warm. To freeze: Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight freezer bag (and reheat in the microwave for about 2 minutes on medium power).

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