Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mini Bacon-Cheddar Scones

I knew I would love these savory scones as soon as I saw them adapted from The Pastry Queen on Annie's Eats.  I like sweets as much as the next girl, but I love savory baked goods.  Goat cheese and black pepper in a quick bread?  I'm sold.  Jalapenos and cheese to cornbread?  Yes, please.  Cheese, bacon and scallions to a scone?  I must have them now!

I made mine mini this time around since they were for an evening cocktail get together with friends and finger foods always go faster there.  I also added a little maple syrup for a touch of sweetness.  Light and fluffy, but with some sturdiness from the bacon and cheese, a couple of them with a dab of jalapeno jelly and a cup of tea also made for an indulgent afternoon snack. 

Mini Bacon-Cheddar Scones

What's in them:

3 c all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp ground black pepper (depending on your preference)
8 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1½ c grated cheddar cheese
4 green onions, thinly sliced
10 slices bacon, cooked and chopped or crumbled into small pieces
1 c buttermilk
2 Tbsp real maple syrup
½ c milk for brushing

How to make them:

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper; mix briefly to combine.  Add the cubes of butter and mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter pieces are about the size of small peas.  (Alternatively, this can be done in a regular mixing bowl, using a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.)  Add in the grated cheese and mix just until incorporated.

Mix in the green onions, bacon, buttermilk and the maple syrup into the flour-butter mixture.  Stir by hand just until all the ingredients are incorporated.  If the dough is too dry to come together, mix in a little of the milk a tablespoon or two at a time until the dough can be formed into a ball.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat the dough into an 8-inch square.  Slice the dough into nine squares, then slice diagonally for 18 wedges.

Brush each wedge lightly with milk.  Transfer the scones to an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

If you'd like to make these ahead and keep them on hand in your freezer (and I really think you should), place the baking sheet into the freezer instead of the oven.  When the scones are completely frozen, place them in a freezer bag.  Bake as needed, adding a minute or two to the baking time above.

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