Thursday, January 24, 2013
Two-Bite Cheddar Bacon Scones
I'm currently back at school. I've attended all my classes for the week, and have gone back to my internship. I've also been freezing my butt off while at school because for some reason, my dorm building has no heat and the weather in NYC is like 15 degrees F or something like that. The 20-minute walk to work the other day was horrible. Womp. I'm happy to be back at school, don't get me wrong. My classes this semester are really interesting (I'm taking a seminar/workshop called "Darkness and Architecture," how cool does that sound???), and my schedule works out so nicely (my earliest class when I don't have work is at 1!). My last semester at Columbia seems like it's getting off to a great start, but still...womp. Winter break was just so nice!
Winter break was perfectly perfect (aside from getting sick every now and then). I did nothing, nothing, nothing (aside from the occasional baking project, of course). It was so nice to just take a break from a crazy end to a semester, along with the fact that it is probably the last time I'll ever have four consecutive weeks of vacation again. Sigh. I spent my winter break mostly watching movies. That might sound like a normal, very ordinary thing for most people, but for me, it's something completely different. I've always had a hard time getting into movies, or just watching them in general. I'm too restless, and I guess my attention span is too short. My boyfriend says I'm culturally deprived when it comes to movies, and he's totally right. I've missed out on pretty much all the movies that have made it onto "the-most-important-movies-to-see-before-you-die" lists, so his goal for this break was to help bring me up to speed. We watched one or two movies every night, and you know what...I somehow grew to actually like watching movies! It's like I'm a member of normal society or something! Crazy how that happened.
Movie-watching was definitely one of my favorite parts of winter break, and these scones were certainly up there as well. Le boyfriend also happens to love scones, and I would never turn down an opportunity to make a batch of buttery scones. The addition of bacon and cheddar cheese took these cute little scones over the top.
These scones are too delicious and adorable to pass up. I know, it's January, and everyone's trying to be healthy, and heck, even I posted two somewhat healthy, whole-grain recipes (they were delicious, I'm not going to deny it), but scones...it's just so hard to say no to a buttery and flaky scone, especially when it's loaded with cheddar cheese and is scattered with bits of crispy bacon. Butter, bacon, and cheese...that's just a combination you don't say no to! They come together just as any other scone would. Start off with cold butter for a lovely flaky interior, and then give all the ingredients a whirl in the food processor (you can do it by hand with a pastry blender, but we're trying to make our lives a bit simpler here), roll them out, cut them into cute little round scones and bake. Easy peasy.
The original recipe called for only a pinch of salt and only three strips of bacon. I found that the scones could have used just a tad more salt, so I'm suggesting about 1/4 teaspoon of salt, since the cheese and bacon have a nice saltiness of their own. And as for the increase in the bacon, well...more bacon just makes everything better, right? I certainly think so anyway. Enjoy!
Two Bite Cheddar Bacon Biscuits
recipe adapted from Craftfoxes
4 thick slices bacon
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and diced
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat it to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
In a frying pan, fry the bacon slices over medium heat until they are lightly crisp. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel or brown paper bag, and then finely chop the bacon.
In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, cheese, salt, and pepper, pulsing briefly to mix together. Add the butter, and begin to pulse until small crumbs begin to form. In a measuring cup, whisk together the egg and the buttermilk, and then add the egg mixture into the processor, and pulse just until the dough begins to come together.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead the bacon into the dough, and form the dough into a ball. The dough might be sticky, so just use a little more flour if necessary. With a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thick. With a small round cutter ( I used one that was about 2 inches in diameter), cut out as many scones as you can. When you finish, gather up the scraps of dough, roll out, and cut out more scones.
Space the scones evenly on the prepared baking sheets. Bake the scones until the tops are golden brown, about 14 minutes. Remove the scones from the pan, and let cool slightly on a wire rack before serving. Enjoy!
Makes about 4 dozen mini scones