Usually at the first whiff of bacon frying, Ole Sweetie-Pi is wide awake and at my side, relieving me of the "granny" fork and taking over the bacon. This time, he slept through and I had everything in the oven, smelling wonderfully savory and delicious, when he came downstairs. "WhatamI smellin'," he asked, still half asleep. "Scones," I said. I scrambled some eggs and by the time they were done, the timer was going off for the oven. I served up the eggs and gave him a scone, and he glumly sat down at the table.
Wordlessly, he ate the eggs, and the scone was pushed about on his plate, as he desperately tried to ignore its presence. I was nearly done eating, when he split is scone open and buttered it and put it away. "Do you want the rest of mine," he offered, dejectedly. "No," I said. "Don't you like it?"
"Well just leave it. I'm surprised you don't like them."
"What's in them?"
"Half a pound of bacon, cheddar cheese, some chives from the herb garden." (Herb garden is a huge overstatement, but it makes me happy to say it. I only have chives and mint, grins.)
He visibly brightened and took another bite. "You know, I do like these. Why don't you save the rest and I'll work on those, too. I thought maybe you put dates or something in these."
I suppose this is a lesson to me as I'm often putting new foods into something I think he'll like and won't discover the hidden ingredient. (He is most anxious about the sauerkraut and anchovy paste that he found when he last helped me unpack the groceries and checks the pantry to see if they're still on the shelf.) However, I just don't understand how he can confuse the flavor of bacon with dates. And that's all I'm going to say.
These scones are delicious. We had them for breakfast, but they would be equally good with a nice soup and salad. Whatever time of day you try these, I hope you like them, too.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt **
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold butter, diced
1 cup very coarsely grated or diced cheddar cheese
1/3 cup snipped fresh chives
1/2 pound bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled (about 1 cup) **
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream or whipping cream, or enough to make the dough cohesive**
Preheat your oven to 425*F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper; set aside until needed.
In a good-sized bowl, add the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar, and mix to combine the ingredients well.
Add the butter to the dry ingredients using your fingers to rub the butter into the flour, or use a pastry blender, or two knives to cut in the butter. The mixture will be rough and crumbly.
Add the cheese, chives and bacon, mixing well to distribute.
Add 3/4 cup of cream to the mixture, stirring to combine. Squeeze the mixture together, to see if it stays together in a ball. If not, add additional cream, in small amounts until the dough comes together.**
Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and pat into a 7" round disc.** about 3/4 inch thick. Transfer disc to prepared baking sheet.
Cut the disc into 4th's and then cut the 4th's in half, making 8 wedges. Using a spatula, separate the wedges from each other, allowing enough space between the wedges for the dough to spread and rise. (I made two rows of 4 wedges.)
Brush the scones with a bit of cream to help them brown while baking. Bake for approximately 22-24 minutes** or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Allow to cool on the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
**The original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of salt. I reduced the salt to 1/2 teaspoon and found it to be adequate. There's a lot of salt in this recipe from the cheddar cheese and bacon, plus the butter I used was salted.More than than would have been too salty for us.
**One-half pound of cooked bacon yielded somewhere between 3/4 and 1 cup cooked.
**I needed to add additional cream to make the dough cohesive. As I mentioned, take care to add the cream in small amounts because it's easy to add too much.
**I found that the inside of my dinner plate was 7 inches in diameter. I molded the dough on my dinner plate to obtain an nice symmetrical disc and then transferred it to my baking sheet.
**The cream really does aid in browning nicely. At the end of 22 minutes, the minimum suggested cooking time, I felt that the scones looked too brown, however. I think I would check the scones for doneness and color starting at perhaps 18 minutes or so. It's easier to add time because I certainly haven't figured out how to take it away.