June 20, 2013

Maple Bacon Scones

HAPPY FRIDAY!  I am very excited to share this recipe with you today.  This past week end, I participated in the Bacon Takedown, sponsored by Hormel® Black Label Bacon®.  The Bacon Takedown is a cooking contest that travels the country and challenges cooks to come up with creative bacon recipes.  It just sounded like too much fun to pass up!

As soon as I signed up for this, I knew what I wanted to make: maple bacon scones.  For a long while, I have been trying to perfect my scone-making technique, so this competition gave me extra motivation to do so.  Bacon is a classic breakfast flavor, and combining it with maple syrup, another breakfast flavor, sounded like it could make for an unique sweet, yet savory, breakfast treat.

I received fifteen pounds of bacon to make these scones.  (Thanks, Hormel!)  Since I was getting fifteen pounds of bacon on a Friday just after work, it seemed like it might be a good time to use self checkout.  Of course, the bacon overloaded the self checkout system.  It took a few people to fix it, and meanwhile, everyone is just looking at all of the bacon.  I can only wonder their thoughts.  One of the store employees was trying a manual fix and asked how many pounds of bacon I was purchasing.  I told him "fifteen pounds."  Other customers and employees just stopped and looked at me.  It gave "bringing home the bacon" a whole new meaning.

"You stay classy, Denver!"
As part of the Takedown, I was interviewed on Denver's NBC affiliate 9News!  While it was a short segment, it was a lot of fun.  We didn't get a cue when it was time to wrap up, so of course, I'm still talking. Whoops. Now, in case my mom's massive e-mail blast of the video did not reach you, you can catch the clip here.    
Before the camera rolled, I kept thinking of all of the Next Food Network Star tips Giada De Laurentiis, Alton Brown, and Bobby Flay give the aspiring cooks on the show!

The Takedown was really a blast.   There were around nine other "cheftestants" who brought bacon infused creations ranging from bacon protein bites to pulled pork and bacon to bacon wrapped pineapple, among other very creative creations!  All of the chefs were so passionate about cooking, and it was fun to exchange bacon cooking stories with them.  During the event, bacon minute films entertained everyone, and taste-testers even had the opportunity to play with a bacon photo booth.  You can check out more pictures of the event by visiting Hormel's Bacon Party Album on Facebook.  The prizes included a year's supply of bacon along with a variety of other prizes and cookware.

The judges, a duo of Denver food bloggers, voted my maple bacon scones as one of the winning entries.  I was so excited and couldn't believe that my scones were featured on the news and won!  My friends and family were so supportive and equally as excited!

Here's a picture of all of the cheftestants.  I am sure the winners of a one year supply of bacon will be coming up with some very creative ways to cook it!

The quick and dirty on making these sweet savory scones: you add cooked bacon to a maple vanilla flavored scone batter.  After the scones cook, you drizzle a maple glaze over the scones.  Add a big mug of tea or coffee, and voila, breakfast is served.

When it came to cooking the bacon, I was looking for an easy technique, especially since I had fifteen pounds of bacon to cook.  Cooking bacon in the oven was easy and fast, and it came out perfectly cooked.  I didn't even have to flip it! After letting the bacon cool slightly, I used paper towels to blot off some of the grease before dicing it up for the scones.

Now, I learned the big trick to good scones is cold batter.  Before adding the butter to the batter, I placed the butter in the freezer so that it would be very cold.  After finishing the batter, I put the batter into the freezer before baking.  By freezing the batter, this keeps butter more solid.  Then, when the batter bakes, the butter melts into the dough while creating steam pockets and layers in the scone. This technique produced those perfectly flaky tender scones that I had been after for so long!

I hope you enjoy these scones!

Disclaimer (because I am a lawyer): Hormel® sponsored the Bacon Takedown.  I received fifteen pounds of Black Label ® bacon, but all words and opinions about the event are my own.  

Maple Bacon Scones
Yields 12-16 scones

For the scones:
11.5 oz. all-purpose flour (about 2 3/4 cups)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
8 tbsp. cold salted butter, cut into pats
2 cups cooked bacon, diced
2 eggs
1 tbsp. real maple syrup
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

For the glaze:
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tbsp. real maple syrup
2-3 tsp. milk

For the scones:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

Sift the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.  Add in the butter, and mix it until the mixture is very crumbly.  It may be easier to use your hands or a pastry blender for the mixing.  The mixture will not be even, so don't be worried if there are larger chunks of butter.  Next, add in the bacon and combine.  

In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and the milk.  Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until the mixture is moistened and holds together.  Scrape the dough onto the parchment paper and divide it in half.  Using your hands, round each half into a 6" inch circle about 3/4" thick.

Place the pan with the two batches of dough into the freezer for 15 minutes, uncovered.*  15 minutes later, using a sharp knife or bench knife run under cold water, to slice each circle into 6-8 wedges.  Carefully separate the wedges on the pan so that there is a half inch between each wedge.

Place the pan back into the freezer uncovered for another 30 minutes.  This freezing period will help produce the best texture!

While the scones are in the freezer, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Bake the scones for about 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.  Remove the scones from the oven, and allow the scones to cool on the pan.  Serve warm with any desired glaze.  

For the glaze:
Sift together the confectioner's sugar into a bowl and whisk in the maple syrup and milk.  Drizzle the glaze over the warm scones.

*Because this recipe yields two "batches," you could easily leave one batch in the freezer and save it for a lazy Sunday breakfast.  If you completely freeze a batch, use plastic wrap to wrap one of the dough circles or use a freezer safe plastic bag.  I would remove the frozen batch from the freezer about 15 minutes before baking just so it is not completely rock hard.

Source: A Simply Sweet Justice Original


  1. You know I love these scones! They were great and I'll be making my own batch very soon. Good to meet you Claire; let's stay in touch...Barb

  2. These scones look so delicious, wish I could have tried them (sans bacon) :D

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. I think dried banana chips would be a great substitute! :)

    2. Thanks for that idea!

      P.S Because of my exams, I will not be commenting for around 4 weeks – see you afterwards!

  3. That's interesting about placing the scone batter in the freezer before baking, in order to get the flaky quality- will have to try that. I once had something called 'Bacon Candy' at a restaurant in L.A. once- I thought it was a joke at first, but it was really good!

    1. I keep seeing so many chocolate treats with bacon. Too funny!

  4. I loved it. People would shout you down over here though - they are not scones they're scons although they're spelled the same way. :)

    These would be wonderful right this minute.

  5. Claire, I'm anxious to see another one of your delicious recipes soon!


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