Did I ever tell you that The Great British Bake Off is quite legitimately the best show ever? Oh, yes, I did. Here, and here. BUT, if you accidentally forgot to read those posts, the declaration is worth repeating. It’s wonderful. You have Paul Hollywood, buff baking pro: intimidating, silver-fox impersonating, and all around tough cookie to impress. Then, you have Mary Berry. Like anyone with the last name of Berry, Mary is sweet, old, and equipped with a FANTASTIC posh accent. Which also, by the way, makes her rather intimidating. Then, you have hilarious hosts, Mel and Sue, along with 12 nervous bakers. All in a tent. Together, each weekend, they make classic British treats, some of which are simple, some of which are unpronounceable, and some of which are flat out showstoppers. Did I mention this all happens in a freaking tent?
Upon a recent re-watch of the series (I won’t tell you how many times I’ve embarrassingly done this…), bakers were making scones. But, because they’re fancy, they pronounced them “skons”. Now, if you’ve ever had an experience like many I’ve had, you probably have the wrong impression of a scone. Often times, they are dry, crumbly, and bland. WELL. That stops today. Now, because I’m American, I had to put a bit of a stateside twist on these guys. So, I did what any good American does. I added bacon. And chocolate. And bourbon. You’re welcome America, you’re welcome. Let’s get started!
We’ll start with the dry ingredients. Now, there are a few things to really pay attention to here. First, the sugar we are using is brown. Many recipes call for white, but I like to go with brown whenever I can. It has a bit of a sweeter flavor, due to it’s molasses content. This goes really well with the chocolate and bacon we’ll add later.
Once you throw your flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a bowl and combine, we’ll get to the butter. Your butter needs to be cold. Not just cold, but HELLA cold. Like, the kind of cold that involves me throwing it into the freezer while I’m measuring out my dry ingredients. Why, you may ask? Well, we want our butter to melt in the right place. When the butter melts within the scones during baking time, it will create pockets of air along the way. That’s how we get the flakes! If the butter tragically melts before it hits the oven, your poor scone will come out dry and flat. Womp, womp, womp. So…get that butter chilly before you cut it into your dry ingredients. You can do this with a knife, or grate it with a grater, like I did, if it’s more on the frozen side.
Work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles crumbs.
Throw this in the fridge to chill more while you measure and combine your wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, you’ll combine your cream, vanilla, bourbon, and egg. For my bourbon of choice, I went with some Jim Beam Maple Bourbon. Come on, bacon has two best friends. Maple and bourbon are their names.
Now, take out the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients over. Gently incorporate these two together until everything is just…mois…..WET. DAMP. But, be careful not to overwork. The more you mix, the tougher your little scones will be. After, fold in your chocolate and bacon.
Go ahead dump this dough out onto a clean surface. You could go all fancy and use a cake pan to mold it into a circle, but I just used my good old eyeballs and best judgement. Either way, once you have a circle of dough that is about an inch and a half thick, cut it into 8 slices. If you want, press some additional chocolate and bacon on to the top for you-know-whats and giggles. Come on, why wouldn’t you?
Bake these for about 18-21 minutes at 400 degrees, or until the crusts of the scones are golden brown and the entire piece is cooked through. That high temperature is going to help us achieve that outer crispness. Yes, please!
Once you’ve removed them from the oven, and let them cool a bit, you’ll be left with the ultimate British-American mash up. Classy ass scones, with some good old bacon and chocolate thrown in there, just to make sure we’re not getting too fancy. While Mr. Hollywood and Mrs. Berry might scratch their heads at first, they’d be impressed…I’m sure of it!
Next week, it’s time to pay homage to my favorite childhood candy. It’s a weird one…sorry in advance. Until then, stay tuned and stay hungry!
- 2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter, very cold
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) bourbon
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup chopped chocolate (about 4oz)
- ¾ cup cooked crumbled bacon (about 6 thick slices)
- Optional: an extra 2 tablespoons each, crumbled bacon and chocolate chunks
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl.
- Cut in butter. Use a pastry cutter or fingers to work together until the mixture is course and looks like small crumbs. Set in the refrigerator.
- While your dry ingredients are in the refrigerator, whisk together the cream, bourbon, egg, and vanilla.
- Pour over the dry ingredients and mix, using a spatula, until everything is just moistened.
- Fold in the bacon and chocolate chunks.
- Dump dough onto a cutting board or clean surface. Shape into a circle. Dough should be about 1 ½ inches thick. Cut into eight wedges and place on a lined baking sheet.
- Set in refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes.
- Optional: Press additional toppings onto the surface of the scones.
- Bake for about 18-21 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown and baked through.