Bacon Cheddar Scones with Maple Syrup

April 2, 2011

Every once in a while, I come across something I’ve torn from the food section of our local paper.  I’m thinking this wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t shoved it into one of my cookbooks — the one most relevant to what I’d torn out.  I see bits and pieces like it wedged between pages along with notes and stickies I’ve written about recipes I’ve tried and easily slip past them when I’m on a mission for a particular recipe.  They do cause me to pause occasionally though, to dust off the mental note I made the last time I saw them and promise that I should take a look.  Make something from them.

Time passes and then really passes. Seventeen years of time passing happened while I was busy doing other things.  A household was moved, jobs changed, pets passed on, three boys raised to manhood.  That folded up one-page spread entitled “50 Boffo Biscuits” written by Andrew Schloss published in The San Diego Union-Tribune January 12-13, 1994 was tucked away through all of it, just waiting.

It originally caught my eye because the brief article read, “Here we offer eight basic formulas for biscuits and scones, with enough variations to give you 50 fun and easy ways to put them on the table in 1994.”  Looking at it now, I know I wouldn’t have noticed the very small print beneath that read, “Biscuits courtesy of Baked by Etta.”

I had to wonder who Etta was, whether she had a bakery, and if it was still around.  A quick Google search provided a location and some reviews raving about cakes like grandmother made with “pure flour, butter, and eggs.”  I knew a field trip was in order, but decided I’d entertain myself with trying some of Etta’s biscuits and scones.

You wouldn’t turn down a Bacon and Cheddar Scone, would you?

Bacon and Cheddar Scones with Maple Syrup

3 slices extra-thick bacon, cooked, cooled, and cut into small pieces

1/2 c. sharp Cheddar, shredded

2-1/2 c. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1 T sugar

2T butter, cut in small pieces

2 T bacon fat

1 egg

1/2 c. + 2 T milk, divided

1 T sugar additional, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and position a rack in the center of the oven.

Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk them to mix well.  Add the bacon pieces and shredded cheese, tossing everything to mix well.

In a small ramekin, melt the butter in the bacon fat.  Allow to cool briefly, then pour over the dry mixture, tossing lightly to incorporate.

In another bowl, mix 1/2 cup of the milk with the egg, then pour into the rest of the ingredients, mixing lightly just until all is evenly moistened.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and lightly pat together into a flattened circle about 3/4″ thick.  Transfer to a parchment covered baking sheet.  Using a bench scraper or chef’s knife, press thoroughly into the dough to make as many wedges as you’d like — eight is perfect.  Brush the remaining 2 T milk over the surface, and if desired, sprinkle on the last tablespoon of sugar.

Bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown and the center dry and set.

Allow to set on the baking sheet about 5 minutes, then remove to a baking rack for continued cooling.

Serve with butter and warmed maple syrup poured over a wedge.

Notes:

  • These scones are really good.  They’re a snap to put together, smell fabulous while baking, ready before you know it, and are light and fluffy to sink your teeth into.
  • I’ve watched begrudgingly as people have put bacon in everything — at times thinking it was just a circus act –  but considering biscuits make sense for a perfect combo, you think I might have figured out scones are a perfect match as well.  That probably makes me the circus clown.  Go ahead.  You can laugh.
  • The original recipe calls for 4 pieces of bacon and 4 T of bacon fat.  Honestly, frying the bacon I purchase doesn’t turn out that much bacon fat.  Lean pigs?
  • Cheddar.  My husband loves cheddar.  Really good, sharp Cheddar.  I, however, used the remnants of a packaged shredded cheese blend I wanted to use.  I know.  I can imagine that the lovely sharp wedge we have in the cheese drawer right now would have been a much better choice.
  • I’ve made scones like this in wedges, in drop form, and in rolled balls.  This is the method I prefer.  There’s no need to separate the wedges before baking, and even if you don’t cut all the way through the dough, the wedges are easily separated after baking.
  • It’s lovely to melt butter with the maple syrup, then drizzle over a slice.  Very satisfying.  Very.  Perfect for one of our often overcast Spring mornings before a nice walk on the beach.

About Etta:

I did drive to the location and was surprised to find something new there instead — a bakery called Cake.  It’s quite the bakery, too, with The Hotel Del Coronado on its list of regular clients.  They produce amazing cakes and other baked goods for order.  Nothing is frozen — everything is prepared and ready fresh.  And no fondant is used on their cakes or cupcakes.  It’s all pure buttercream and/or rolled chocolate and absolutely delicious.  I was offered a sample, and then purchased several filled cupcakes from their fairly new case.  They’re just getting the cafe up and running, so I’ll be back because I’ve never had cake that flavorful and moist before.  Truly remarkable.  But I’ll save the telling for another time.

Etta still leases space in the bakery there and evidently takes custom orders.  I’d love to talk to her to let her know if her cakes are anything like the biscuits and scones we’ve been sampling from that 17-year-old newspaper article, they must be amazing.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne April 2, 2011

This takes all the best parts of breakfast and combines them into one delicious entity! You’ll have to let us know if you end up stopping by Etta’s…and if so, how her scones compare!

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Andrea Meyers April 2, 2011

Beautiful! Love a good savory scone, especially bacon and cheddar. I also have a bunch of old recipes I’ve saved over the years. I finally sorted through that box this winter and pared it down to a smaller box, but there’s still a lot of gems I want to try. I think I need to make it a once-a-month priority.

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oakley April 3, 2011

Um. Like. YUUUUUUUUMMMMM! I’m making this when I get back. Heck, I might pull this up to make for dinner with my cousin in New Zealand! :)

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Esi April 3, 2011

These are totally perfect for weekend brunch.

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El April 3, 2011

First of all, was 1994 really 17 years ago? Yikes. It’s going by too fast. I’ve never had a savory scone. Yours look delicious.

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The Food Hound April 4, 2011

At first I didn’t believe that 1994 was 17 years ago, and then I did the math. Yikes :) I think bacon and maple syrup are iconic together! Love the sweet story about Etta!! My grandmother has TONS of little clippings here and there from her very old school New York TImes days. Can’t beat nostalgia :)

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Sues April 4, 2011

Ohhh yay scones!! I’m on a major scone kick and just posted about my Easter ones today :) These look AH-MAZING! I love the maple syrup over the top :)

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Lisa April 4, 2011

No way would I ever turn these down! I’m not usually a fan of scones, but bacon, cheddar and maple syrup? Gimme, gimme! Love your photos as always!

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Lauren April 5, 2011

Is the melted butter & bacon fat just for pouring over the finished scones? It says to combine them in a ramekin but then doesn’t specify what to do with it? Thanks!

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kellypea April 5, 2011

Thanks for your eagle eyes! The butter & bacon fat go over the dry ingredients before adding the other liquids. I’ve edited the directions. Much appreciated :)

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France @beyondthepeel April 5, 2011

I love this post. That is so great that you have a newspaper cut out from when I was 15. I love it!!! I could barely make kraft dinner bake then. Good for you for trying to find Etta. I love that part of San DIego. I really miss San DIego at times and wish, “if only we could have 2 homes”…..

Ps scones look ridiculously good!

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kellypea April 5, 2011

Fifteen? Bless your heart! I think I was fifteen a million years ago. I’m trying to muster up a bit of bravery to call Etta and see if she’ll speak with me. I feel badly that had I been more attentive all those years ago, I could have gone to meet her. Although now that I think of it, the Internet was brand new, and no one had heard of a food blog! Thanks for stopping by.

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katrina April 5, 2011

Oh, I know so well those little pieces of paper, torn from magazines and newspapers yellowing and fragile – some of mine date back to BC (before children). This is an utterly lovely scone I’ll be trying – as well as experimenting with your intact scone circle. And isn’t it fun to follow up with your successful field trip! ps/ same thing with the thick cut bacon I buy – very little fat…

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grace April 6, 2011

maple and bacon is a surprisingly magnificent combination. have you tried bacon waffles with syrup? heaven.

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Lisa April 7, 2011

Kelly, I bet there was too much matcha in the mochi. Most people who enjoy matcha love it strong. In my dessert, there’only a teaspoon in the mousse, 1/2 teaspoon in the soaking syrup and1 a tablespoon in the sponge, but it’s a 12 by 17 sponge and cut with pistachio and almonds, so it’s a light taste. It’s very pleasant when it’s light. I hope you try it again, but not in mochi!! lol

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Kelly April 8, 2011

That’s good to know, so I may be more inclined to try matcha again — especially in that dessert you made. Oh, man it’s gorgeous.

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sweetlife April 7, 2011

1994 where have you been? bacon cheddar scone with maple syrup..oh goodness..what a delight to have this sitting on my plate in the morning

sweetlife

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Delishhh April 8, 2011

This looks fabulous! I would love one of these scones. Love your pictures too!

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kellypea April 9, 2011

Thanks very much!

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Olga @ MangoTomato April 17, 2011

ooh! yet another nudge for me to make savory scones. Yours look fantastic.

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jenny April 19, 2011

Cake is around the corner from the house I lived in for 5 years and I somehow never made it there! I have heard good things about them though! I guess I’ll have to stop by now….

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