When St Patrick's Day comes around, it always signals the long awaited transition from Winter into Spring. To celebrate, I like to make something that's both comforting - because it's still winter after all - yet bright and fresh to conjure the glorious new season to come. Scones are the perfect choice, with their crisp crumbly shell, soft pillow-y interior and limitless versatility. For this recipe, inspired by a scone recipe from the Food Network, I start with bacon and sharp white cheddar, the flavors of pure morning comfort. Add to that fresh parsley and chives, incorporated into the batter and also used to make a delightfully herbaceous compound butter for spreading, and you've got a new family favorite that'll beat the cold!
Bacon Cheddar Scones with Herb Butter
6-8oz Ground Bacon
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1 large egg
2 tbsp low-fat dry milk powder
3/4 cup lightly packed fresh parsley leaves
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup extra-sharp white Cheddar, grated
2 sticks unsalted butter, 1 cold and 1 at room temperature
Kosher salt, for sprinkling
Bacon Cheddar Scones
Preheat to 400°F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Pan fry Ground Bacon
Strain fat (reserves this) and set bacon aside on a paper towel
In a small bowl whisk together cream, egg and milk powder and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse/ finely chop 20 chives and 1/2 cup of the parsley.
Add the flour, baking powder and kosher salt and pulse until well combined.
Continue pulsing a few more time and add the cheese.
Cut the cold stick of butter into small pieces.
Add to the food processor a few pieces at a time, pulsing . Aim for a pea-sized consistency.
Pour the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
At this point, add in the cooked ground bacon and stir to combine with a fork.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients large enough to hold the wet ingredients.
Pour the wet ingredients into the well and mix with a fork, incorporating the dry ingredients.
Lightly knead the dough in the bowl until it just comes together. Do not over mix
On a lightly (we mean it!) floured surface, gently form the dough in a 3/4 inch thick rectangle.
Cut out 20 hearts as close together as possible with a floured 2-inch-wide heart-shape cookie cutter
On your parchment covered baking sheet, arrange four of the hearts in a four-leaf clover pattern (with the points of all the hearts meeting in the center). Repeat with the remaining hearts, spacing them evenly apart.
Freeze for 15 minutes.
Remove from freezer and lightly brush the top of each scone with cream and sprinkle with kosher salt
Bake the scones until golden brown, 25 minutes.
Returning to the clean food processor, pulse the remaining 10 chives and 1/4 cup parsley until finely chopped.
Cut the remaining stick of butter into small pieces, add to herbs and pulse until mixture is light green and well combined.
Spread over warm scones and enjoy!