Pancakes and bacon are a weekend favorite in our house, but recently I spotted this recipe for bacon and date scones and thought they would make a great alternative to our usual Saturday morning fare. The combination of bacon and dates is a classic salty and sweet pairing, and the crumbly yet moist texture and buttery taste of these scones was the perfect accompaniment to a strong cup of coffee.
Bacon and Date Scones
10 ounces thick-cut bacon slices
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup white sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
¾ cup coarsely chopped pitted Medjool dates
½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter
⅔ cup buttermilk
raw sugar (also called turbinado)
Cook the bacon until cooked through, but not quite crisp, then drain on paper towels, reserving the bacon drippings in a heatproof bowl.
Whisk flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Coarsely chop cooled bacon and add to flour mixture, along with chopped dates; and toss to coat. Coarsely grate butter into flour and bacon mixture and use a fork to stir it in. Add the buttermilk and stir until large, moist clumps form. Now use your hands to knead the mixture in the bowl until dough forms.
Transfer dough to a floured work surface, pat into an 8-inch round, and cut into 8 wedges. Place scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover, and chill for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 400°. Brush the tops of the scones with the reserved bacon drippings and sprinkle with the raw sugar; bake for 16-18 or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm.
photography by Angelica Golden