a tasty start to the new year

When I lived in New York I would sometimes motivate myself to workout by promising myself a trip to a bakery or takeout place on the way back from the gym.  It’s a lot easier to get up extra early before work or drag yourself after a ten-hour-workday if there is a reward waiting for you in the form of delicious food.  It works for me every time.

Sunday mornings I would often take a free class at the local Lululemon (Sidenote: those people are brilliant to offer free classes in their stores before business hours; people shopped with their eyes while doing warrior-one and downward-facing-dog.) which was within a few blocks of a then new place by the City Bakery people.

On my first visit to this bakery I was completely sold when I saw Maple Bacon Scones on their menu.  Um, yes please.

And I figured what better way to start the New Year then with a breakfast of champions where I would recreate said scones?

I started out by candy-ing some bacon.  Then I hunted all over town for pure maple extract.  That part wasn’t easy, but the hunt for the real stuff as opposed to the artificial stuff was well worth it.  I suggest you do the same as the imitation kind alters the flavor of the scones and doesn’t in fact taste much like maple at all.

Then I mixed together some flour, a lot of butter, some sugar, the usual baking suspects (baking powder, soda, and salt), an egg, a little cinnamon, buttermilk, and the star ingredient.  Once the dough was kneaded and formed into scone shapes I brushed them with the remaining buttermilk and dusted them with raw sugar and baked them.  Afterwards they got glazed with a little confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup.  Very tasty.  And better yet, no strenuous yoga was necessary to enjoy them this time!

Happy New Year!!!

Maple Bacon Scones (adapted slightly from Maple Walnut Scones recipe in “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking” by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito)

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple extract (do not use imitation extract as the flavor is not the same)
  • 1 cup candied bacon (or walnuts if candied bacon is not your thing)
  • ¼ cup raw sugar
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Whisk until combined.

Add the butter.  Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the butter is pea-sized.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, ¾ cup of the buttermilk, and the maple extract.  Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then gently knead the dough with your hands until the dough starts to come together.  Add the candied bacon (or walnuts) to the dough and knead gently to incorporate.  Move the dough to a lightly floured surface.  Use your hands to shape the dough into two discs (about 1 ½ inches in height.)  Do not overwork the dough.

Cut each disk into 6 wedges with a knife.  Place the wedges onto the prepared baking sheet.  Brush each scone with the remaining buttermilk and sprinkle with raw sugar.  Bake in the center of the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes (rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time) or until the scones are golden brown.

Transfer the scones to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the wire rack with the cooled scones over the baking sheet.

Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup until the mixture is smooth.  Slowly pour the glaze over each scone in a zigzag pattern.

Allow the glaze to set (about 10 minutes) and serve immediately.

Scones can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

5 thoughts on “a tasty start to the new year

  1. Sounds like something “just right” for our Christmas brunch. Do I have to wait a whole year??? Guess I will print this recipe and try it sometime sooner than 12/25/12.

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