Bacon and maple. It’s almost like coffee and milk, right? They go together so well.
A few years back there was a bacon-maple donut craze–you remember that? Yeah, I thought it was kinda odd, to be honest. I’ve never been a huge bacon fan, but I do love maple, and maple bacon is good, so . . . I figured I’d give this a try.
I actually made this recipe years ago, had it up on the website, and it somehow got deleted when I moved over to a purchased domain name.
However, I revived this recipe this month to share with the stellar police officers of Fairbanks, Alaska, to thank them for their amazing, selfless service. And all month, I’ve had comments trickling in about this being the favorite scone so far that I’ve shared with them (and I’ve probably made them a dozen different recipes by this point).
All that aside, these scones are delish. A mixture of savory and sweet–but mostly sweet–these are only lightly sweetened in the actual scone, but it’s the maple icing that really makes these bacon-maple scones. If you don’t like super sweet scones, feel free to omit the brown sugar in the scones themselves, but I recommend leaving in the maple syrup.
Yield: 16-18 medium scones
Baking time: 10 minutes
Cooling time: 10-25 minutes
(P.S. in case you don’t want this many scones at once, scroll to the recipe builder below, and you can adjust the recipe for your preferred size. But, you know, unbaked scones freeze really well, so you may actually want to make all of them, and then only bake what you’ll eat in the next couple of days. When you want to bake the frozen scones, simply preheat the over to the correct temperature in the recipe, and bake the scones frozen. Increase the baking time by about 5 minutes to start, then keep checking until the tops are dark golden, but not burnt. The dough should not be shiny, but flat, and a cake tester should come out clean. Voila! That’s it. Oh, and be sure to keep some icing handy–you can freeze the extra icing, too! Just thaw in hot water or in the microwave in 15 second bursts.)
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp butter
1 tbsp bacon fat
1 package (1 lb) crumbled bacon
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup real maple syrup
3-4 tbsp real maple syrup
1/2 tsp real maple extract (or to taste)
1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1) Cook the bacon. Do not dispose of the liquid fat! Cook on the stovetop until it’s as crispy as desired (I like mine extra crispy). This step can take some time, but can always be prepped the day before. You could also use leftover bacon, chopped into pieces. When you drain the bacon, set aside 1-2 tbsp of the fat to add with the buttermilk and maple syrup.
Tip: I like to partially freeze the bacon before I chop it, or freeze and remove from the freezer to let thaw for 10 or 15 minutes, then cut the bacon into 1/2-inch strips. I don’t wait for it to thaw the rest of the way before I cook it, just throwing the half-thawed bacon bits into a hot skillet.
2) When your bacon is done and cooling off the stove, preheat the oven to 450ºF. Whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
3) Add the cold, diced butter and work in with a pastry blender. A few pea-sized chunks in this recipe are okay.
4) Add the cooled, chopped bacon to the dry ingredients and toss with a wooden spoon to mix.
5) In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and 1/2 cup of the buttermilk, along with 1 tbsp of liquid bacon fat. (If your bacon fat has hardened, simply put in the microwave for 10-20 seconds or until just melted.)
6) Add the maple syrup-buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients, using a soft spatula to get all the liquid out. Mix into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, giving a few stirs until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add additional buttermilk as needed–just enough to bring the dough together so that a few floury bits are left in the bottom. (When you turn out the dough and give it a knead or two, these floury bits will be worked in.) Do not over mix. The dough should barely come together, with a few dry crumbs in the bottom being okay.
7) Turn out the dough and any floury bits that remain onto a lightly floured countertop. Give one or two kneads to bring together. Try not to over-knead, just one or two turns will do. Flatten into a log about seven inches wide and about 1/2-inch in height, about a foot long. Cut the dough into 16-18 triangles with a sharp knife.
Alternatively, you can use a 1/4-cup measuring cup and make drop scones. To do this, do not turn out the dough onto the counter, but proceed to scooping out 1/4-cup mounds onto the baking sheet in step 8.
8) Place the scones about two inches apart on a parchment-lined backing sheet and brush with any remaining buttermilk.
9) Bake at 450ºF for about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and firm to the touch.
10) While the scones are baking, sift your confectioner’s sugar and combine it with the vanilla, maple extract, and maple syrup. Start with two tablespoons maple syrup and add more to reach the desired consistency. (I used 3 tablespoons, but would probably use less next time, as I prefer a harder icing when set.)
11) When the scones are done baking, allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire cooling rack with parchment paper underneath it to catch any icing runoff. Drizzle the scones with the icing. Allow the icing to set before enjoying.