Before we moved from Saint Louis to Providence, Marcio and I frequently visited a homey farm-to-table cafe/country store called Winslow’s Home.
Every time we visited, we could count on warm coffee mugs, pastry cases overflowing with variety, antique wooden tables, and carefully curated home and food staples lining the built-in shelves that covered the walls. A perfect brunch spot. The bonus? Biscuits: bacon, cheddar, scallion biscuits.
Just say these three words together: bacon-cheddar-biscuit, and challenge your mouth to not water. It's impossible. Except, the thing is, most cheddar biscuits I’ve tasted (and I’ve tasted many) leave a lot to be desired. I don’t understand why this happens, since combining a biscuit with cheese seems like an undeniable win. But they’re often dry, not cheesy enough, or generally boring.
Enter Winslow’s Home’s biscuits: the quintessential savory breakfast pastry. Perfect in their buttery, cheesy, bacon-y, goodness. The furthest thing from boring and dry.
I knew I would miss Winslow's Home when we left. There are brunch spots in Providence, certainly. But, one gets attached to homey brunch-spot vibes. Before we left Saint Louis, I decided to ask for the recipe - knowing that, understandably, bakeries tend to be less open about their recipes than restaurants. When I walked away empty handed (recipe-wise), but with a pastry box full of biscuits and scones, I knew that I would eventually develop my own version.
A few months ago, I riffed on Ina Garten's chocolate pecan scones after watching Ina and Carla bake them together in the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen via YouTube (a current favorite) and made a dark chocolate orange peel version. They are wonderful and I'll post them sometime soon. But my point here is, amidst a chocolatey orange scone, inspiration hit me: this is the recipe to chedder-bacon-scallion-ify. The result? Amazing.
Thus, we have, not biscuits, but cheddar, bacon, scallion scones. Over the holidays I finalized my version (always inspired by my Saint Louis cheesy biscuit muse, of course) and I’m excited to share it here.
I hope you have a wonderful time baking these scones. If you make them and make your own preferred adjustments, please share!
CHEDDAR BACON SCALLION SCONES
Inspired by Ina Garten's Chocolate Pecan Scones (which I absolutely encourage you to bake)
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1½ cups (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½" pieces
1 cup cold heavy cream
4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
approximately 2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar (I have used as much as 3 cups), plus extra to bake on top.
4-6 strips of bacon (depending on how bacon-y you want your scones), cooked until crispy and crumbled into "bacon bit" size
1 bunch of scallions, green tops only, finely chopped
1 extra-large egg beaten with 2 Tbsp. water or cream (for egg wash)
You can use a 3"-diameter round cookie cutter if you have one, but no need to purchase. I used a pint glass and that worked out just fine.
Arrange oven racks in top and bottom third of oven; preheat to 400°. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar to combine. Add butter and, with mixer still on low speed, beat until pea-sized pieces of butter remain. (If you don't have access to a stand mixer, whisk your dry ingredients together to combine and then use your hands to squish the butter pieces into the flour mixture. Since your hands are warm, and since we want cold butter to maintain those chunks, consider sticking your mixing bowl in the freezer for a moment if you feel as though your hands are softening the butter mixture. You can also use a pastry cutter if you have one. Your dough will ultimately have pea-sized lumps of butter - larger lumps are okay too!).
Pour cream into a glass measuring cup, add eggs, and whisk until combined. With mixer still on low speed, pour cream mixture into butter mixture and beat just until blended. Add your cheese, bacon, and scallion and mix just until combined.
Turn out dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead a few times (don't overwork the dough as you don't want the butter to completely blend in with the flour mixture). Dust your surface with flour so the dough doesn't stick to surface.
Flour your hands and a rolling pin (or a wine bottle if your rolling pin is missing!) and roll dough ¾"–1" thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut dough with 3" cutter. Place rounds on prepared pans. Reroll scraps, cut out more rounds, and place on prepared pans. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake scones, rotating pans top to bottom halfway through, until tops are lightly browned and insides are fully baked, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
One of my favorite things to do with baked goods is freeze them pre-baked. I'm sure there are some people out there who would benefit from baking the whole batch. Maybe it's a holiday, you have a large family, you have a hungry teenager, or you simply like to make your tray of baked goods and have them to graze on for the next couple days. If so, go for it.
I tend to get sick of something after I've eaten it about twice. I also tend to get excited, make multiple recipes at once, and don't know what M and I would do with 24 scones or four batches of cookies. Plus, honestly - I like to eat my creamy-cheesey-bacony-and-sugary-laden recipes when I really want them, and not because they're baked and simply there. I know that some people like to make and eat healthified baked goods, and I've definitely made and enjoyed them as well. But, I don't consider them to be a replacement for the real thing. I eat the real thing when I crave it, which tends to be in moderation (at least when I'm not pregnant - I can't speak for moderation these days). Freezing makes this whole process incredibly convenient. It's my chocolate chip cookie trick, I always have those guys in my freezer.
So, getting back to it - once you have cut your scones into circles, cut 2 rectangles of parchment paper to fit your bag, inset one sheet and place your scones on top of the parchment paper (you may have to gingerly finagle them to keep their shape as you transfer them to a freezer bag, as scones tend to be a bit crumbly by nature. Just go with it, no rules here). Place a second sheet on top of that row, and add a second row of scones. Pop in the freezer!
Last - bake a few scones and know that you have the others for another time!