Bacon, Egg, And Cheese Scones

Bacon, egg, and cheese scones

The morning after New Year's Eve pretty much requires a hearty but effortless breakfast -- the kind of breakfast that you can easily throw together after rolling out of bed just past 10 a.m. because let's face it: We're not as young as we used to be and staying up past midnight is getting more and more difficult. That lost sleep time needs to be made up somewhere, and I doubt many of us are willing to jump out of bed at 7 a.m. to start preparing an extravagant breakfast.

These scones are both effortless and filling, and they're also a complete breakfast in handheld form so they're perfect for a sleepy morning. Think of a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich that's neither greasy nor messy but fluffy and light. Serve the scones with a half of a grapefruit or a little fruit salad on the side, and you'll have one satisfying meal.

Bacon, egg, and cheese scones

The original recipe is from The Cheese Lover's Cookbook and Guide and can be found on Leite's Culinaria. I stayed pretty true to the recipe when I made these (though I did cook the eggs in bacon grease to add flavor and I simplified the process a little), but I have a few changes I would make if I made them again. First, the recipe makes six scones but only calls for three pieces of bacon. Maybe it's just me, but I'd up this to six pieces, so there's one piece of bacon per serving. The recipe also calls for only two scrambled eggs, which is such a small amount of egg per serving. I'd scramble at least three eggs next time. I think the dough can handle a little more egg and bacon.

The recipe also only calls for two ounces of shredded cheddar, and I used three ounces, but I'd even up this to four next time. (Clearly, I'm looking for a very indulgent, but simple, breakfast.) And lastly, the scones are made with heavy cream, and I can't help wondering how they'd be with buttermilk because their texture sort of reminded me of buttermilk biscuits. I'll be testing that out soon.

Oh, and if you're having more than six guests, the scones are definitely big enough to cut in half before baking. That way you'll end up with 12 smaller scones. This is also a good option if you're doing more of a potluck brunch and want to be able to pair the scones with a bunch of other dishes. Either way, you're in for a hearty, satisfying breakfast if you make these.

Bacon, egg, and cheese scones

Bacon, Egg, And Cheese Scones (adapted from The Cheese Lover's Cookbook and Guide)
Makes 6 large scones


3 to 6 strips bacon (use more or less depending how much you love bacon)
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
5 to 6 eggs (2 to 3 eggs will be used for the scrambled egg filling; 3 will be used raw)
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 to 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with Silpat mat.

In medium skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until crisp.

Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Once cool enough to handle, crumble bacon.

Meanwhile, lightly scramble 2 to 3 eggs in small bowl. Once bacon has been removed from pan (leave 1 to 2 tablespoons grease in pan for flavor), lower heat to medium, melt 1 tablespoon butter in pan, and cook eggs. (I cooked them omelet style so I had a thin sheet of eggs, but you can just scramble them if you prefer.) Turn off heat, and break eggs into 1-inch or smaller pieces using spoon or spatula. Set aside.

Pulse flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl of food processor just until combined. Cut remaining 5 tablespoons butter in pieces, add to flour mixture, and pulse to combine. Mix heavy cream and 2 raw eggs together in measuring cup, and pour over flour mixture. Process until mixture comes together.

Dump mixture into medium bowl. Fold in bacon, scrambled eggs, and cheese using hands (trust me, I snapped the spatula that came with my food processor while trying to fold the mixture). Try not to overwork the mixture (we're going for fluffy here).

Transfer dough to Silpat mat, and pat into 12- by 4-inch rectangle about 3/4 inch high.

Using bench scraper, cut dough into three 4-inch squares. Cut each square on diagonal to form 6 triangles. Space triangles about 1 inch apart on Silpat mat, using bench scraper to lift and move them.

Beat remaining 1 raw egg with 2 tablespoons water. Brush scones with egg wash.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm. (Scones are best warm out of the oven, but they can be cooled, wrapped in plastic, and stored in refrigerator. Rewarm in oven or toaster oven.)

Bacon, egg, and cheese scones

What will you be eating for breakfast on New Year's Day?


New Year's Eve Menu Ideas

Every year when it comes time to decide what to do on New Year's Eve, my top picks are to stay in and make a fancy meal for the two of us or have some close friends over and make hors d'oeuvres and finger foods to snack on while catching up, watching the ball drop, and sipping bubbly.

Over the years I've made some great meals and hosted some fun New Year's Eve gatherings, so I thought I'd share some of the dishes and bites I consider New Year's Eve-worthy in case you're planning to stay in and need some menu ideas.

Artichoke And Fire-Roasted Tomato Bruschetta With Feta
Cheese Platter
Feta Tart
Fried Mozzarella Balls
Quiche Bites
Mini Pepperoni Pizza Pull-Apart Breads
Soft Pretzel Bites With Cheddar-Mustard Dipping Sauce
Stuffed Mushrooms

Arugula And Fennel Salad With POM-Orange Vinaigrette
Green Bean And Blood Orange Salad
Pear And Roquefort Salad With Cranberry-Dijon Vinaigrette
Roasted Beet Salad With Walnut Vinaigrette
Winter Wedge Salad With Roquefort Blue Cheese

Main Courses
Boeuf Bourguignon
Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin
Italian Cheese Fondue
Pan-Roasted Rack Of Lamb With Mustard-Shallot Pan Sauce
Pot Roast Pappardelle
Roasted Salmon With Herb Vinaigrette

Chocolate And Salted Caramel Pie
Chocolate-Dipped Cherries With Ground Almonds
Mini Chocolate-Orange Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Honeycomb Pie
Raspberry, Blood Orange, And Prosecco Sorbet

Pear-Ginger Sparklers
St-Germain And Champagne

What are your New Year's Eve plans this year?


Christmas 2011

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas. Here's just a glimpse of mine...

Cookie Baking And Decorating

Christmas Morning

Christmas Dinner
(Missing from pictures: shrimp cocktail, stuffed mushrooms, baked stuffed shrimp, and beef tenderloin.)

What are some of your favorite moments from the holidays this year?


Pear, Cranberry, And Candied Ginger Crisps

Pear, cranberry, and candied ginger crisps

Winter is a great time for pears, what I think of as the oft-overlooked fruit when it comes to baking. We're all so eager to bake with cherries, blueberries, apples, peaches, plums, and even pineapples that we forget about pears. Even I'm guilty of it. There's not a single pear dessert recipe on this blog... until now, that is.

I still had some pears left from the shipment USA Pears sent me -- even after I incorporated them into my pear and Roquefort salad -- and I thought it would be fun to work them into a warm pear crisp, which could double as dessert and breakfast. (Don't judge. I even eat chocolate cake for breakfast sometimes, and at least this has oats and fruit in it.)

Pear, cranberry, and candied ginger crisps

I took one Bosc pear (known for its woodsy, honey-sweet flavor) and one Starkrimson pear (characterized by its smooth flesh and floral essence) and set them on the counter. Then I rummaged through the pantry and freezer for more supplies. Beyond the staple ingredients, I grabbed some frozen cranberries, walnuts, and candied ginger bits. My crisp was shaping up.

I sifted through some cookbooks and found a couple crisp recipes I liked. I took the best parts of each, combined them with the ingredients I knew I wanted to use, made some tweaks, and put together my recipe. I was so pleased with the results.

These crisps are subtly flavored and really highlight the pears, as opposed to drowning them in cinnamon or other spices (but if that's more what you're looking for, it's easy to mix some spices in too). (And if you want a bigger hit of ginger, feel free to double the candied ginger.) I always enjoy a sweet crisp topping in opposition to soft, juicy fruit in this sort of dish, and that's exactly the texture combination I got. And to make these simple crisps a bit more decadent, I drizzled bittersweet chocolate on top after letting them cool slightly.

Pear, cranberry, and candied ginger crisps

Pear, Cranberry, And Candied Ginger Crisps (adapted from Baked and The Craft of Baking)
Print this recipe
Makes 4


2 pears, peeled, cored, and diced (I used 1 Bosc and 1 Starkrimson)
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flour

4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 tablespoon ginger mini chips (or chopped candied ginger)
Melted bittersweet chocolate for drizzling (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the filling: In a medium bowl, mix together pears and cranberries.

Stir in sugar and flour. Set aside while making topping.

For the topping: In a medium bowl, toss flour and butter together using a wooden spoon.

Once butter is coated with flour, work oats and sugars in with your fingers.

Once mixture starts to clump together, work in the walnuts and ginger.

Place four 10-ounce ramekins on a baking sheet. Divide the fruit evenly among the ramekins.

Then sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit.

Bake crisps for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until fruit is tender, juices are bubbling and fragrant, and topping is golden brown.

Pear, cranberry, and candied ginger crisps

Let cool for 15 minutes.

Drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired, and serve. (Once cool, crisps can be wrapped in plastic, and refrigerated. Reheat in microwave or oven.)

Pear, cranberry, and candied ginger crisps

Have you had any good pear desserts lately?


Steak And Veggies With Mini Farfalle And Balsamic Glaze

Steak and veggies with mini farfalle and balsamic glaze

I've been craving vegetables a lot lately. The other day when this craving struck yet again, I began thinking about different ways to incorporate some veggies into a meal as more of the focus rather than just a side. I remembered a box of mini farfalle with tomatoes and carrots that I had bought and knew I wanted to use them in a dish without red sauce to let their warm orange color show through. Starting with my veggie craving, the box of pasta, and the knowledge that Jeff would not be happy if I didn't work some sort of meat into the meal, I came up with the idea to make a veggie-laden pasta topped with steak and a balsamic glaze.

We had recently tried broccolini (also called baby broccoli) and really enjoyed it, so I picked up a bunch along with asparagus and a red onion. Then for the meat, I went with hanger steak because it cooks quickly and is relatively inexpensive. I used only 3/4 pound here since there were just two of us, but there's plenty of pasta and veggies to handle more meat if you're serving four. You'll just need to cook the meat in two batches. (You could also make this with chicken... or skip the meat altogether.)

Steak and veggies with mini farfalle and balsamic glaze

To flavor the pasta and veggies, I stirred in a little Parmesan cheese and squeezed lemon on top. Then I made a balsamic glaze to drizzle over the meat and pasta. I was actually running low on balsamic vinegar, so I mixed my remaining balsamic with a little Cabernet vinegar and reduced both together. The glaze was wonderful, and I imagine you could try it with other flavored vinegars as well.

Steak and veggies with mini farfalle and balsamic glaze

Steak And Veggies With Mini Farfalle And Balsamic Glaze


3/4 pound hanger steak
Salt and pepper
1 bunch asparagus, ends snapped
1 bunch broccolini, leaves removed and ends trimmed
1 large red onion, ends trimmed, halved, and cut in wedges
4 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups Barilla Mini Farfalle with Tomatoes and Carrots
1 to 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Lemon wedges


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Season steak with salt and pepper and set aside.

Arrange asparagus, broccolini, and red onion on sheet pan.

Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil.

Cook 20 to 25 minutes. Until vegetables are roasted to desired texture. I kept ours a little on the crisp side.

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil for pasta.

Meanwhile, cook the steak. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium skillet over high heat. Add steak and cook, flipping once, about 6 minutes (for medium-rare).

Transfer to a plate, and tent with aluminum foil.

Lower heat to medium and pour balsamic in pan. Reduce to about 1/2 cup.

Transfer to small serving pitcher or measuring cup with pour spout.

Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water before draining. Return pasta to pot after draining.

When veggies are done, chop broccoli and asparagus into thirds, and stir them and the red onion into the pasta.

Stir in any accumulated juices from resting steak, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and reserved pasta water, as needed. Transfer to serving bowl.

Slice steak thinly against the grain.

Transfer the pasta to plates, serving with lemon wedges or squeezing lemon over before serving.

Arrange steak over pasta, drizzle balsamic glaze on top, and serve.

Steak and veggies with mini farfalle and balsamic glaze

This flavorful meal satisfied my veggie craving, and I enjoyed every bite of it. The balsamic added both sweetness and acidity, and the steak provided extra protein for a super-filling dinner.

What meals have you been enjoying lately?