I stumbled on the Improv Cooking Challenge hosted by Lesa of Edesia's Notebook. The idea: we are assigned two ingredients and are challenged to create a recipe with those two things. February's assigned ingredient: Coffee and Cream.
Note: this is not my Improv Cooking Challenge offering for February. But it was one that I developed because of the challenge. I figured I'd share it now. I'm certain that I will be making this again soon. They were devoured quickly!
First, a note about coffee. I love coffee. I don't mean I like it a lot. I mean I am borderline obsessed. Ever since I researched and wrote an article - Bean to Cup: Coffee is Getting A Lot More Local for Edible Monterey Bay's Winter 2013 issue - I have been a coffee fanatic. And one of my favorites is a local-to-me company Verve Coffee Roasters. So, for this recipe, I started with their La Esperanza, a single origin bean from Guatemala.
Second, there are two parts to this. One - candying the bacon. And two - making the scones. It's worth all the effort. I promise.
- 1 pound thick-cut bacon
- 1 T ground coffee
- 1/2 C organic dark brown sugar
- 2 T freshly brewed coffee
- 2 ½ C flour (I refrained from using whole wheat)
- ½ C organic granulated sugar
- ½ t baking soda
- 1 t baking powder
- 8 T cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 C chopped candied coffee bacon
- 1 C shredded parmesan cheese
- 2/3 C heavy organic cream
- 1 egg
- 2 T cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Blend the coffee, coffee grounds, and sugar together to form a paste. Lay your bacon on a wire rack over a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon half of the coffee mixture on top of the bacon slices, spreading it over the entire surface. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the bacon over, spooning the remaining mixture over that side of the bacon. Bake for another 15 minutes. If the bacon isn't as crisp as you would like, return it to the oven.
Preheat the oven to 400 degreesF. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Using your hands, or a pasty cutter, blend the butter into the dry ingredients, forming flat leaves of butter inside the flour mixture. Add the bacon, parmesan cheese, and egg to the bowl. Pour in the 2/3 C of cream. Press the dough together until it form a ball.
Transfer to a baking stone or a floured surface. Gently press into a disc. Cut the disc into wedges and carefully pull the scones apart so that they are separated by about an inch.
Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. The scones will be nicely raised and slightly golden.