Wake up to flaky blueberry scones made with smoky bacon, cheddar cheese and juicy blueberries. Don’t forget to add a smear of sweet cinnamon sugar spread.
This post is sponsored by Minerva Dairy. The opinions contained within are my own.
My ideal Saturday morning has changed a lot in the last 10 years. Sleeping in these days usually means 7 a.m. (how did I EVER sleep until noon?). I envision sunlight slowly creeping in through the windows. Birds are chirping. The house is quiet (this IS a fantasy after all). I’m sitting down with a cup of coffee that’s still hot and a warm baked good straight from the oven. This cheddar bacon blueberry scone recipe, loaded with juicy blueberries and salty bacon, definitely fits into my fantasy.
What’s the difference between a biscuit and a scone?
Side-by-side, a scone recipe and a biscuit recipe look almost identical with the exception of one ingredient – eggs. Scones contain eggs. Biscuits do not. The addition of the egg transforms a scone into something denser than its light and fluffy relative.
Biscuits are traditionally rolled out with a rolling pin, cut into rounds using a biscuit cutter or the edge of a drinking glass and brushed with a little melted butter. Scones are pressed into a circle, cut into triangles, and brushed with an egg wash before baking.
The importance of high quality butter in baking
Butterfat is fat that naturally occurs in butter. Fat content is important when it comes to baking items where a flaky texture is desirable – such as scones, biscuits or pie crusts. As fat heats during baking, it melts, creating steam. When the steam evaporates, it creates pockets in the dough. That’s what gives you that delicious texture.
For baking, choose a butter that contains more butterfat and less water. High butterfat content creates a softer texture, faster melt and a richer, more buttery flavor. Water can create a tough pastry and also cause shrinkage (how many times have you pulled a pie out of the oven only to discover your pie crust pulled away from the edge of the pie plate?).
In the U.S., traditional butter contains at least 80% butterfat. You may hear some die-hard bakers herald the superiority of European-style butters, which have started popping up in more and more grocery stores lately, which contain approximately 83% butterfat.
Why Minerva Dairy makes better butter
Minerva Dairy goes above and beyond – their Amish butter contains 85% butterfat! They’ve been making butter for six generations (125 years to be exact), making them the oldest family-owned creamery in America that produces traditionally made, slow-churn butter from pasture-raised cows.
What makes their butter Amish? Their ingredients are sourced from local communities, all their butter is made in small batches and it’s slowly churned, which introduces less air into the product and results in a thicker, creamier, and richer butter.
I decided to do a taste test to compare Minerva Dairy unsalted butter against the store brand unsalted sweet cream butter I would purchase for day-to-day use. Sweet cream just means the cream used in the butter was not fermented. The store brand butter definitely had a slightly sweet flavor, but not enough to noticeably change the flavor in my baking. But beyond that, the taste of the store brand butter was a little waxy and flat. The butter from Minerva Dairy definitely had more of a creamy, buttery flavor. I could eat it off a spoon (in fact, I did!).
Where to find Minerva Dairy products
First, I recommend checking out the Find Us page on their website. Enter your zip code and their interactive map will show you the exact location of every store that carries the brand and what flavor(s) they have in stock. The map will even allow you to search by a specific product.
How to make Cheddar Bacon Blueberry Scones
To begin, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine two cups of all-purpose flour, two tablespoons of white granulated sugar, two teaspoons of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
We want flecks of butter evenly dispersed throughout our dough. To me, the easiest way to do this is to grate really cold butter on a box grater. As butter gets warmer, it starts to melt. We don’t want this to happen until the scones are baking in the oven. That’s why it’s super important to use ultra-cold butter. Don’t remove the butter from the refrigerator until right before you’re ready to use it. Once you’ve grated 1/3 cup of butter, mix it into the dry ingredients until it is evenly combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together ¾ cup of buttermilk, one large egg and one tablespoon of neutral tasting oil, such as vegetable or canola oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until it’s moistened. Do not overmix the dough. This will create tough scones.
Carefully fold in 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries, four strips of chopped, cooked bacon and one cup of shredded cheddar cheese. If using frozen blueberries, don’t thaw them beforehand. They will break up during mixing, release their juices and discolor the dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough 10 times. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and then pat down until you have an 8-inch circle, about the same size of a salad plate.
Cut the circle into eight equal wedges. I recently inherited this nifty segmented cast iron cornbread skillet that I thought would be perfect for baking my wedges. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, simply place the wedges on a greased baking sheet.
Whisk together the second large egg with one tablespoon of milk. Brush the egg mixture over the top of the wedges. Sprinkle the tops of each wedge with sugar.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of a scone comes out clean. Allow the scones to cool for five minutes before serving.
How to Make Cinnamon Sugar Spread
The bacon adds a little hint of salty smokiness to the scones. I like to pair warm scones with a healthy smear of sweet and creamy cinnamon and sugar spread. Simply allow one stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter to soften at room temperature for about 30-45 minutes.
Once the butter is soft, combine it with one teaspoon of sugar and one teaspoon of ground cinnamon. I like to store the spread at room temperature so it’s easier to spread. However, for long term storage, scoop the cinnamon sugar spread into a covered container and place it in the fridge.
How to Store Cheddar Bacon Blueberry Scones
These easy blueberry scones are best when served hot right out of the oven. Leftovers should be placed in an airtight container in the fridge and should be eaten within five days. Baked scones can also be frozen. Simply wrap each individually in a layer of plastic wrap. Allow frozen scones to thaw on the counter for 30-45 minutes before reheating.
Can I freeze unbaked scones?
What could be better than having a ready supply of scones anytime you want? To freeze unbaked scones, simply cut the dough into wedges, arrange them on a baking sheet, then place the baking sheet on a level surface in the freezer.
Once frozen solid, wrap each individual blueberry scone in plastic wrap. You could follow with a layer of foil just to ensure the dough doesn’t get freezer burn or absorb any weird flavors. Blueberry scone dough will keep in the freezer for up to six months.
The scones can be baked right from frozen. Follow the cooking instructions in the recipe, but add an additional 2-3 minutes of baking time.
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Cheddar Bacon Blueberry Scones
For the scones:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar divided
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup cold Minerva Dairy unsalted butter cubed
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 large eggs divided
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 4 bacon strips cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon milk
For the cinnamon sugar spread:
- 1/2 cup (1 sticMinerva Dairy unsalted butter softened
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sugar
To make the scones:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- Cut in butter (I prefer to grate cold butter using a box grateand mix it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil and one large egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened (do not overmix).
- Gently fold in the in blueberries, bacon, and cheese.
- Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. Knead 10 times. You can sprinkle a little flour over the dough if the dough is a little sticky.
- Form the dough into a ball. Then pat down until you have an 8-inch circle (about the size of a salad plate).
- Cut the circle into eight wedges. Place the wedges on a greased baking sheet.
- Mix together the remaining egg and milk. Brush egg wash over the top of the wedges. Sprinkle the wedges with the remaining two tablespoons of sugar.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of a scone comes out clean. Allow the scones to cool for five minutes.
To make the cinnamon sugar spread:
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl until well combines. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow the butter to soften at room temperature before serving.