Bacon, cheddar, & scallion scones: love at first bite

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Savory scones? Not an oxymoron. Scones don’t have to be made with sugar and spice and everything nice. They can be made with smoky bacon, and cheese, and aromatic scallions… like these.

Reader Kathleen May recently wrote suggesting that I try to duplicate the over-the-top bacon, cheddar & scallion scones sold at the Atlantic Baking Co. (familiarly known as ABC), a bakery in Rockland, Maine, a town midway up Maine’s stunning 3,478-mile coast. Of course, my competitive urges kicked in. Just as with Berger Cookies (“Baltimore’s Finest”), or Grùyere-Stuffed Cheese Loaves (“Hot Cheese Bread”), where I simply had to figure out how to do it yourself—these scones piqued my imagination.

I explored ABC’s Web site, hoping to find a picture of these wondrous, soon-to-be-imitated scones. No luck, though I did find a short description: “Bacon Cheddar Scallion Scones—Our cream scones with a savory twist.” Ah-HA! Clue #1. They’re made with cream. I also found a picture of their fruit scones, which were made in the traditional wedge shape. So that was Clue #2. But beyond that—well, it was time for my imagination to take over.

As it turned out, I really didn’t need much imagination to make this happy dream come true. A cream-based biscuit dough, with a bit of butter for flakiness. And in the dough, cooked, crumbled bacon; coarsely crumbled cheddar cheese; and snipped chives or scallions. Very straightforward. All I had to do was put the ingredients in a bowl, and they practically threw themselves at one another. It was love at first sight. And later, love at first bite.

I ran the recipe past Kathleen, my virtual judge. She told me she thought they had more filling than ABC’s, but sounded similar. So, anyone who’s up around Maine this summer, if you get to Rockland—ABC is at 351 Main Street. “Come in and enjoy Maine’s wonderful sunny days with the smell of the sea at your back,” says their Web site. I can vouch for that—I lived 5 miles from Rockland for 15 years, and well remember the smell of the sea. Next time I go, I’ll see if I can also pick up the faint scent of bacon scones in the air…

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So I’m ready to make these scones on a Saturday morning, and realized I’d forgotten to buy chives or scallions. DARN! Back to the store. For some reason, I decided to take the elevator rather than the stairs, pressed the button, the door swings open… and there’s two pots of chives sitting in the elevator. Really, I kid you not! I figured whoever they belonged to wouldn’t mind me snipping off a few stems. As it turned out, my fellow blogger Susan Reid had brought them in from her garden on Friday, and mistakenly left them in the elevator. Great karma!

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Next, the bacon. When you don’t feel like standing over a grease-sputtering frying pan, lay the strips on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake them instead.

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Chunk the cheese, and put it in a food processor. A mini-processor is handy, if you have one.

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Process it just enough to make small, irregular chunks. If you don’t have a processor, just grate the cheese coarsely.

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Snip the chives or scallions. I use my handy scissors (not kitchen shears; regular scissors) for everything from chunking tomatoes to snipping scallions to slicing pizza to cutting chicken preparatory to stir-frying.

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Next, whisk together the dry ingredients.

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Cut the butter in sticks…

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…and then into cubes.

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When the bacon is nicely browned, take it out of the oven.

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I had this theory that it might be easy to put together scone dough in a gallon-size zip-top freezer bag. So I put the dry ingredients, plus cheese, chives, and bacon, into the bag.

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Like this.

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I rolled it all a few times, to flatten/smear the butter cubes and work them into the flour. This method of working butter into flour to make pastry actually has a name: “frissage,” pronounced free-SAHJ. Go ahead, impress your friends with this knowledge next time you’re talking about scones or piecrust.

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Next, the cream goes into the bag.

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I squashed it around with my hands till it was well combined.

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Then dumped everything out on my floured silicone mat.

Was this method easier or better than just doing it all in a bowl? Well, it probably wasn’t easier, though the cleanup was less. But smearing the butter into the flour and working the dough very minimally might have made a more tender scone. Since I didn’t do a side-by-side test I can’t be sure, but it was a fun experiment. Give it a try sometime when you’re making scones or biscuits or piecrust, anything where you work the butter into the flour.

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Gather the dough into a smooth ball…

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…and flatten it into a 7” circle, about 3/4” thick. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet. You don’t absolutely have to use parchment, but it makes cleanup really easy.

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Cut into eight wedges…

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…and separate each wedge, so they’re not touching. Then brush with a bit of cream or milk; this will help the scones brown.

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Into the oven, and 25 minutes later, golden, bacony-cheesy scones.

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These are RICH. A special-occasion treat for sure. Absolutely delightful. Thanks to reader Kathleen May, and the Atlantic Baking Company of Rockland, Maine, for the inspiration!

Read, review, and rate (please!) our recipe for Bacon-Cheddar-Chive Scones.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Bacon, Cheddar & Scallion Scones, Atlantic Baking Company, Rockland, Maine, $2.41 each.

Bake at home: Bacon-Cheddar-Chive Scones, 64¢ each.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Diane

    PJ
    Try this with apple smoked bacon if you can find it….yum. I know what will be for breakfast tomorrow!

    Reply
  2. SarahHub

    These look scrumptious! They remind me of Prisnac, a Croation shepherd’s bread my grandmother used to make. It’s an egg bread, so probably much heavier, but it uses the bacon, scallions, and cheese. Sooo good!

    Reply
  3. Mike Libonati

    As I write this note I am munching on a nice warm sconce from the oven. I added a ¼ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper to the recipe and I used 2 percent sharp cheddar cheese. They taste great, I was having company from Florida and they loved them.
    Mike Lib

    Worth waiting for, huh, Mike? :) – PJH

    Reply
  4. breadchick

    PJ, it is official… You are trying to kill me :-)

    Tonight, while thoughtfully trimming my chives so they wouldn’t go to bloom, I thought “hm, wonder what I’m going to do with these.

    Good thing the Stop and Shop is open until 11pm so I can run and get some more cream.

    Reply
  5. Candy

    This sound wonderful! I’m having brunch in about an hour and am going to try them instead of the muffins I was planning! Thanks for a great idea. I love King Arthur!!

    Reply
  6. Chiara

    I LOVE this blog and this recipe is the most interesting yet. I can’t wait to try this. The scones will work well with soup (which I can’t bring myself to make when the weather is in the 90s. Thanks PJ! (I especially like how you figure out a recipe from a bakery or restaurant. Your thinking process and trial and error approach are a good education for us bakers.)

    Reply
  7. Chuck Eyler

    My wife says she doesn’t like scones, but I think she will love these. If not, more for me. Aw maybe I will let a neighbor try one.

    Hard not to like bacon, onion, and cheese, in my opinion. Add the flaky scone around them – what’s NOT to like?! -PJH

    Reply
  8. Ros

    Although I’ve been tempted to try some of the recipes here before, I never have, but these looked so good I had to!
    Made them for lunch today, and they taste every bit as good as they look.

    OK, Ros, now that you’ve dipped your toe into the water… go ahead and dive in! Recipes that actually WORK are our specialty- PJH

    Reply
  9. Josephine

    Do you think that the scones could be made with whole wheat flour rather than with white flour???? They look wonderful!!!!!!

    Yes, Josephine, they could. They’ll be drier, denser, and harder. Increase the cream a bit—see how they work out. Good luck! – PJH

    Reply
  10. kathy porter

    I’ve made a lighter version of these scones using KAF whole wheat flour, lean ham and buttermilk mixed with egg whites. Mexican cheese blends and red pepper add a little kick.

    Reply
  11. Barbara

    I made these scones today…to Rave reviews!! They came out moist, tender and very tasty. Did not have any Cream handy, so used 2% milk and super-sharp Cheddar cheese. They looked just like the pictures! And I love seeing how the recipes are made step-by-step – helps me to know I’m on track. Keep up the good recipes!

    Reply
  12. sbs

    Yum !
    I would like to try these with pancetta and chopped basil , maybe even sneak in a little fresh garlic .

    Reply
  13. Dulce

    Hi there!
    I just posted a comment, but I think I didn’t submitted!!!
    Well anyhow, I sure love all your recipes and tips. I love scones, eventhough I have savory recipes, I have never made them. I’m sure going to try this one, it sure sounds yummy.

    Reply
  14. elfchan

    Can I bake with whole wheat pastry flour instead of AP flour?

    Try using half WW pastry and half AP the first time you make them, then increase the amount of WW pastry if you like the results.

    Happy Baking!

    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

    Reply
  15. Halley

    I just baked these, and was eating them warm out of the oven… absolutely delicious. The best bites are the ones that have some browned cheese on top. So next time I make them, I think I’ll try sprinkling a little grated cheddar or parmesan on top before baking. Yum!

    YEAH – good idea with the cheese on top. You can also try varying the types of cheese – I think a good jalapeno cheddar would be nice, or even a strong, not-too-runny Brie… PJH

    Reply
  16. Audrey

    I made these this morning for breakfast as well! They were easy to make and delicious as well!!! Thanks PJ.

    Reply
  17. Kay

    Look soooo yummmmmyyyy!

    I love savory baked goods, must try these….

    2 questions:

    - how much flour can be replaced by whole wheat?

    - at which point would it be possible to store (freeze?) the dough to make part of it at a later time?

    Thanks!

    Hi Kay – Replace as much flour as you like, LIKE being the key – the more you replace, the drier and heavier the scones will be. Start with substituting for 1/3 of the white flour; white whole wheat is an “easier” substitute than traditional ww. For freezing, make them up to the point where they’re shaped. Freeze them on the pan, then remove and store tightly wrapped in plastic. When ready to serve, put back on a pan (frozen) and bake, adding maybe 7-10 minutes to the baking time? Not sure about that, you’ll have to experiment. Good luck! – PJH

    Reply
  18. stewcat

    I visited Rockland and the Atlantic Baking Company earlier this summer. Their baked goods are great, yummy. I have to try this recipe so I can bring back memories of their bakery. :>) It looks delish

    Reply
  19. Autumn

    Made this for dinner tonight. A definite winner. One piece was plenty, which means leftovers for tomorrow! Thanks a bunch!

    Reply
  20. Jane

    Looks great! Since it is corn season here in the midwest, I can’t think of a better addition than some fresh cooked corn kernels added in. Just cook up an extra ear of corn. Haven’t tried it, but can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be good.

    Reply
  21. Elizabeth Quigley

    Hi PJ,
    I made these tonight and they were wonderful. I used all Whole wheat Pastry Flour and they light and fluffy.
    Blessings,
    Elizabeth

    Good idea, Elizabeth. I often forget about whole wheat pastry flour, but it’s a wonderful flour to keep in the freezer and use in pastries like scones. PJH

    Reply
  22. Kathleen May

    OOOH, PJ! I am so excited reading your thorough and detailed method for making the famous ABC scones. The photographs are stunning. Thanks to the person who did them. Probably you, clever and creative person that you are. I loved all the comments from your readers. Now I am off to bed to revel in my fifteen minutes of fame, thanks to you.
    xoxox Kathleen

    Kathleen, you’re the inspiration for this post! Yes, I did the photos… you may remember I did tons of photography while with the Herald, and it’s been nice to pick it up again, although nothing in the kitchen thus far has been QUITE so exciting to photograph as, say, a Camden zoning board meeting… :) Now go enjoy an ABC scone for me, OK? -PJ

    Reply
  23. Gayle

    I have KAF all purpose & KAF pastry flour. Can I combine the two instead of using the pastry blend? If so, what ratio do I use? Thanks!

    Sure, Gayle – Using half of each should be just fine. Just add enough of the cream to make a cohesive dough. -PJH

    Reply
  24. Enrica

    PJ, I have a question about the amount of butter in the recipe. Looking at the step-by-step photos, it appears to look like more than 1/2 stick (4TBS) butter. Did you double the recipe in your demonstration? The recipe calls for 1/2 stick butter, but it looks as though there is a whole stick of butter from the photos….

    Enrica, good catch – I did cut the butter back, as with the cheese it was just too much. Use 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons butter). Thanks – PJH

    Reply
  25. Ruth

    Anyone attempted to make these gluten-free? Any suggestions for GF?

    Ruth, we’ll be coming out with a whole gluten-free section of our recipe Web site this winter. Till then – your best bet would be to find a gluten-free scone recipe, rather than try to convert this one. Gluten-free baking can be quite tricky. I can recommend our Gluten Free Baking Classics to you as a pretty thorough approach… Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  26. Shirley

    These were love at first bite for me, too! Such a nice, warm treat after shoveling snow.

    Oh, that pesky snow. Believe it or not, up here in VT we didn’t get a single flake! Our turn is coming, no doubt… Glad you enjoyed these scones, shirley – PJH

    Reply
  27. cassmac84

    my question is…..do these scones have to be baked right away or can they sit for a while. I am wanting to make these for easter breakfast but I have a half hour drive to my mothers where we are eating. Could I mix it all up, cut it and cover with foil and then pop them in at her house a while later. Or… could I refrigerate the cut scones until cold and then transport them. I just fear that I could possibly ruin them. I want them hot out of the oven!!!!!!

    Scones actually benefit from some chill time after being shaped and cut, a little like pie dough does. It gives the butter a chance to firm up again, and gets things nice and flaky. So you could shape and freeze the scones for half an hour if you wanted to, let them warm slightly as you do the drive, and pop them into the oven when you get there, no problem. Susan

    Reply
  28. cassmac84

    my question is….do these have to be baked right away? I am having easter breakfast a half hour away and am wanting these hot out of the oven. Could I prepare them up to the point of just being cut, wrap them in foil for a half an hour and then put them in the oven at location 2? Or can they be refrigerated until chilled and the transported? I dont want to freeze them unless I have to.

    Actually, scones can benefit from some chill time after mixing and shaping, just as pie dough does. It gives the fats a chance to firm up again and can give you a nice, slightly flaky result. So mix and shape away, and freeze or chill the scones on their baking pan before you do the drive. Pop them in when you get there, and you’ll have a fabulous breakfast. Susan

    Reply
  29. Jenny

    I made these a few weeks ago and they were a major hit! I will definitely make them again when my sisters come to visit for Easter. I used close to a whole lb of bacon for this (~3/4 lb), a generous cup of shredded sharp cheddar, and chives for a mild flavor. What a hit! I’ll definitely make them mini scones next time since they’re so rich.

    What a great treat for your guests and for the holiday! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  30. annetuc

    I made these the other day to serve with my Potato Leek Dumpling Soup. AWESOME! I used the technique to incorporate the butter that I learned just a couple of weeks ago at a traeling KAF demo on pie crusts. I added half the butter and rubbed it in using my fingers until all the pieces were like sand. Then I added the other half and just kind of squished those cubes into largish flat discs of butter. I refrigerated that mixture while the bacon was cooking and cooling. I got a great light and flaky texture with basically no crumble.

    Now I need to look for a non-savory scone recipe to use with my clotted cream order!

    Oh, do we have recipes for you! You’ll find a plethora of scone recipes – both savory and sweet – on our recipe pages! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  31. Kathleen

    I made these last night and they were AWESOME! I used turkey bacon and some onion because I had no chives. I also used light cream because I didn’t have heavy cream. They smelled delicious while cooking and tasted even better. I will make these again and again. They are perfect for my hubby to take to work for breakfast because he leaves the house so early, he never takes time to eat before he goes.

    Reply
  32. Carrie

    Made these last night with bacon I had leftover from Christmas breakfast, so easy and very tasty. I sprinkled the tops with some sea salt and fresh ground pepper. I overbaked them though, should have pulled them out at about 18 minutes, wonder if that was an altitude issue. I’m at about 6000 ft so I don’t usually need to adjust very much. I think I’ll drop the oven temp down to 400 next time.

    Reply
  33. obknowles

    These are now a family favorite. I have made them several times for my extended family. I told my mother I was going to make them today, for an event she can not attend. She said, “Please save me one, they are so good!”

    Great recipe!

    Reply
  34. Vickyr

    I am so excited I found this recipe! I have had this scone from ABC bakery…they used to put their goods on the boat to Monhegan Island and were sold at the Carrina..which I believe is no longer there.. They are to die for! I have been looking for a recipe for years! Thank you!

    Reply
  35. mysbhvn1

    OMG….I just made these tonight to go along with some corn chowder. My husband’s workplace can get kinda chilly so I thought it might sound good to him. We both whole heartedly agreed these were to die for!!! I made them with green onions and reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese. I am now going to go wrap the leftovers up and put them away so we don’t sit here and eat every darn one of them……thank you so much for this recipe PJ…they are sinfully good!!

    Aren’t they just the best? I love this recipe and make it often – it’s always a hit. Glad you enjoyed them (and put some away for later, too!) PJH

    Reply
  36. mailbag

    Do you think freeze-dried chives would work well in this recipe? I have some on hand and they would save a trip to the grocery.

    Sure, no problem – with the price of gas, it’s smart to save as many trips to the grocery store as possible. (Except when you’ve run out of King Arthur Flour, of course…) :) PJH

    Reply
  37. Louisa

    How long would I bake these if I were using the KAF scone pan, rather than cutting the ball into wedges?

    For the standard (8 wedge) metal scone pan, I’d say 425°F for about 14 to 18 minutes, Louisa – PJH

    Reply
  38. Louisa

    Thanks for the info about using the scone pan. Another question – I recently bought a bag of the Vermont Cheddar powder. Can I add some, to make it even “cheesier” and if so, how much would you recommend? Will adding the powder change the consistency of the dough enough to change the amount of any of the other ingredients?

    Louisa, I’d say you could add up to 3 tablespoons without affecting the dough’s consistency. Sounds yummy! PJH

    Reply
  39. sweettoothduo

    I have leftover bacon in the fridge! I know you are probably wondering why anyone has leftover bacon, but it is because I wasn’t home at dinner to eat it. (bacon and eggs for dinner-can’t beat that!). Oh wait, yes, I can… making these for breakfast tomorrow. Although I have cream in the fridge, I have always made my scones with milk. What would be the difference if I substituted milk for cream?

    The scones will be marginally tougher, but don’t let that stop you – I concur, this is a wonderful use for your leftover bacon! You may need to use a bit less milk to attain the same dough consistency, so drizzle it in slowly. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  40. KAfan

    PJH,
    These look fabulous. Can you convert this recipe to gluten free?

    Try this: Use our Gluten-Free Scone recipe, omitting the sugar. Add bacon, cheese, and chives/scallions as directed in the recipe you’re referring to. Should work out just fine. Enjoy! PJH

    Reply
  41. djsmac

    Just discovered this recipe in the Mar2012 catalog and thought I would give it a go. I reviewed the recipe and the step-by-step on your web site. I checked to make sure I had all the items that were called for. After completing the recipe and cutting it into 8 wedges I decided to use my Lodge cast iron corn bread skillet. The wedges fit into the skillet with room to spare, I cut back to 18 minutes on the time, golden brown and cooked all the way through. Only thing I would change is not to cook the bacon so crispy. I think the time in the oven made the bacon a little too hard. I’ll let you know when I make the next batch. Thanks for a great recipe.

    Great idea – I love baking scones and biscuits in my cast iron skillet. Pies, too. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  42. kim

    I finally made these scones and should have made them sooner. They are very good. It is the first time I made savory scones. I put them in the freezer for 1/2 hour before baking @ 425 degrees. I had to pull them out after 18 minutes like another person had commented. Normally my oven is right on, would it be a good idea to try a 400 degree oven?
    A 400º oven should also be fine. Sometimes it just depends on the type of pan you are using. ~Amy

    Reply
  43. jellysquare

    Made these with the freeze dried chives, 3 tablespoons and half/half. They were yummy. Also used Hormel Real Crumbled Bacon. Baked it at 400° on a baking stone, but put parchment paper on it, so the cream wouldn’t drip on it and make it messier than it is. I thought mixing in the bag would be a great idea, but it was hard to get it mixed well and a lot of dough stuck to the bag, anything I could do to avoid that next time?

    Mix in a bowl, mixing the liquid in with a fork. You can dump the clumped dough on a piece of parchment or plastic wrap and gather together using the edges of the parchment or plastic to bring the dough together instead of over handling it (kneading) which makes it tough. I hope this helps in your quest to make these savory scones. Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  44. Sarah Bryan

    Is it morning yet?!? I absolutely must make these for breakfast immediately! I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing these look…savory scones? Yes, please!

    Reply
  45. bbaker1

    I will try these scones without bacon ( sorry, don’t eat meat ), and substituting
    dill for the chives/scallions. A nearby coffee shop has cheddar /dill scones that I covet, and this is my chance to duplicate them! Thanks

    Reply
  46. bbaker1

    I’m using up my flour in preparation for Passover. This is a great place! KAF is my GO-TO place for baking. Got any kosher for Passover recipes?

    These are our top Passover recipes: http://search.kingarthurflour.com/search?p=Q&asug=&af=type%3Arecipes&w=Passover But you can also check out any of our flourless OR gluten-free recipes, too, for more ideas: http://search.kingarthurflour.com/search?asug=&view=grid&af=type%3Arecipes&w=gluten-free Finally, there is a really great blog all about baking Kosher on the Joy of Kosher website if you want to check that out, too. The more info you have, the better! Happy Baking! Kim@KAF

    Reply
  47. wellasylvia

    If you want even better oven bacon and greaseless — do what Ina Garten does. Lay the bacon strips on a cooling rack that’s set on a baking sheet and bake at 400 deg till brown, around 15-20 min. I flip them over once and I also cover the baking sheet with foil before I lay the rack on it for quick and easy clean up. You’ll never do bacon any other way again.

    Reply
  48. Mel Osche

    I’ve been baking my bacon @ 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes long before Ina Garten thought she could cook. By the way I’m 71 years young.

    Reply
  49. Becky Donahue

    At our bi-annual family reunion (over Thanksgiving) we do a chili cook off.and last year I made these scones. They are the perfect accompaniment to chili and were gobbled up ! Easy peasy and so yummy !!

    Reply
    1. Susan Reid

      We’ve been demonstrating these on the road for a few years now, and never get tired of them! You can freeze some and bake them right from the freezer, if you want to pace yourself over the calories. Susan

  50. Donna

    I make these scones all the time! They are delicious x’s 10. I even include them in my Christmas “goody boxes” I send across the country to friends. They go with anything and everyone loves them.

    Thanks KAF for wonderful recipes!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Your friends and family, do they know how lucky they are Donna? I hope so! Happy baking ~ MJ

  51. Liz

    Do they have to be refrigerated after baking if you have left over ones to eat later in week ? I wasn’t sure since there is bacon, cream and cheese in them. Thanks !

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Liz, since they have bacon in them, you might want to refrigerate if they’re going to be stored longer than a day. They reheat beautifully in the microwave. Enjoy – PJH

  52. Wanda

    Hi–my sister makes these and once cut into triangles, she freezes on a cookie sheet and once frozen, place in ziplock, then she takes out how ever many she wants lets then thaw about 30 minutes and then bakes.

    Reply
  53. anechkat

    A vegetarian wondering if it’s possible to make these (and have them be tasty) but without the bacon?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sure, you can totally leave out the bacon. They will simply become a cheese and scallion scone! Jon@KAF

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