Everyone loves brunch; it’s true. Show me a person that dislikes brunch, or is even luke-warm towards it, and I’ll show you…well I can’t honestly think of anything clever, but I do have pictures of grinches and pitchforks and puppy-killers running through my head. Brunch exists everywhere, but one thing is true: nowhere does brunch like New York does brunch.
I never really understood the allure of a boozy brunch until I moved here. Now, a boozy brunch is one of my favorite parties to throw and I did just that this past weekend. There are three very important ingredients for a successful brunch: copious food, good friends, and pleeeeenty of bubbly. As long as you have those three things you’re good to go. My brunches tend to lean towards the breakfast side rather than the lunch side of brunch. Actually, they’re entirely on the breakfast side. I just don’t get the opportunity to make elaborate breakfasts very often, so when I do, I run with it. I liked how this menu turned out. There was this cake that I told you about a few days ago (broken, yet delicious). There was this baked french toast, easy to prepare the night before and throw in the oven the morning of. There was asparagus with hollandaise sauce, so easy to make and slathered on everything. There was a spring vegetable frittata…a secret family recipe that has become my go-to for brunches. There were the obligatory home fries and lox with buckwheat blinis-classics that shouldn’t be skipped-and a gingery, minty fruit salad. And, oh, there were these bacon and date scones.
“Careful, there’s meat in the scones,” is a really strange way to greet guests, but an absolute necessity when several of them are vegetarians. OMG these scones you guys. Sweet and salty, perfectly moist and tender, they were just as whimsical and mouthwatering as you might imagine. You may think that nothing could improve upon a pig-stuffed, butter-laden pastry, but you would be wrong. If you were to, say, brush the tops with BACON GREASE and then liberally sprinkle them with sugar before you bake them, THAT would push them over the edge into awesome territory. Oh man. One more scone to add to the arsenal. The only problem with a successful, 10-hour boozy brunch is that sometimes one forgets to take photos. I actually had to email all my friends to see if any pictures of the scones existed. Luckily, there was one out there. But honestly, I can think of worse problems than having too much fun (and bubbly) to take pictures.
Bacon and Date Scones
From Bon Appetit. Makes 8.
I’m serious…get on these.
10 oz thick-cut bacon slices
2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t coarse kosher salt
3/4 c coarsely chopped pitted Medjool dates
1/2 c (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter (VERY cold!!)
2/3 c buttermilk
Raw sugar (or any sugar)
- Heat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a heavy skillet, cook bacon until done, but not quite crisp. Drain on paper towels and save the bacon grease
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt
- Roughly chop the cooled bacon. Add the bacon and dates to the flour mixture and toss
- Using a box grater, coarsely grate the cold butter into the flour mixture and stir in with a fork
- Add the buttermilk and stir with a fork until clumps form
- Dump the onto a floured surface and pat/knead it into a 1″ thick round disk. Try not to handle it too much
- Cut the dough into 8 wedges , place on the parchment-lined pan and chill at least 2 hours
- Brush each scone with bacon grease, sprinkle with raw sugar and bake ~16-18 minutes or until golden brown