Definitely not a typo. I put freshly cracked black pepper in a rich cream scone and topped it with a maple glaze. Stay with me here. I dreamt up this breakfast combo one night when a friend said that he ‘just didn’t get the whole chicken and waffles thing.’ I quietly died a little inside. What’s not to love? Salty fried chicken + maple syrup.
It really got me thinking. I believe the chicken and waffles obsession goes beyond the salty-sweet flavor combination. If it was simply salt + sweet that we loved, we would pour salted caramel sauce on all of our meats. I decided (or was it divinely revealed to me?) that the secret is actually a third component—the black pepper on the chicken.
I hemmed and hawed on it for a little while. Then, I was reading my favorite food magazine (Taste of the South) and came across a recipe for black pepper and cane syrup sauce. It was meant to be.
But hey, if the pepper freaks you out, leave it out. The scones are delicious without it, too. This recipe makes two giant scones. It couldn’t be easier, because we’re not going to roll or cut out the scones. After we crumble the butter into the flour mixture and stir in the cream, just divide the dough in half by eye, and mound it into rough circles on the baking sheet. The more rustic the edges, the more crannies there are for that maple glaze. Mmm hmm.
You could even make these black pepper scones on a week day morning since it uses cold butter. Mix all the ingredients in one bowl, and then scoop it straight on the cookie sheet. You can do this! You can also do the black pepper part, too, I promise.
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 large egg yolk
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon heavy cream
- 1½ tablespoons real maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and black pepper. Dice the butter and add it to the flour mixture. Work the butter into the flour mixture until it's evenly distributed and smaller than peas. Use two knives, a pastry cutter, or your hands.
- Next, add ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and the egg yolk in a small bowl and beat together. Pour this on the flour mixture and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Don't overmix, but incorporate things well.
- Scoop roughly half of the dough out and use the warmth of your hands to make it stick together. Mound it on a cookie sheet in a rough circle shape. Repeat with the remaining dough. Brush the scones with the remaining 1 tablespoon of heavy cream.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and they lightly brown on the edges.
- While the scones bake, whisk together the maple glaze ingredients. Pour on the scones when they come out of the oven. Serve immediately.