Saturday, February 2, 2013

Maple Cheesecake Cupcakes with Bacon!

Need I say more?  Wait.  I do?  Ooookay.  The idea for these cupcakes was born from a post on Facebook.  I hate making decisions, so I posted a poll on the event page for my friends' annual Super Bowl party asking if people would prefer bacon cheese twisty things or cheesecake cupcakes with strawberries.  One of my friends commented "bacon cheese twisty things, or bacon cheesecake cupcakes."  I suggested maple cheesecake with chocolate dipped bacon?  My friend replied, "Hell Yeah!"  While I nixed the chocolate dipped bacon in favor of the simpler candied bacon, you have my friend Matthew to thank for the inspiration.

I'm using my standard cheesecake formula with a few tweaks--namely, add maple syrup and subtract lemon.  Let's get started:

Cast of Characters:  cream cheese, bacon, dijon mustard, maple syrup, pepper, salt, butter, graham cracker crumbs, sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla
put graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a bowl
add melted butter
mix those things together until the crumbs are thoroughly coated with butter

scoop the crumb mixture in your cupcake liners
fill up the liners with the cheesecake mixture
whisk together maple syrup and dijon mustard
liberally spread the maple syrup/mustard mix onto the slices of bacon

Maple Cheesecake Cupcakes with Candied Bacon
(makes 18 cupcakes)

1/2c graham cracker crumbs
1t sugar
2T melted butter
16oz cream cheese
2/3c sugar
1/3c maple syrup
3T flour
1/4t salt
2 eggs
1t vanilla
6 slices of bacon
1/2c maple syrup
1t Dijon mustard
Pinch of pepper

Cooking instructions: 
For Crust:  Preheat the oven to 350º.  Combine graham cracker crumbs, first amount of sugar, and melted butter.  Stir until graham cracker crumbs are evenly coated with butter.  Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.  Spoon the crust mixture into the cupcake liners and tamp down with your fingers.  Place the crusts in the oven and bake about 8 minutes to avoid the crumbly crust when you take the cupcake out of the liner to eat.

For Cheesecake:  Cream the cream cheese and second amount of sugar together with a mixer.  Add first amount of maple syrup, flour, salt, eggs, and vanilla and mix until smooth.  Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature; otherwise you will end up with lumpy batter.  Begin filling the cupcake liners with the cheesecake mixture.  Cheesecake doesn’t rise like other baked goods because it doesn’t have a leavening agent, but you still don’t want to overfill the cups.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Allow the cakes to cool on the counter before moving to the refrigerator to set.

For Bacon Garnish:  Arrange the slices of bacon on top of a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet.  You want the bacon fat to drain to the bottom of the pan while it’s cooking so your bacon crisps up a bit.  Whisk second amount of maple syrup and Dijon mustard together.  Liberally coat the bacon strips with the glaze.  Bake in the oven 12-15 minutes.  Take the baking sheet out, sprinkle a tiny bit of pepper on each slice, flip the bacon, coat the other side with the glaze, and return to the oven for another 8-10 minutes, or until it is at your preferred doneness.  Sprinkle pepper on the other side of the bacon.  Allow to cool before breaking each strip of bacon into thirds and arranging on top of the cheesecakes.


For a printable version of this recipe, click here (recipe will open in a new window).

Let me know what you think!  Leave me a comment here or send me an email at ellelittleblogATgmailDOTcom

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