Bacon Pralines

I know, I know. It’s gimmicky. Been done to death. Horribly unhealthy, etc. And I’m really not one to indiscriminately add bacon to things — especially sweets — but it’s something I always suspected might be worth the indulgence, so I’m not sorry for this praline adulteration. Not one bit.

I used my dad’s recipe for pralines and simply swapped out a portion of the pecans for an equal amount of chopped, cooked bacon. The results were pretty much what you’d expect. But if you’re a purist, you can’t go wrong with the original recipe. Just serve a little bacon on the side.

Find Darcie’s post here, and let us know what you think if you decide to try these!

For a roundup of all of our Advent Calendar posts for the year, click here.
Darcie can be found at her website, Gourmet Creative and on Instagram at @darcie_hunter.
Find me on Instagram at @amyrothphoto, Pinterest at @amyrothphoto and my portfolio at (you guessed it) Amy Roth Photo.

Bacon Pralines

Allergy Milk, Tree Nuts
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly
If you're looking for a dessert that's a little bit different, these bacon pralines will fit the bill. Deliciously.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 16 Large marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cup pecan halves (toasted)
  • 1/2 cup cooked bacon (finely chopped)

Note

If you'd prefer a regular praline to one loaded with bacon, simply remove the bacon and add another 1/2 cup of toasted pecan halves to the recipe, then sprinkle pralines with Maldon or other finishing salt just after you've spooned them onto the surface to cool.

Directions

Prepare your surface by covering a heat-safe area of your counter or a table with freezer paper. Spray paper well with cooking spray.
Cook sugar, butter, marshmallows, and milk over medium heat, stirring constantly until all ingredients are melted, then add pecans and bacon. Cook, stirring constantly, to soft ball stage, 240° F. Remove pot from burner, add vanilla extract and beat mixture vigorously with a spoon until it begins to thicken. This will ensure the pralines don't spread too much.
Drop mixture by tablespoon or two onto greased freezer paper. Cool to room temperature before serving.

 

Jerk Bacon Jam Bites

BACON JAM. I mean, c’mon!

I first shared the glory of bacon jam in a blog post five years ago, where I used it in all sorts of culinarily sinful ways. (Go on, check it out. I’ll wait.) I’d lightly adapted that recipe from the one at Stephanie Meyer’s brilliant Fresh Tart blog, but wanted to take it even further for this Advent Calendar. Inspired by Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster Cookbook (which would make an incredible Christmas present, fwiw) and his recipe for Jerk Bacon — which I served at Thanksgiving to rave reviews  — I added some warming jerk spices and doubled the cayenne pepper for this tongue-tingling version.

While no one would blame you for just eating it straight out of the jar, that presentation doesn’t lend itself to a party setting, so Darcie and I worked up some pretty little phyllo wedges to go with it. What was the verdict? I had to give most of the jam away because it was that good and I have that little self-control around it. So, I’d say it was a success all around.

Let us know what you think when (not if) you try it, especially if you come up with a new vehicle for getting it into your belly. Find Darcie’s post here.

Jerk Bacon Jam | Amy Roth Photo

For a roundup of all of our Advent Calendar posts for the year, click here.
Darcie can be found at her website, Gourmet Creative and on Instagram at @darcie_hunter.
Find me on Instagram at @amyrothphoto, Pinterest at @amyrothphoto and my portfolio at (you guessed it) Amy Roth Photo.

Jerk Bacon Jam Bites

Bacon jam + jerk spices + phyllo wedges make an addictive party snack.

Ingredients

Jerk Bacon Jam

  • 1 1/2lb bacon (sliced into 1-inch pieces)
  • 2 yellow onions (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled and smashed)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cups very strong brewed black coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust amount to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (toasted and ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground cardamom

Jerk Bacon Jam (Optional)

  • 1oz bourbon

Phyllo Wedges

  • 1 box frozen phyllo dough
  • 1/2 stick butter (melted)

Note

Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to your taste. I found this amount left me with a pleasant tingle on my tongue, but your mileage may vary. Recipe is adapted from the original at Fresh Tart.

Directions

Jerk Bacon Jam
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When bacon is browned, use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of drippings from the pan.
Place Dutch oven back on the burner and adjust heat to medium. Stir in the onions and garlic and saute until onions are mostly translucent, about 10 minutes. Deglaze with bourbon. Stir in the bacon and remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
Turn heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until onions are meltingly soft and the liquid is thick and syrupy, 30-40 minutes. If mixture starts to become dry, add up to 1/4 cup of water.
Transfer the bacon and onions to a food processor and pulse several times or until the bacon jam is a spreadable consistency. Scrape into a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Phyllo wedges
Remove phyllo from box, keeping it wrapped in its plastic bag, and thaw at room temperature for about two hours.
Phyllo Wedges
Preheat oven to 350°F. Carefully unroll phyllo sheets onto a flat, dry surface. Cover phyllo with plastic wrap, then a slightly damp towel to prevent it from drying out.
Remove one phyllo sheet from the package, lay it flat on baking sheet, then brush with butter. Top this layer with another phyllo sheet and repeat the buttering and layering process until you have 10 sheets of phyllo stacked together. Brush the top with butter.
Cut the stack into wedges and separate them slightly. Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool wedges to room temperature, arrange on a platter and serve with Jerk Bacon Jam on the side.

Porky pasta

Last night’s meal came courtesy of odds & ends from our kitchen and my deep and abiding love of tomatoes. With the abundance of lycopene in my system at any given time, it’s a real shame I don’t have a prostate, for if I did, it would surely be the most beauteous specimen in all the land. Neither showy nor unapproachable, but a humble and gracious gland, welcoming pilgrims from distant lands spurred to their journey by the appearance of the long-foretold wonder.

Or it would at least win many blue ribbons at county fairs.

But no, I’m just a girl, so my husband has to reap the benefits of my obsession, though our driveway isn’t exactly flooded with pilgrims or civic-minded ribbon-awarders, now that I think about it.

The odds & ends worked their way into a meal by virtue of me having no clue what to cook for dinner and remembering a couple strips of bacon, a few slices of sopressata and some onion hanging out in the fridge, the remnants of whole canned tomatoes I stuck in the freezer a few weeks ago, and a little bowtie pasta that looked pretty lonely in the pantry. Some garlic cloves demanded admittance to the party (as they always seem to do, the pushy little buggers) and hot pepper paste arrived masked as tomato paste and barged in before I realized what happened.

No, really — why is the packaging so similar between tubes of tomato and hot pepper paste? I didn’t realize anything was wrong until I’d put about a tablespoon of it into the pan and noticed it wasn’t the right color, consistency, or smell, so I looked at the tube to make sure it hadn’t expired and realized my mistake. Well, my screw-up turned out to be a stroke of luck. The paste added a real zing to the sauce I wouldn’t have gotten from pepper flakes alone, so now I have another ingredient in my arsenal I wouldn’t have if I’d been paying attention.

This wasn’t the typically meat-free meal I like to make on weeknights, but if I eat vegequarian 90% of the time, I don’t mind treating myself every now and then; it’s the only way to stay sane. And let’s face it, pork is the penultimate treat.

The ultimate? Tomatoes, of course.