Monday, June 23, 2014

"Why is Bacon So Good?" and the Universal Muffin

Because it's bacon!

This is one of Chuck's favorite sayings, so I thought I would try a recipe with several of his key food groups represented:

Spicy Bacon and Beer Muffins

If you  also love the noble pig, here's some real bacon-porn.

 Cooking Light has promised me these!  They look hearty!
3 T dark brown sugar
2 t water
1/2 t Cayenne pepper
3 smoked bacon slices
3 T old-fashioned rolled oats
1 T flour
1 T unsalted butter, melted

1 3/4 C flour
1/2 C packed brown sugar
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
2/3 C stout beer (I used Murphy's)
3 T oil
1 t vanilla
1 large egg, lightly beaten


 1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil; place a wire rack on the baking sheet.  I don't have a wire rack.  I used a broiler pan instead, which worked fine.  Don't forget the foil, or you will regret it.
 2.  To prepare streusel, combine 3 T brown sugar, 2 t water and Cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

 3.  Spread the mixture evenly over both sides of the bacon.  Or, just stick it in the sugar/pepper mixture and slosh it around.  But wash the Cayenne pepper off your fingers when you're done,  or you'll regret it.  This is becoming an "...or you'll regret it" recipe.  Bacon and beer, and fraught with danger!
 Place the bacon on the rack.
 Bake it for 18 minutes or until done. Yes, folks, we're bakin' bacon.   The drippings are full of sugar, so they will burn in the bottom pan and really gunk it up.  You won't care, though:  celebrate the invention of foil.  Remember that there is smoke from the burning sugar and the smoke is also infused with Cayenne.  Every time I opened the oven to check on the bakin' bacon, I had a fit of coughing.  More danger.
 Bake it at 400 degrees F for about 18 minutes, or until done.  Let it cool.
 Finely chop.
 3.  Combine oats and 1 T flour in a small bowl.
 Stir in the butter.
 Stir in 2 T of the chopped bacon; reserve the remaining bacon.  Threaten all those who try to pick at it and steal it by telling them that it has been infused with freakish amounts of Cayenne.

 4.  Reduce your oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cups and place in a large bowl.  Add remaining bacon, 1/2 C brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.  Stir well.
 In a medium bowl, combine beer, oil, vanilla and egg.  Stir gently with a whisk.
 Add the beer mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until combined.
 5.  Evenly distribute the mix among your muffin cups.  Think to yourself that they look kind of skimpy.  Cooking Light always manages to make their portions look huge when they are in fact small.  Yes, I know.  We're cooking LIGHT. Whatever.
 Sprinkle the streusel over the batter.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean.  Cool them for a few minutes, them take them out of their cups to continue cooling.

The kids loved them.  They ate them after supper last night and again for breakfast this morning.  I thought that the candied bacon was THE BOMB.  The muffins were a little bit ho-hum as a setting for them.  I find myself wishing I would just have the bacon back.  Chuck thought they should be sweeter and said that he likes his "muffins to be muffins".  I'm still trying to figure out what that means.  How do we define the Universal Muffin?  A question to ponder for sure.

Final analysis.  Ponder the Universal Muffin while eating bacon candied in brown sugar and Cayenne whenever you can.  Don't bother with these.


  1. I'm with Chuck regarding muffins. If I'm gonna indulge in a muffin, it better have sugar crusted all over the top. God, I love bacon. Do you know anyone who does not like bacon? Even Bing, the queen of careful eaters, swoons over one small bite of it.

  2. Unusual muffins, they seem. I think Mark would love 'em.
    I love your pics of the whole process.