Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bacon Christmas/Maple Bacon Cheesecake


The patron saint of Bacon Christmas

So last year we were invited to participate in a new holiday celebrated by my brother and sister-in-law called Bacon Christmas. Yes, I’m saying that there is something bacon that I didn’t create, I only got to bore witness to, but I was very thankful that I did. From the Bacon bearded, eye-patched, Bob Dole Whiskey offering to the two pounds of bacon-covered turkey, to the Corned-beef stuffing, it was a holiday celebration of excess and awesomeness.

Maple Bacon Cheesecake
Bacon Christmas was all about food (bacon), strong drink, friendship and Rock Band; lots and lots of wig wearing, heavily caped Rock Band. But at its core this new holiday was an excuse for friends to get together and celebrate the holiday season, something that is lost on the more commercial holidays (no Bacon Christmas Hallmark Cards yet to my knowledge). As I said, last year Jaclyn and I attended our very first Bacon Christmas celebration and we brought some offerings to lift up to the bacon gods both made and purchased. Our contributions were Chocolate Topped Peanut Butter Bacon Bars and Maple Bacon Cupcakes (made) and several items from ThinkGeek like Bacon Frosting, Bacon Gravy, and Bacon Mayonnaise. Everything went over well and I was happy with both the day and the chance to bake some crazy creations. But Bacon Christmas 2011 happened quickly and then was gone, leaving me to count down the days until the next Bacon Christmas, and a whole year to plan a festive bacon dish. Well, 2012 turned out to be a pretty big year for me, a lot bigger than originally planned. Some of it you can read about on here, some of it was left unwritten. Why unwritten you ask? Simple. Something, or more like a someone, entered my life this year and his coming changed everything. I’m referring to my son Xavier, who was conceived back in February (that’s right we went to PAXEast pregnant) and was born Thursday the 22nd a Thanksgiving miracle! My original bet was he was going to be born on Bacon Christmas, traditionally celebrated the Friday after Thanksgiving and if this was ThePrice is Right I think I was the closest bidder without going over. My little turkey meant some plans were shifted. Jaclyn and I were a little busy (happily) on Bacon Christmas 2012 so the shadow of ol’ Bob Dole didn’t grace us with his presence. Maybe it was because we didn’t have time to leave him out a whiskey shot? Either way, Bacon Christmas 2012 came and went and I never had time to make this year’s creation: a Maple Bacon Cheesecake. 

Xavier my little Thanksgiving Turkey
Now X, if you’re reading this, first I’m impressed because you’re only a baby and second, wait, before we get to that, how are you on a computer and were is your mom or I? Probably finally passed out, huh? Anyway, back to second, Daddy’s not mad he missed Bacon Christmas, he was very happy to spend the day with you and looks forward to baking with you in the future, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about that Maple Bacon Cheesecake. You see X, you did finally take a little bit of a nap (sort of) which gave Dad time to make a delicious cheesecake that even though it wasn’t to celebrate Bacon Christmas it still came out great. And now I’m going to stop being so long winded and tell the nice people reading this just how I made it, ok?

Maple Bacon Cheese Cake
Ingredients

Crust*:

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick melted salted butter

Filling:

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

1 Pound of Bacon
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Maple Syrup

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For crust:

In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch spring form pan. Set aside.

For filling:

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add maple syrup, eggs, egg yolk, heavy cream, and sugar. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.

Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

For topping:

You can either prepare the bacon at the same time as the cheesecake and refrigerate it or wait until just before you serve the cheesecake.

Preheat Oven to 400 degree F.

Lay bacon in a cookie sheet or baking pan lined with aluminum foil, unless using a stone pan, then you can skip the foil. Leave a small gap between each slice of bacon to prevent the bacon from sticking to each other. Coat each strip of bacon with about two teaspoons of brown sugar or until your liking. 

Once every strip is dusted with brown sugar drizzle maple syrup on the bacon strips.

Once bacon is coated with brown sugar and maple syrup place baking pan in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes depending on your oven.

When the bacon is fully cooked remove from the oven and let cool on wire racks.
Once bacon is cooled it will have a semi-hard candy shell to it that will let you know your bacon is ready.

Now take those strips of bacon and either chop them into bite size pieces or put them through a food processor and you’ll be ready to add them to the top of your cheesecake.
Place the bacon on top of the cheesecake and use the remaining maple syrup to garnish.


*This crust recipe was taken from Paula Deen