I have a dirty little secret.
I can’t cook bacon. Every time I try to fry it, I burn it. On the rare occasion where it isn’t Cajun-style bacon, it’s undercooked. I’m not sure which is worse – blackened beyond recognition or super chewy bacon fat. Both are pretty bad.
So, as it’s generally safer for me to keep bacon out of the house, I’ve lived with my inability to cook bacon. That way I can only have it when I’m not cooking at home and it’s not tempting me from the meat drawer of my refrigerator.
The thing about not being able to cook bacon, though, is that I also can’t make things that require cooked bacon. Like an old breakfast favorite my dad used to make – Hoppel Poppel (which is this tasty breakfast casserole, only Dad would switch up the meats & often use bacon instead of the salami called for). I couldn’t even do bacon & eggs if I wanted to.
And then I found a recipe for a savory breakfast muffin – it was PERFECT for a breakfast potluck at work celebrating a birthday. Except I needed 6 slices of crispy cooked bacon to make the muffins. So, I picked up some turkey bacon at Trader Joe’s (try to keep the fat down a tiny bit & not waste good bacon if I failed) & decided to try baking it. A quick search turned up easy and quick instructions – bake in a single layer at 400ºF for about 20 minutes. Result: crispy bacon, no burning. And for the muffins, the turkey bacon was just perfect. For eating, not as much.
The muffins turned out particularly tasty & I think they’d be delicious without the bacon – just some cheddar muffins. I may try that next time. It would be almost like having the Cheddar Bay biscuits from Red Lobster made at home.
I’m not going to reprint the recipe for the Cheddar Bacon Muffins, as I didn’t really change them. I did go with whole milk (I figured if I had to buy milk just for these muffins, I might as well go whole hog) and I used dark brown sugar since that’s what I have on hand. They were quite amazing, really. The sugar adds just a hint of sweetness & the cheese mixed throughout is just fantastic. You can never go wrong with cheese.