'Lil mischief, family fun, and "Parties We Have Held"
A combination of recipes from bassjunkiesfishingaddiction.blogspot.ca and www.foodnetwork.com. Makes 24 cupcake sized mini-cheesecakes. I often halve the recipe.
For the bacon and crust:
8 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 tablespoons sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
24 graham cracker squares or 12 whole rectangles
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt
For the cheesecakes:
• 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
• 1 c. maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 c. heavy cream (I use milk, turns out fine)
• 5 eggs
Make the bacon: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the bacon pieces in a large skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost completely browned, about 4 minutes. Pour off the drippings and reserve. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons brown sugar over the bacon and cook, stirring, until the bacon is crisp and glazed, about 3 more minutes. Transfer the candied bacon to a plate; set aside until ready to use.
Make the crust: Line 24 cup muffin pan with paper liners. Pulse the graham crackers, butter, sugar, 2 tablespoon bacon drippings, and the salt in a food processor until finely ground.(*Next time I am going to consider using only bacon grease, no butter.) Firmly press 1 tablespoon of the crumb mixture into each muffin liner. Bake until the crust is set, about 12 minutes. (Note – do not need to do this – it made the crust a little too crunchy last time. Some recipes do not have you prebake the crust.) Let cool in the pan on a rack.
Make the cheesecakes: Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
With a hand blender or a stand mixer, blend your room temp cream cheese with 1/2 c. of the maple syrup (I sometime add more). Add in the cream and the vanilla continue to blend.
Add the eggs one at a time and make sure they are all fully blended prior to adding the next one. Once all are blended you can pour the mixture onto the crust. 1/4 c per cupcake.
Bake 20 min. Makes 24 mini-cheesecakes
When the cheesecake has rested you can drizzle some of the remaining maple syrup on top and sprinkle the crumbled bacon. Let cool in the fridge for 10-12 hours. If you are making it a head of time and want to freeze it, I recommend doing so prior to topping it, then adding the Bacon prior to serving