When you think of Canadian staples, your mind probably goes straight to hockey, Tim Horton’s coffee and donuts, and a personal favourite of many, bacon.
It seems like the rest of the world just caught on a few years ago to the wonder that is bacon, and Canadians everywhere have been nodding knowingly as chefs add it donuts, glaze it in maple, and sprinkle it on mac and cheese. It really does add a punch to everything you make.
Because today is National Bacon Day, a day to celebrate all things bacon, I’ve got a few bacon recipes you definitely need to try.
Beer and bacon mancakes
What happens when you mix bacon, beer, and pancakes? You get something Betty Crocker calls mancakes. You might want to put these on your “must try” list for 2017. Photo and recipe from Betty Crocker.
1/2 lb bacon (8 slices)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups Bisquick mix
1 cup of your favorite regular or nonalcoholic beer
Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with foil. Place wire rack on top of cookie sheet. Arrange bacon in single layer on top of rack. Bake 10 minutes.
Sprinkle bacon with half the brown sugar. Bake 10 minutes longer. Turn bacon over; sprinkle with remaining brown sugar. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until golden brown. Remove from rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. Crumble bacon into small pieces; set aside.
Heat griddle or skillet over medium-high heat or electric griddle to 375°F; grease with vegetable oil or shortening.
In medium bowl, beat Bisquick mix, beer and eggs with whisk until blended. If batter is too thick, add additional beer until desired consistency. Stir in bacon. Pour by 1/2 cupfuls onto hot griddle. Cook until edges are dry. Turn; cook until golden brown.
Bacon Apple Pie Recipe
If you’ve ever had an apple fritter with bacon crumbles from your favourite donut shop, you’ll love the combo of apple pie and bacon. Once you try it you’ll love it more than apple pie and ice cream. Photo and recipe from food.com.
2 cups apple pie filling (approx)
1 pie crust
1⁄8 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
10 -12 slices bacon (uncooked)
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Mix apple pie filling, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice in a bowl and pour into pie crust (in a pie pan or tin). Smooth with a spatula.
Create bacon weave on top of pie: Lay two strips across the pie so that they intersect in the middle and are at right angles. Turn the pie so that the lower strip points toward you. Continue adding more bacon to the left and the right, creating an alternating over-under pattern with the single strip that runs side-to-side.
At this point, there should five or six strips of bacon pointing toward the front of the pie and one strip running side-to-side which weaves over and under the other five or six strips.
Begin laying a strip of bacon next to the on running side-to-side. Start at one end and create an over-under pattern opposite the first one by lifting up alternating strips, laying this piece down, and replacing the strips you lifted. Continue on both sides until the pie is completely covered in a bacon lattice with an alternating over-under weave.
Trim the ends that hang over the sides. Save these trimmings for use in recipes that call for diced bacon (you can freeze them).
Bake 45-60 minutes, or until bacon is crispy and completely cooked. You may want to bake this over a baking sheet in case apple or bacon grease ooze over the sides.
Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with caramel praline, dulce de leche, or similar ice cream. If desired, you can cooked up the bacon trimmings and garnish the ice cream with them.
Maple French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes
What better dessert to make on National Bacon Day than this sweet treat? It’s the perfect Canadian combo of maple and bacon, and they are so good you’re going to want to make a double batch to share. Photo and recipe from food.com.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 (4 ounce) box vanilla instant pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon potato starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1⁄4 cup maple syrup
1⁄2 cup half-and-half, at room temperature
1⁄2 cup bacon, chopped and cooked
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1⁄4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.
Prepare the cupcakes:
Combine the flours, pudding mix, baking powder, potato starch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl with a whisk.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugars with a mixer on low speed until combined, 6 to 8 minutes. Gradually mix in the vanilla and egg whites. Scrape down the sides of the bowl; continue mixing until light and fluffy.Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the maple syrup and half-and-half. mixing after each addition and ending with flour.Mix until the ingredients are just combined; do not overmix. Fold in the bacon.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about three-quarters of the way. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting:.
Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add the confectioners sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon; beat until combined. Spread on the cooled cupcakes; top with chopped bacon, if desired.
These three recipes are the perfect ways to celebrate National Bacon Day in Canada. You can jump in and have more bacon-related fun by following all of the bacon fandom happening on Twitter under the hashtags #NationalBaconDay and #Ilovebaconmorethan.
If you need a few kitchen appliances and gadgets to make these great bacon recipes, here are a few of my favourites:
Main image from goodhousekeeping.com