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So the other day I was waiting for someone to come pick up some furniture at our house. After waiting for over an hour I gave up and started cooking knowing that they would show up at a critical moment. The first step in this recipe seemed so easy. Simply spread a brown sugar paste on top of a few strips of bacon and then bake in the oven. I followed the directions, popped it in the oven, then started working on the muffins.
About 10 minutes later I ran downstairs to get the laundry. When I came back up the kitchen was filling with smoke. I ran and opened the oven where plenty of smoke came billowing out. Grabbing a pot holder I pulled the bacon out and ran out the door with it, setting it down on the porch. The culprit? Some of the brown sugar mixture had dripped off the bacon and onto the pan, burning immediately.
My entire house smelled like smoke. I ran around the house opening windows when I heard a knock at the door. Of course the person was here to pick up the furniture. The house smelled burnt and he side eyed me as we went to get the furniture. As soon as he was out the door I went back upstairs and continued to open windows.
Surprisingly the bacon was not burnt. It looked a little well done but when I tried it, it was wonderful. Sweet and caramelized and crispy. The perfect combination of sweet and salty. Do yourself a favor when you cook the bacon, make a few extra pieces to snack on while you cook! Also, check on the bacon periodically and make sure the brown sugar mixture isn’t burning.
Once the bacon fiasco was over I was able to continue on with the muffins. I was surprised by how much sugar is in the muffins since to me bacon and beer mean a savory muffin. In this case it was a sweet, spicy, and salty muffin. I know that sounds weird but it’s absolutely delicious! The crumb on these muffins is heavenly and the taste isn’t far behind. It would be perfect to serve with a bowl of chili or with a slab of butter as a snack.
For the streusel:
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 3 slices bacon
- 3 Tablespoons oats
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- 1 Tablespoon butter
For the muffins:
- 1 3/4 c. flour
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
- 3/4 c. stout beer
- 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top of the baking sheet.
- To make the streusel, combine the brown sugar, water, and red pepper. Mix well. Spread the mixture over both sides of the bacon and place on top of the wire rack on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes (checking to make sure it isn't burning). Remove from oven, cool, and finely chop.
- Combine the oats and flour in a small bowl. Stir in the butter and 2 tablespoons of chopped bacon. Set aside.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and remaining bacon. Mix well.
- In a medium bowl combine the beer, butter, and egg. Stir well then add to the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
- Place muffin wrappers in 12 muffin cups. Evenly divide the batter between the muffin cups. Sprinkle the bacon and oat streusel over top of the muffins.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Source: Adapted from Cooking Light