Monday, February 7, 2011

Superbowl Sweets

For our Superbowl party yesterday, I made these quick and easy Oreo cheesecakes from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book for dessert.  They were a huge hit, especially with a whole Oreo serving as the bottom crust.  However, I realized that even though they were portable, these keep cold desserts were not suitable to just leave out with the rest of the food.  I had to leave them in the fridge and remember to bring them out later in the game when I assumed people were ready for dessert. 

In addition, I made maple bacon kettle corn for people to snack on throughout the game.  I have made kettle corn before but when I saw this one that took it to another level with the addition of bacon, I had to give it a try.  Not for the faint of heart as you use the leftover bacon grease to pop the popcorn!  Ingenious!

Maple Bacon Kettle Corn
slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Makes about 20 cups

4 slices bacon, cooked and grease reserved
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 cup corn kernels for popping
1/4 cup cooking oil (use the reserved bacon grease and add extra vegetable/canola/olive oil to make ¼ cup)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Fry the bacon in a skillet until brown and crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool. Once cool, chop into small pieces and toss with the maple syrup.

Measure out the reserved bacon grease into a measuring cup. If you don’t have a 1/4 cup, add vegetable, canola or olive oil to make 1/4 cup total.

Heat the stove to medium heat, put the cooking grease/oil in a large pan, and add 3 popcorn kernels.  Once you hear the kernels pop, that means the oil is ready.

Add the rest of the kernels, sprinkle with the sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid.

Use two pot holders to hold lid on the pan and shake the pan for 3 seconds, then return to the burner for 3 seconds. Continue to do this often throughout the popping process, alternating between lifting/shaking and leaving on the burner.

Once the popping has slowed down, remove the lid, and salt the popcorn with the remaining salt. Use a large spoon to stir the popcorn. Toss in the bacon and maple syrup mixture. Mix together and serve immediately.

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