Yes, bacon jam is real. Why I haven’t heard of it until now is probably a good thing. If I order pizza, it has bacon. The same goes for hamburgers, pasta sauce, and potato soup – they all include bacon. The thing is, I don’t eat pork but I do make an exception for bacon. (Mmmm BACON!) I was just about to make some homemade bacon jam the same exact day Hickory Farms sent me some to try out. Were they reading my mind? I don’t think I have ever ripped into a package so quickly. Actually, I take that back. I probably set the world’s record for speed unwrapping on Christmas morning when I was a kid! :D
Hot Pepper Bacon Jam from Hickory Farms has the perfect balance of spicy, sweet and smoky. It’s one of those things that you could totally eat with a spoon but I decided to stuff it into some corn muffins for a special surprise. I went with a boxed mix to save a step (and it just so happens my favorite store makes an amazing sweet mix with bits of corn throughout). You can either grab a mix or make it from scratch – it’s up to you. If you don’t have a recipe, here’s one that looks pretty similar to the mix I used, just be sure to throw in a small handful of corn for added zing.
For the “surprise” part of the muffins, I whipped some cream cheese and stirred in a couple spoonfuls of the Hot Pepper Bacon Jam. I tried using it right away at room temperature but it just melted into the muffin. I wanted to be able to see (and taste) the luscious filling just like in the photo above. Time to move onto plan B.
Plan B: In order for the cream cheese/bacon jam mixture to hold its shape in the oven, I poured it into a shallow container and let it freeze for a few hours (or in my case, overnight). I cut little cubes with a knife and placed each one over a spoonful of muffin batter. Then I covered each one with the remaining batter until they were 3/4 of the way full and baked until golden. Woo Hoo – it worked!
I went back and forth as to whether or not I wanted to use paper liners. As you can see, I ultimately decided to use them. I didn’t want to run the risk of the muffins sticking to my pan, plus, you don’t have to grease paper liners which always results in a huge mess.
Don’t these look heavenly? After I had my fill, I popped the remaining muffins into a gallon sized zip-top bag and stuck them in the freezer. This way I’ll always have some on hand the next time I make soup or a big ol’ pot of beans. To re-heat from frozen, I just grab however many I need, wrap them in foil, and place in a 350° F oven until warm. They are usually heated through by the time dinner is ready.
Have you ever heard of bacon jam? Better yet, have you ever tried it? I can definitely say since being introduced to it this past week, I’ve become a huge fan!
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons Hickory Farms Hot Pepper Bacon Jam
- Sweet Cornbread Muffin Mix (enough to make 12 muffins)
- Whip the cream cheese and stir in the Hot Pepper Bacon Jam.
- Pour into shallow container, cover, and freeze until firm. (about 4 hours or overnight)
- Once mixture is firm, cut into cubes.
- Preaheat oven to 325°F and line muffin tin with paper baking liners.
- Prepare mix according to package directions.
- Place one tablespoon of muffin batter into each paper liner.
- Add 1 cube of frozen cream cheese to each partially filled muffin cup.
- Cover with remaining batter until each one is 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes.
- Serve with a drizzle of honey and extra Hot Pepper Bacon Jam on the side.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post thanks to the generosity of Hickory Farms. However, all opinions expressed are my own, including thoughts in tweets. I am receiving compensation for this post. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.