I have a confession: I hate bacon. I have never liked it, and I did not think I ever would…until I tried this delicious appetizer! What is the secret? Drizzling these with pure maple syrup, and sprinkling them with black pepper makes all the difference in the world!
Trust me – you will WANT to try these, again and again.
Maple Brown Sugar Smokies
The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, January 17th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
Maple Brown Sugar Smokies are an appetizer to please…
I have a confession to make, and I figure I might as well make it here and now. I’m not a fan of bacon! I have never liked the taste, the smell, the texture – anything! I have tried it every way imaginable, and I’m just not a fan. I can’t believe the “bacon market” that’s out there. Has anyone else noticed this? You can buy “I love bacon” t-shirts, socks, bumper stickers, hats and even band-aids! I’m still waiting for the “I love donuts” trend – now that’s a trend I could hop on. Regardless, I just don’t understand the Nation’s fascination with bacon. Before you email me, let me explain something. How do you like your bacon? Do you like your bacon cooked a little and still soft, or hard and crisp? Well, if I will eat a piece of bacon, I have to have it hard and crisp – and with a lot of maple syrup poured over the top. I believe I was at Hardee’s with my Grandma Barbra years ago when I made this revelation. This flavor of bacon with maple has followed me for years, but I was never a fan of bacon, so I was limited how I could use my discovery…
That is, until I found a popular appetizer appearing again and again on my family’s table. The little bacon wrapped brown sugar smokies would disappear just as fast as they would appear. I tried them, and I just wasn’t a fan. My Dad, Jamie, loves these as an appetizer, a meal, or a snack, so I found myself making them for him quite a bit. One day, I decided to experiment with the recipe, and finally use my maple and bacon flavor combination. I added a little maple syrup to the brown sugar smokies and added a little black pepper. Talk about all the difference in the world! My Dad, and everyone else, loved them! And guess what? I even liked them! There’s something about bacon, maple and black pepper that go together perfectly. I highly recommend you give this twist a try…
Maple Brown Sugar Smokies
These can be made ahead, baked off, and reheated in a 350 degree oven for about fifteen minutes. Instead of using pure maple syrup, substitute the same amount of pineapple juice for a fresh Hawaiian flavor. Also try serving these alongside a honey-mustard dipping sauce, or even a barbeque-based sauce!
1 pound of bacon
1 (16 oz.) package little smokie sausages
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon black pepper
Toothpicks, soaked in water
Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and submerge toothpicks in a small bowl of water. This will ensure the toothpicks won’t burn in the oven.
Cut the pound of bacon, evenly, into thirds. Wrap each slice of bacon around a little smokie, and secure with a toothpick. Place on prepared baking sheet.
Continue wrapping bacon around the sausages, securing with a toothpick, and placing on the prepared baking sheet until all the bacon is used.
Sprinkle the light brown sugar evenly over all of the bacon wrapped smokies.
Next, drizzle over evenly the pure maple syrup, and sprinkle with the black pepper.
Place in preheated oven, until the bacon is crispy and the brown sugar melted, which will take about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool slightly before serving.