Award-Winning* Maple Candied Bacon Cheesecake
Okay, so, by award-winning, I really only mean the IT Department Cheesecake Competition. But still good, right?
For the candied bacon:
- 1 package of bacon (12-16 ounces, depending on how much bacon you want to include – generally more is better!)
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups brown sugar
For the crust:
- 1 or 2 slices candied bacon
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter OR use the bacon grease from the candied bacon, adding enough butter to make 1/4 cup
For the filling:
- 2 8oz packs of cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (Make sure you have more for topping)
- 5 eggs
- 1/4 cup of heavy cream
- 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. Maple extract (optional)
To make the candied bacon:
- Put the brown sugar in a pan or on tinfoil
- Take each slice of bacon and press it into the brown sugar to coat it, on both sides
- Put bacon on a cookie sheet lined with tinfoil
- Put the cookie sheet into a NON-PREHEATED oven
- Turn oven on to 400 degrees, and cook until just the very tips of the bacon looks burnt, so that the rest of it is crispy – about 20-23 minutes
- Take the sheet out of the oven, and using tongs, remove the bacon from the pan and place on a cooling rack – the bacon needs to be removed from the pan before the sugar hardens up, otherwise the tinfoil will stick to the bacon
- Let the bacon cool, and then cut it up into 1/4 inch pieces, discarding the burnt ends
To make the crust:
- Melt the butter and/or bacon grease
- Mix in the graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar
- Mix in pieces of candied bacon as desired
- Pour the mixture into a 8″ springform pan and pack down evenly. Set aside.
To make the filling:
- Using a hand mixer, cream the cream cheese until smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Drizzle in the maple syrup 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, blending it in completely and scraping the side of the bowl each time. This helps you avoid lumpy filling.
- Once the maple syrup is completely incorporated, Mix in the vanilla and maple extracts.
- Mix in the heavy cream.
- Add eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one.
- Let the filling mixture sit for a couple minutes allowing bubbles to rise and settle.
To put it all together:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with a pan of water on the lower rack (cheesecake needs moisture!).
- Once oven is preheated, pour filling over the crust.
- Bake for 40-55 minutes, or until sides are raised and the center 2-3″ are still slightly jiggly.
- Turn oven off, but leave the cheesecake inside for 20-30 minutes.
- Take cheesecake out and let it cool completely.
- Put cheesecake in the fridge for at least 10-12 hours.
- The cheesecake can stay in the fridge for a few days, or freeze it to save for weeks!
- Before serving, sprinkle the candied bacon on top of the cheesecake, and drizzle maple syrup over it as well.