Project Food Blog Challenge #7: Maple Bacon Delights

Picture this: a twelve-year-old Mara. Wait, you can't do that. Here's a point of reference:

8th-grade

Now, imagine that it's Saturday morning. My sleep schedule was such that I could easily wake up at 5:30 a.m. to meet my dad downstairs to enjoy episodes of Rocky & Bullwinkle while my younger sister and mom slept. Around 8 a.m. though, the house would be bustling and the smells of baking cinnamon bread pudding or pancakes would fill the air. We had a fun game in our house aptly named "guess what's in the pancakes" in which (are you ready for this?) we guessed what was in the pancakes. Sometimes it would be apples, pumpkin, or berries. Sometimes it would be a secret ingredient of cottage cheese, cinnamon, cocoa, or chocolate chips.

Soon after the pancakes (or bread pudding, or Dutch babies) were ready, my mom would call us to the dining room table, we'd set out our designated vinyl placemats (red with ladybugs for me, yellow with a house and puppy for my sister) and a plate of delicious breakfast would soon be in front of us. My mom would say "After breakfast, do a bit of cleaning and then we can watch our shows." Pancakes were gobbled. Stairs were climbed, rooms were "tidied" (a.k.a. things thrown in the closet and shoved in drawers) and then we'd get the call.

"Kids! Julia's on!"

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We'd bound down the stairs and plop down in front of the TV with my mom for a good two hours, sometimes longer, to watch our favorites: Julia Child, Martin Yan, Jaques Pepin, Jeff Smith (the Frugal Gourmet), Jaques Torres, and Lidia Bastianich. We'd watch as, in their "home kitchens", these masters would make something from nothing but a pile of ingredients. Julia would drop things and we'd laugh. Martin Yan would chop a bunch of scallions in no time flat and we'd be warned to never try cutting like that. We'd get giddy at the French accents, drool over the pastas, and realize that we loved watching the food being made almost as much as we enjoyed eating food!

Later in the day, we'd help our mom in the kitchen to make food for dinner and for the week, and she'd reference the cooking shows we watched; "Remember, keep your fingers in when you cut!" She'd show us the recipe we were making in her battered and stained copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, or choose something from the dozens of cookbooks we always had on loan from the library.

So many memories came from watching those shows with my mom and sister; so many experiences I'm truly grateful to have. How else would I have learned about different kinds of knives for cutting different foods without my weekly dose of Jacques Pepin?

So, why was it that when Project Food Blog Challenge 7 came up, I was utterly terrified? I'm truly grateful that you all helped me to get this far, but to be honest, the prospect of making a video of myself cooking was quite possibly the scariest thing I could imagine!

I quickly enlisted the help of my mom and Lizz and my Twitter pals for ideas and concepts, and finally sucked it up and started filming. The result? Well, you tell me!

Yes, I made Maple Bacon Cupcakes on camera. And they were awesome. My coworkers would agree, I believe...

The inspiration came from my visit to VooDoo Doughnuts in Portland, Oregon about 3 years ago, pre-blog. They have a donut called the Maple Bacon Bar which is the stuff of dreams. Since eating that donut, many friends have visited the same VooDoo Doughnuts and commanded me with some urgency to make "something like that". Mission accomplished!

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The recipes from the video came from Martha Stewart for the French meringue buttercream frosting. I based the pancake cupcake recipe on this Joy of Baking pancake recipe. I substituted bacon drippings for the melted butter in a double recipe. The result was a perfect balance of sweet, cake, salty, and bacon-y... it was pretty much breakfast in a cute little wrapper.

A HUGE thank you goes out to my mom for so much of the creative input for my video, to Lizz for filming and loaning me her adorable daughter, and the biggest thank you of all goes out to Tom, who spent many hours with my terrible footage editing it into the video you watched above. I couldn't have done it without you all.

In all, it was a fun and nervewracking experience to create a video for you all! I think, though, I'll stick to what I do best: cooking and photos. And on that note, some gratuitous bacon cupcake stills for your viewing pleasure:

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**Voting for Project Food Blog Challenge #7 begins at 8 a.m. CDT on Monday, November 15! IS NOW OPEN! Please show your support by voting for my entry here!**

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81 Responses to Project Food Blog Challenge #7: Maple Bacon Delights

  1. Krystal R. says:

    OMG…I LOVE IT. Your daughter is totally cute and I loved the end when she ate the cupcake. Her face said it all, and I’m dying for a cupcake now. ABSOLUTELY LOVED the cool Super Mario Brother sound effects – you are too cool Mara!! Now I want to play some old school nintendo and eat some yummy maple bacon delights.

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  3. can i put in an order for a dozen??
    eataduckimust´s last blog post ..Video- In the Mood for Tuna

  4. How could I not vote for this? Oh, wait. I totally voted 🙂 So cute!

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