Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Childhood memories, only better

I was a little kid when my oldest sister brought home intriguing recipes from her high school home economics class. When she practiced the recipes at home, amazing smells wafted out of the kitchen. There were casseroles, cakes, and tins of muffins. Once that semester was over she tucked the new found recipes and skills into her cedar hope chest and moved on to typing.

For years I tried to mimic the bacon wrapped crackers she made for a homework assignment. Without a home ec class of my own, I could never figure out the proper technique. Last month my sister found a similar recipe for bacon crackers online, and sent the instructions to me. Finally, I am again able to enjoy these flaky fat crispy little bites.

After the first batch (the only thing I enjoyed during the dismal Super Bowl game on Sunday), I imagined glazing the treats with something sweet and tangy, and recalled another dish from childhood. The cocktail meatballs my mom brought out for cocktail parties swam in a sticky syrup of grape jelly and Heinz 57 Sauce. I brushed the second batch of bacon wrapped crackers with the zippy glaze and realized that some childhood memories can be improved upon.

These are tasty served with your favorite beverage whether you drink Sidecars, cheap beer, or Diet Coke. Although I recommend you bring a full Seventies vibe to happy hour and snack on cocktail crackers with good friends, a pitcher of Manhattans, or some chilled Chablis. Or add some hot sauce to the glaze and serve with your weekend Bloody Marys.

Bacon Wrapped Cocktail Crackers
6 servings

12 Ritz crackers
6 slices bacon, halved
2 tablespoons grape jelly (or use your favorite jelly, jalapeno would be great)
2 tablespoons Heinz 57 Sauce (or use your favorite steak or BBQ sauce)

Wrap each cracker with halved bacon strip. Place on wire rack over rimmed baking sheet and bake in 250 degree oven.

In small mixing bowl combine jelly and steak sauce. Flip crackers after 45 minutes and brush with jelly glaze. Return to oven for additional 30 minutes. Flip crackers again and brush with remaining glaze. Bake additional 15 minutes.

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