Sunday, March 1, 2009

Brown Sugar Bacon and Ebelskivers: Something Old and Something New

As promised, here are the recipes for the Ebelskivers and Brown Sugar Bacon I made for the Sleepover breakfast this weekend. The Ebelskivers are a new addition to our repertoire, and I got all inspired to make them once I saw the Ebelskiver Filled Pancake Pan in the Williams-Sonoma catalog. We make homemade pancakes and crepes every weekend, and there is often Nutella involved, so I thought this would be a great way to combine the two.
I called our local Williams-Sonoma store and asked if they had the Ebelskiver pan about a week ago and the sales clerk told me that, amazingly, they did. Then she went on to tell me how they hardly ever have it in stock because it is one of their top selling items. Who knew Ebelskivers were so popular? I got the pan last Monday and Tuesday morning the boys were begging to try it, so, even though it was a school morning and Steve was out of town I attempted my first batch of Ebelskivers. It wasn't too hard to do, but it did take a little practice, and I'm still perfecting my technique. Check out the Williams Sonoma website where they even have an instructional video of how to make them (just scroll down on the page). The boys loved them with Nutella (Max ate four), and they were really excited to try them when Liam stayed over on the weekend. Here's the basic recipe I used (with tweaks, of course, I can never stay on book with any recipe):

Danish Ebelskivers

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
4 eggs, separated
2 cups milk
4 Tbs. butter, melted
Fillings such as jam, peanut butter, chocolate chips, fruit, and of course, Nutella

In a bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, and melted butter. Whisk the yolk mixture into dry ingredients until well combined; batter will be lumpy.
In another bowl, using a electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff but not dry peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the whites into the batter in two additions.
Put 1/4 tsp. butter into each well of the Ebelskiever pan. Set over medium heat and heat until butter begins to bubble. Pour 1 Tbs. batter into each well. Put 1 tsp. filling in the center of each pancake and top with 1 Tbs. batter. Cook until the bottom is golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Using two wooden skewers, flip the pancakes over and cook until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter and filling. Dust with confectioner's sugar and serve immediately with syrup or whipped cream. Makes about 40.

I liked this recipe, but I am really looking forward to trying some of the variations on the Williams Sonoma website, especially when summer comes and we have fresh berries to put in the middle. The favorites we have tried so far are: Nutella, strawberry jam, cream cheese and raspberry jam, cream cheese and blueberry preserves, and Steve's favorite, peanut butter and chocolate chips. I'm sure we will come up with a million other great combinations, and once we move into the new house we will have a cherry tree, so I am sure we will be using those in Ebelskivers all summer long.

The Brown Sugar Bacon is an older recipe that I got off the Everyday Food television show on PBS and it is the only way I make bacon anymore. To be honest, we only eat bacon a few times a year, usually just at Christmas and a few other select days (like sleepovers and birthdays). There really isn't much to it, but the results are amazing.

Brown Sugar Bacon

Be sure to use center cut bacon with this recipe. I've tried it a couple of times with a less lean product and the fat burns during cooking and it's not pretty.

1 pound center cut bacon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Lay bacon out flat on wire racks over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (for easy clean up). Distribute brown sugar evenly across bacon and sprinkle with black pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, or until bacon is brown and sugar is caramelized. Remove from baking pan and drain on paper towel, and serve hot.

Both these recipes are amazing and totally worth all the artery clogging cholesterol. But don't worry, according to the book from my last book group, it's actually good for you, so enjoy!