Saturday, September 29, 2012

Salted Peanut Butter & Honey Ice Cream in a Chocolate Cake Tart

 
I was trying to pass this off as a breakfast food to my coworkers. I made it for one of their birthdays last week. They weren't buying my argument.
I said peanut butter and honey were legit breakfast foods. The chocolate cake was the hard sell.
In the end I was defeated. I had to wait until almost lunch time to have a piece.
*sigh*
I think the best part of this creation is definitely the ice cream. The salt and sweet go sooooo amazing together. I thought peanut butter as an ice cream might be a little odd but...nope...I'm happy to say I was 100% wrong about that. A scoop or two of it in an ice cream cone will definitely satisfy.
 
 
Salted Peanut Butter and Honey Ice Cream
in a Chocolate Cake Tart
 
Ingredients
Cake
SEE HERE for my recipe
 
Ice Cream
2 cups whipping cream, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 egg yolks
1 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups half & half
 
Toppings
1 cup salted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup salted caramel/chocolate sauce (I used store bought)
 
Directions
Cake - Prepare cake per instructions in recipe in 2 - 10 inch indented tart pans. (They need to have the indent so when they are flipped out of the pan there is a cavity to put the ice cream in.) Feel free to use a cake mix if you don't want to do from scratch! When cakes are baked and have cooled for a few minutes, invert them onto wire rack to cool completely. Chill in fridge until ice cream has been made.
Ice Cream - heat one cup of the whipping cream and the brown sugar in a saucepan until simmering, whisking constantly.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Add a little of the hot cream and whisk to combine. Add a little more at a time until totally combined. (Do this slowly so you don't curdle the eggs.) Pour mixture back into pan, place back over medium heat, and continue to stir until thickened (about 5 - 8 minutes).
Remove from heat and whisk in peanut butter, honey, and vanilla until smooth. Whisk in remaining whipping cream and half & half. Chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
Place in ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's directions.
To assemble dessert: Place the 2 cake/tarts on serving dishes.
 
 
Fill with softened peanut butter & honey ice cream, spreading to fill cavity.
 
 
Sprinkle the crushed peanuts around the outside of the tart.
 
 
Drizzle with the salted caramel chocolate sauce. (If you can't find salted then just use a regular caramel OR chocolate sauce for drizzling.)
 
 
You must work fairly quickly once the ice cream is ready in the maker. It is fairly melty and will melt fast. Make sure you have a flat space in your freezer to hold the 2 desserts. If it is not flat you risk the ice cream sliding out over one side.
 
 
Eeeek! See that pic above? Almost had a disaster. It's okay though I caught it and quickly rearranged things so it would sit flat.
Let freeze until solid, at least several hours. Once it is frozen you can wrap well with plastic wrap and keep for several days in the freezer. We ate one at work the next day and the other was kept for almost a week until our mother brought it to a function. They were both delicious.
PLEASE NOTE - I did not use all of the ice cream!!! I just scooped about 1 1/2 cups into each cavity. You don't want to over fill it or it will spill over. Save the leftover ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer to enjoy later. OH, YEAH, and don't be tempted to leave out the 1/8 tsp of salt from the ice cream. It is essential to the flavor.
 
 
It's amazing on its own too!
 
 
It make take a little time and effort but you end up with a treat that you can serve on its own...or in a delectable, fancy schmancy dessert.
Totally worth it.
 
Head over to Six Sister's Stuff for some great food and crafting links!

Cinnamon Bun Scones

 
This is one of the recipes that you think, "Oh my gosh! This is too good to be true! All the flavor of a cinnamon bun wrapped up in a flaky little scone?"
It's true.
I happened upon a photo of this on Pinterest and it led me to Annie's Eats. Her photos had me convinced that I had to try and make these.
I love that you don't have to wait for the dough to rise like you would with a yeast dough. You can have these babies done from start to finish in about 45 minutes.
Of course, you do have to like scones to enjoy this recipe. They are a little bit crunchy-flaky yet still soft and sweet. Definitely not a yeast bread.
 
 
Cinnamon Bun Scones
(Slightly adapted from Annie's Eats)
 
Ingredients
Dough
4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
generous pinch salt
1 cup butter, frozen
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup plan Greek yogurt
 
Filling
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/3 cup butter, melted
 
Icing
1/2 pkg cream cheese (about 4 oz), room temp
1 cup icing sugar
 
Directions
Preheat oven to 425. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Grate in the butter using a cheese grater. Stir to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and Greek yogurt. Stir into flour mixture using a fork, just until stiff dough starts to come together.
Transfer the dough to a generously floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour, and knead with well floured hands, 6-8 times, just until the dry ingredients have been mostly incorporated.
Cut dough in half.
Working with one half at a time - Roll the dough into an approx 12 X 10 rectangle.
 
 
Fold the dough into thirds like a business letter. Fold the short ends of the dough into the center in thirds, to form an approximate 4-inch square.
 
 
Place on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Repeat with second half of dough.
 When both halves are done, place in freezer for about 5 minutes.
While the dough is in the freezer, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans in a bowl. Set aside.
Remove dough from freezer. Return one of the halves to the floured work surface and roll to approx 12 X 10 again. Brush with half of the melted butter using a pastry or basting brush.
Sprinkle with half of the brown sugar/cinnamon filling.
Roll up, jelly roll style. Pinch edges to seal. Cut roll into 12 equal slices. (I found a serrated knife works really well.)
 
 
Place back onto prepared cookie sheet.
 
 
Repeat process with second half of dough. You should end up with 24 rolls.
Bake at 425 for 15 - 20 minutes. Until tops of rolls are golden brown.
Remove from heat and let cool.
 
 
You can enjoy the scones like this, or you can proceed to drizzle with the cream cheese frosting.
In a small bowl, mix together softened cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth. You can either spoon into a plastic bag and snip the corner off OR you can just use a spoon - to drizzle the cream cheese over the cooled scones OR you can spread it on with a knife.
 
 
I really liked them with the cream cheese!
 
If you want to go crazy with these scones you can add different things to the filling too. Ie: cinnamon chips, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, etc...
I prefer them with just the pecans and sugar and cinnamon.
Perfect for breakfast.
Or snack time.
Or...well....anytime...
P.S. - They freeze really well. I made these for a bake sale about a week ahead of time and they held beautifully.
 
Don't forget to visit Heatherly Loves for some links to great recipes and crafts!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Apple Pie Bread Braid & Strawberry Cream Cheese Braid

 
Sue and I have been going a little crazy preparing for a bake sale we are holding. It is going to be held on the Thanksgiving weekend so we were trying to do some Thanksgiving-y things for people to buy to take to their family dinners.
We did some of the usual, you know - pumpkin pie, pumpkin coffee cake, apple crumbles - but thought we'd go a little outside the box and make some not-so-Thanksgiving-y treats as well.
I had some homemade apple pie filling leftover from making Dutch Apple Pie Cookies so I thought I would make a pretty bread braid. I always love the way they look. They look so fancy when they are actually really simple to put together.
I also had a mega-jar of strawberry jam that I thought might make a tasty braid as well.
Using quick-rise yeast you can have both of these braids made in about 2 hours.
 
Apple Pie Bread Braid and Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread Braid
 
Ingredients
 
Apple Filling
2 medium granny smith apples, peeled, cored, diced
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch salt
 
Strawberry Filling
1/2 pkg cream cheese, softened (about 4 oz)
3/4 cup strawberry jam
 
Bread
5 - 7 cups of flour, divided
2 envelopes quick rise yeast
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
 
Topping
2 Tbsp melted butter
sprinkle of sugar
 
Directions
Apple Filling - In a large bowl, toss apples and lemon juice. Pour water into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add to water and stir well.
Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add apples and return to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 5 - 8 minutes. Scrape apple mixture into a bowl and place in fridge to cool.
Strawberry Filling - In a small bowl, beat softened cream cheese with a fork until easily spreadable. Measure jam into measuring cup and stir with fork to make more spreadable.
Bread - In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, yeast, and salt. Set aside.
In medium saucepan over medium high heat, heat buttermilk, sugar, and butter until warm (about 120 degrees). Remove from heat and whisk in eggs. Beat into flour mixture.
Add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms. Dump onto flour surface and knead for about 4 - 5 minutes. Cover and let rest 15 minutes.
To Assemble the Braid - Cut dough in half. Roll half of the dough into an approx 15 X 10 rectangle. Divide dough into thirds, lengthwise so you know where the middle third will be. (I like to very lightly draw the lines with a butter knife so I know where the thirds are. Be very careful not to cut into the dough - you just want to make a little indent.)
Spread the middle with either the apple filling or the strawberry and cream cheese filling (cream cheese first and then top with jam) to within an inch of the top and bottom.
Using a sharp knife, cut the 2 sides into approx 1 inch strips. Fold up end of dough and then braid strips across filling. (See photos below)
 
 
The above pic is the apple pie filling.
 
 
This pic is the strawberry cream cheese filling.
Carefully transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush top of bread with melted butter using a pastry or basting brush. Sprinkle with a little bit of sugar. Repeat with second half of bread dough.
Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375. Bake for approx 20 - 25 minutes, until top is golden brown.
Let cool at least 10 minutes on baking sheet before attempting to remove. If you try while it is too hot it may fall apart.
 
 
I sprinkled the apple pie braid (above) with a bit of cinnamon too so I could tell the 2 apart.
 
 
See....they look pretty similar.
I don't have a photo of this sliced as it is going to be for sale in the bake sale. Trust me when I say, it is really pretty.
You could, of course, fill this with almost anything... lemon curd, mini marshmallows & choc chips & graham cracker crumbs, any pie filling, etc...
It isn't really a dessert per se, but it is really nice when you have company over though as a snack with coffee or even for breakfast.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Beaker Expedition

I'm breaking with tradition today by not putting a photo on the top of the blog post.
See...I feel like this story needs to work up to a photo. 
I would start with "Once upon a time" but it's not that kind of story. This is more of a "Oh my goodness, are you kidding me" kind of story.
It's not even a recipe story. I suppose it could be...I will be listing off ingredients and directions...anyway - you will see as we get there.
Sue had to go to dinner at her in-laws. It was her husband's birthday so her mother-in-law decided to put on a spread. All Sue had to do was bring the burgers.
Simple enough.
Sue's hubby said he didn't want a birthday cake but, instead, wanted heaps of Rice Krispie squares.
Again, simple enough.
Sue made up the Rice Krispie squares and had them ready to go. But then she thought, "Boy, that's kind of boring. I think I need to add something fun so it's a little more memorable."
She happened to be at my house looking at one of our favorite sites to steal *ahem..borrow* ideas from (Hungry Happenings) when we came across the most adorable Beaker character made out of a twinkie.
Remember, Beaker, the hapless assistant to Dr. Bunsen Honeydew on The Muppet Show?
Anyway, Rob is a Muppet fan so we thought, you know, how difficult can that be?
Here is where things start to get complicated.
The main "ingredient" to assemble this cute little guy is a twinkie. Want to know one of the benefits of living in an itty bitty town? Well, it's NOT access to a lot of products.
That's right. No twinkies anywhere. Trust me, we looked.
Okay, we're pretty thrifty. We start looking at what we could use instead of a twinkie. Long John donuts were what we came up with. So we bought some. And then we decided they were way to big to go with the other "ingredients" to make Beaker. We walked up and down the grocery store aisles looking for twinkie shaped goodies.
We finally settled on a hot dog bun. Right shape, a little big but it could be trimmed down, a little dark but - oh well, Beaker has a tan.   
We debated then changing him from a sweet treat to a savory treat, using cheese and olives and such instead of candies BUT that would just be weird with the Rice Krispies so...on with the sweetness.
Have I mentioned yet that we had to have this done in an hour and it took us about 40 minutes to find the ingredients?
Yeah. We work well under pressure.
So, now we are in Sue's kitchen. Hot dog bun at the ready.
Here is the list of ingredients that Beth at Hungry Happenings had listed -
Hostess Twinkies (or similar snack cake)
modeling chocolate
food coloring - orange, red, black
black edible ink marker
powdered sugar for dusting cutting board
rolling pin
knife
clay extruder (or a very clean garlic press)
white frosting or melted white chocolate
Here is what Sue and I had managed to pull together -
hot dog bun (body)
1 orange M&M (nose)
red fruit roll up (tongue)
1 white and 1 black sugared Gumdrops (tie and shirt)
orange Airhead (hair)
Mini marshmallow (eyes)
2 mini chocolate chips (eyes)
bit of white icing (to stick everything on)
black edible ink marker (tongue)
bit of granulated sugar for cutting board
rolling pin
sharp knife
Can you see a bit of a difference?
You really REALLY need to click HERE to visit Hungry Happenings to see Beth's Beaker. He is really cute, I promise. You also need to visit her if you want the instructions.
Except for the Airhead for the hair and Gumdrops for the tie, I think everything else is pretty self explanatory.
To turn the Airheads into hair - cut into thin strips with a sharp knife. Heat for a few seconds in the microwave (maybe 4 - 6 seconds) and then quickly roll back and forth in your hands to shape into long strings. Cut to proper length to form hair.
To turn the Gumdrops into a tie - sprinkle cutting board with granulated sugar, roll out gumdrops, one color at a time, until you reach the desired size. Cut with sharp knife to shape. (We used the photo at Hungry Happenings for a guide.)
If you would like us to clarify anything else we did with ours, please ask!
 
Okay, all things considered, I think we did pretty well.
Have you gone to look at the cute Beaker that Beth made? Okay, do that now. You need to see what we were aiming for.
Are you ready? here is our masterpiece...
 
 
And one more for the heck of it. Beaker in the middle of his Rice Krispie mountains.
 
 
He was pretty easy to put together. I think if we had ACTUALLY had the proper ingredients he would have been a touch cuter. As is, he is cute but a little weird. Which is okay...he just fits into our family that much better.
 
Check out Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons for some fun food and craft links!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Plum Streusel Kuchen

 
I have once again dug into the mystery shoebox of recipes under the counter and came out with this little gem. I was a little wary of trying it as there was no photo to go along with the recipe.
I know I have said it before but SERIOUSLY how did they sell cookbooks before they had photos with the dishes? It's just not the same.
I need to see how the recipe is going to look finished. *Aaaaarg*
Anyways, I decided to give this one a go because we have buckets of plums to use up and I wanted something different.
This is a really interesting recipe. I liked it but it was not what I was expecting. (Maybe if there had been photos my expectations would have been different...just sayin'...)
It was a cross between a cake and a biscuit. I would call it a very heavy but thin cake. I will definitely make it again...I'd like to try it with pears and apples too.
 
 
Plum Streusel Kuchen
 
Ingredients
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp butter
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
6 fresh plums
 
Streusel
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp butter, chilled
2 Tbsp heavy cream
 
Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9X13 pan with parchment paper, spray lightly with cooking spray, set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles crumbs.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg and buttermilk, add to crumb mixture and stir with a fork until mixture forms a sticky dough. Press dough into prepared pan.
 
 
Cut plums in half and then in quarters (each plum yields 8 slices). Arrange plums on dough in pan.
 
 
To mix topping: combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles crumbs. Add cream and mix with a fork until moist crumbs are formed. Sprinkle evenly over plums.
 
 
Bake at 350 for 30 - 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
 
 
Remove from heat and let cool on wire rack. You can cut in pan OR use parchment paper "handles" to lift cake out to cut and serve.
This is really good warm or room temp. Chilled is okay too but the cake seemed a little dry when served completely cold.
 
 
It is amazing served with soft ice cream or whipped cream too.
Then again...pretty much anything is better with ice cream or whipped cream.
My favorite part is the streusel. I thought there might be too much streusel and wasn't going to use it all....but then I did....and it was perfect. I now believe there is no such thing as too much streusel.
 
Pop over to Carole's Chatter for some fantastic links!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Best BBQ Ribs

 
Sue here.
I had to post about these ribs before Jo tried to claim she made them. She's not normally like that but these ribs were so good I just know she'd want the glory for making them.
These are the best ribs I have ever eaten.
THE.
BEST.
Okay, granted, they are a little bit involved to make. Trust me when I say - they are totally worth the effort. Jo and our older sister, Orra, couldn't stop eating them. Kenzie loved them too. My husband on the other hand, complained they were too spicy.
To him I say...Bah humbug.
He doesn't know what he is talking about. If Jo is able to eat it then it is not too spicy.
You have to make these. Have to!
 
 
Best BBQ Ribs
 
Ingredients
Spice Rub
2 1/2 Tbsp lemon pepper
2 Tbsp seasoning salt
2 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more, depending on how spicy you want to go)
 
Ribs
1 1/2 cups Spice Rub (above)
1 (4-pound) rack pork spareribs
1/2 cup water
1 cup BBQ sauce
 
Directions
To make the spice rub: whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.
Sprinkle Spice Rub on both sides of ribs, rubbing the meat to adhere. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Place ribs in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet, and pour water into pan. Cover with foil and roast for 1 hour. Remove the pan from oven and uncover. Pour off any excess water.
Preheat your BBQ for 10 minutes on medium.
Evenly coat top of ribs with barbecue sauce. Place, sauce side up, on grill. Cover and let cook 10 minutes. Flip ribs over on grill, brush remaining BBQ sauce onto tops of ribs. Cover and cook another 5 - 10 minutes, until ribs are cooked. Remove from heat.  
Let ribs rest for 10 minutes.
Slice the ribs between each bone with a serrated knife.
Serve immediately.
P.S. - Be prepared to get messy.
 
 
I have definitely added this to my favorite recipe file.
If you try this please let us know what you think. I would love to hear what other people think of the Spice Rub. To be honest I would love to be able to tell my husband that he is crazy and everyone else in the world thinks it isn't spicy. But, we'll keep that between you and me.
 
**UPDATE**
Jo here. I loved Sue's ribs so much I decided to use her recipe to make some chicken on the BBQ.
I made up the rub as per the recipe and rubbed it on each boneless, skinless chicken breast. First I cut several slits into the breasts so the rub would penetrate the meat and it also helps the breasts to cook more evenly. (Don't cut too deep though, you don't want the breast to fall apart at the cuts.)
 
 
I then put 1/4 oil and 1/4 cup vinegar into a large Ziplock bag, smooshed it around a bit, and then added the the rubbed chicken. I then let them marinate for about 8 hours. (You can let them sit overnight if you like.)
When you are ready to cook them: get your grill preheated and ready to go. Place the chicken on the BBQ. Flip chicken over halfway through cooking.
During the last few minutes of cooking - baste with your favorite BBQ sauce, cook for a minute. Flip over, baste other side, cook for another minute.
 
 
This is the some of the best chicken I have ever had. It is a little bit spicy but not too spicy.
Well, for me anyway. By the end of my piece of chicken my lips were burning, but I just drank lots of water and it was okay.
 
 
So delicious.
 
Check out Adorned From Above for some great food and craft links.
The Mandatory Mooch and Blissful and Domestic and Easy Life have more fun links.

Zucchini Cocoa Nib Pecan Skor Cookies

 
Here is a delightful cookie recipe to use up some of that zucchini that is hanging around. This time of year there is always an abundance of zucchini at our house.
These are lovely combination of spice and sweetness. This recipe has been around our house for about a million years...give or take...
I just realized I used the words "delightful" and "lovely" to describe this cookie. I was totally influenced by the photo of the china teacup.
 
 
Zucchini Cocoa Nib Pecan Skor Cookies
 
Ingredients
1 cup butter, room temp
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup Skor bits
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
 
Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper, set aside.
Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Stir in eggs, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.
Stir in zucchini.
Fold in Skor bits, pecans, and cocoa nibs.
Drop by tablespoon full (or small cookie scoop) onto prepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
 
 
Bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes, until golden.
Remove from heat, let sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
 
 
Easy peasy. FYI - you can sub the pecans for other nuts, the cocoa nibs for chocolate chips, and the Skor bits for Heath bits or butterscotch chips, if you prefer.
Ooooh...another FYI....this makes a lot of cookies. I didn't actually count (sorry!) but I am going to guess I got at least 5 dozen cookie out of this.
I don't know why I never count my servings. I promise I will try harder in the future to keep track of that.   :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped BBQ Burgers With Caramelized Onion Bacon Jam

 
 
I have a confession to make.
I've never cooked on a BBQ before.
Is that weird?
I feel like it is weird.
Maybe because I am in the kitchen baking or cooking nearly every single day I feel like it is something I should know how to do.
Well, tonight I solved that dilemma. I was trying to be patient and win a BBQ. Honestly - the last two years I have entered every contest I could find where a BBQ was involved as a prize. Of course, I never had any luck winning one. About 2 weeks ago I finally broke down and bought a BBQ at an end-of-the-season sale and tonight I finally broke it in. 
Can I just say I was pretty excited to use the BBQ. I had Sue and her hubby up for dinner so she was here in case I needed back up.
I actually did one of those little inner screams that leaks out as "eeeeeeeeeee" while doing a shake-your-booty happy dance.
Sue gave me a high five for how awesome my dance skills are. I'm pretty sure she was being sarcastic but I'm choosing to believe she was sincere.
I've got mad dance skillz.
Word.
 
 
Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped BBQ Burgers with
Caramelized Onion Bacon Jam
 
Ingredients
Caramelized Onion Bacon Jam
6 strips bacon, diced
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
 
Burgers
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 egg
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
2 Tbsp BBQ sauce
 
4 slices cheese (I used Havarti)
8 slices bacon
 
Directions
In a medium fry pan, cook bacon until it is crispy. Remove from pan onto paper towel to drain excess grease. Reserve 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease but drain the rest.
Return the 2 Tbsp of bacon grease to your pan and place over medium-low heat. Place coarsely chopped onion in pan. Cook onions over medium-low heat until onions are reduced and brown, stirring every couple of minutes. You want to do this very slowly to caramelize them. This takes about 15 - 20 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, add the cooked bacon back into the onions and stir well. Remove from heat and serve warm. (You can also place this in the fridge and serve it chilled.) (See photo below for finished results)
 
 
To make burgers: Combine the 7 ingredients listed above for the burgers in a bowl. Mix with your hands until well combined. Make into 8 even sized patties. Cut out cheese from the cheese slices to fit inside the patty. (See below)
 
 
You can use a cookie cutter or glass to cut out cheese.

 
Place cheese on top of one patty and top with another. Seal well. (I used the ring from my English muffin set as a shaper so the patties would all be uniform. You can use a sealer ring from a canning jar for this purpose as well.)  You will end up with 4 burger patties in total.
When you are done forming the patties with the cheese inside you want to wrap them with 2 slices of bacon per patty.
 
 
Put your patties in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill before proceeding to the BBQ. Your patties can be made up several hours before hand and chilled until you are ready to cook them.
When you are ready to go, preheat your grill for about 5 - 6 minutes on high heat.
Place the patties on the grill and turn the heat down to low.
 
 
Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until bacon is nicely browned on the bottom side. Flip burgers over and cook for another 10 minutes, until burgers are cooked through.
 
 
Make sure you have your condiments and toppings ready to go....
 
 
Do you know what the best thing about BBQing is?
The smell that fills the entire neighbourhood. I used to be so jealous when that smell came wafting through our window when the neighbours were BBQing.
I'm not going to lie...I felt pretty cool being the one responsible for creating it tonight.
Not to mention the burgers were craaaaaaazy delicious.
I think my first time with the BBQ went pretty well. I can't wait to try chicken next. I am working my way up to trying homemade pizza on the grill. I hear it is the best way to eat pizza.
Hmmm...pretty bold statement...we'll have to see if it is true!
 
Be sure to visit Ms. enPlace and Carol's Chatter for some great links!
My Turn (for us) also has some fun food and craft links!