Sweet Pig Muffins

Sweet savory perfection.  Sage breakfast sausage inside apple spice muffins topped with candied bacon.  One of my very best creations.  I first made these three years ago.  The candied bacon is both what makes it special, and a pain in the ass to make.  That combo makes them dismal for regular weekday eating but perfect for special occasions and parties.

Pig muffinsI start with making the candied bacon.
Preheat oven to 350
1 lb bacon.  Medium thickness.  Preferably on the leaner side.
Arrange on a rack on top of a pan.  They need to be above their own drippings and the candy basting.
Mix candy basting goo.  I didn’t measure, but roughly this is what I mixed:
1/4c maple syrup 
1/4c dark brown sugar
2T of apple cider vinegar
tons of fresh ground black pepper
Baste a side of them.

Pig Muffins

Stick them in the oven.  Check on them in about 7-10 min.  Baste again. In another 7-10min flip them and baste them.  Keep going until they are well cooked.  It takes about 4 flips or about 1:30?  Remove to parchment paper.  Cut them before they get too cool.  Set aside (away from husbands and pets or it will be all gone before it’s time to use them.) Keep the oven on, unless you’ll finish the rest of the steps way later.candied bacon

Pig muffins Next I make the sausage.  I’ve tried several types of sausage.  It can’t be in casing.  Other flavors of sausage really don’t work well.
~1 lb breakfast sausage.  Very roughly made into balls and fried on high.  I had to do it in two batches so it wasn’t too crowded in the pan.  Remove to paper towels to drain a little grease off

Finally the apple muffin batter.
In a large bowl mix the dry stuff:
2c flour
1/4t salt
2t baking powderPig muffins
1-2t cinnamon (depends on how “spiced” you want it)
Mix the wet stuff:
1 stick butter, melted.
2c milk
2 eggs
1/2c brown sugar
1/2c white sugar
2c finely diced apple (~1.5 apples)
Pour wet into dry and fold gently until just mixed.

In mini-muffin tins, spoon just enough batter in to cover the bottom.
Drop one sausage nugget in each muffin.
Cover the sausage with batter.
Put in oven for 10min.
Remove.  They should be mostly set but still wet.  Stick a candied bacon “flag” into each one.
Put back in the oven for about 7-10 more min.

Makes 48 mini muffins (plus 4 regular sized muffins with extra sausage).  I have a zillion muffin tins… it’s worth it.
Yes, it seems like a lot of muffins.  But I’ve never had too many.  It’s enough that everyone can have seconds, or thirds, or with some of my friends fifths… They are also are great the next few days for breakfast.


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