Time is getting short to cook those holidays treats. If you’re at a loss for what to cook up this holiday season I have one word to solve the problem. Bacon.

Who doesn't love bacon? It’s a nice way to mix up the holiday table. Bacon is simple and the following decorating tips and easy-to-make bacon recipes are a treat for provided for STLSportsPage.com readers courtesy of the Smithfield Company.

Whether drizzled with caramel and sea salt, twisted with puff pastry or baked with bourbon and maple syrup, guests will welcome the addition of bacon on the buffet - best yet, these recipes are easy. They cook up fast and can be dressed up for serving in an interesting container such as a Mason jar or basket accented with a ribbon or twine with a printed label to ID the bacon variety or flavor.

To add even more bacon bling to your holiday table, visit Smithfield.com/BaconBar for printable labels, more decor ideas and recipe inspiration for your holiday entertaining.


Crispy Bacon Twists with Gouda and Apricot Preserves

nonstick spray
flour, for dusting
1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
1 egg, beaten
1 cup (12 ounces) apricot preserves
2 cups (about 7 ounces) Gouda cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 pounds (about 25-30 slices) Smithfield Hometown Original Bacon


Heat oven to 375 F. Line two rimmed baking pans with foil, set baking racks in pans and lightly spray racks with nonstick spray.

On lightly floured surface, roll out one puff pastry sheet to roughly 8-by-12 inches. Brush top with egg and thinly spread 1/2 cup preserves over dough. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup shredded cheese and 1 tablespoon rosemary, lightly pressing cheese mixture into dough. Fold short end of dough over to enclose cheese mixture and lightly roll to seal. Cut into 15 1/2-inch strips. Repeat with remaining puff pastry and ingredients.
Lay one slice bacon diagonally. Grab one strip of prepared dough by ends and place one end of dough strip horizontally at top end of bacon and roll bacon with dough downward, stretching dough strip while rolling. Place spiral-wrapped bacon twist on prepared rack and repeat.

Bake twists 35-45 minutes, or until pastry is browned and bacon crisp, rotating pans as needed for even cooking. Let cool 5 minutes and gently use spatula to remove twists from racks. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 15

Tip: For a different flavor, try smoked or aged Gouda or fresh thyme instead of rosemary.


Caramelized Bourbon Bacon

2 packages (16 ounces each) Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
4 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup bourbon
4 tablespoons maple syrup

Heat oven to 375 F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper. Remove bacon from package and space evenly on pans without overlapping slices. Place pans in oven and bake 15 minutes. Rotate pans halfway through baking time.

Meanwhile, combine honey, bourbon and syrup. Remove bacon from oven. Carefully drain grease from pans. Brush bacon with bourbon mixture. Return to oven and bake 3-5 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve. Serves 12


Sea Salt Caramel Bacon

2 packages (12 ounces each) Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
4 tablespoons caramel topping
1 teaspoon flaked sea salt
Heat oven to 375 F. Line two baking pans with nonstick foil. Remove bacon from package and space evenly on pans without overlapping slices. Place pans in oven and bake 10 minutes. Rotate pans and continue baking until crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Using tongs, place bacon slices on clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Let cool slightly.


Heat caramel in microwave 10 seconds. Drizzle bacon with caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt. Return to oven and bake 2 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes. Using tongs, remove to cooling rack. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Serves 12

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For more recipes or other holiday articles check out our Travel/Food page. Suzanne Corbett always has ideas, recipes, and reviews when it comes to holidays, food, travel, and fun.