Freezer Friendly

Maple Bacon Biscuits

by Shawnda on December 30, 2012

in Bread,Breakfast,Freezer Friendly,Pork

Maple Bacon Biscuits

I’m ready for 2013. Like ready ready. I stepped onto the bathroom scale this morning and it said “error.” It’s such a jerk sometimes. Like when it randomly tells me I weigh 10lbs less than I did the day before… and then 6lbs more 8 seconds later. But it does have a point.

So all of those wonderful Trade Joe’s goodies that Santa left in our stocking have an “Eat before Monday or get hidden on the top shelf that you can’t reach without getting a chair from the dining room – and we both know you’re far too lazy to go get a chair from the dining room” label on them and the pages of my new Cooking Light Cookbook are littered with post it tab bookmarks.

Our post-holiday detox starts Tuesday. But until then, there’s bacon. And biscuits.

And Trader Joe’s Sweet-Salty-Nutty Trek Mix that is like crack. Certifiable crack.

On a quiet Saturday morning when the not-so-little-anymore one is at Gia & PaPaw’s house for the weekend, we sat down to a quick & simple breakfast of peppery Maple Bacon Biscuits, eggs, and some grapefruit juice.

Crumbly, airy biscuits made with bacon grease and sweetened with maple syrup. And it was the first recipe I made from my new Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Flipping through it for the first time, I spotted them on page 28. And then I ran to the kitchen to make them immediately.

And then I immediately ate two straight out of the oven, mostly in celebration that the first recipe from a new cookbook turned out to be such a huge homerun. And partly because it was 4:30pm and that’s when I kick myself every single day for not having a snack an hour earlier.

I added a healthy dose of black pepper to help balance the sweet & savory just enough to almost make them a meal in itself. (“Almost,” like eating 2 biscuits wasn’t all of the calories I had left for dinner the other day.) I also made a double batch to be able to make the biscuits bigger than the 2-inch originals. And just a note – the dough was softer than expected for the double batch and I ended up kneading in a bit more flour after cutting the first few biscuits and realizing that they would spread quite a bit (and they did). The “extra flour” biscuits baked up nicely.

Maple Bacon Biscuits

Make breakfast really count with these sweet, crumbly biscuits studded with crispy bacon and black pepper.


  • 5 slices thick-cut bacon
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 1/4 cups flour, plus more for work surface
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ~8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter (see note below)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (I whisked 1/4 cup 2% milk with 1/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt)
  • You want 12 Tbsp total between the butter and the grease reserved from cooking the bacon. If you end up with more bacon grease than 4 Tbsp, you can reduce the butter accordingly. And if you end up with less bacon grease, you can use more butter. Make sense? Good. Let's get started.


  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Fry the bacon until crisp and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool.
  3. Turn off the heat and add several generous dashes/grinds of black pepper to the pan and stir, letting the pepper cook for ~10 seconds.
  4. Pour the rendered bacon grease and pepper (scrape the peppery bits out if necessary) into a heat-safe measuring cup and stick it in the freezer to solidify.
  5. Chop the bacon into chunks and transfer to a small bowl, pouring the maple syrup over top.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and add the butter chunks and the bacon grease (use a spoon to scrape out the measuring cup).
  7. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut the butter and bacon grease into the dry ingredients until well mixed (no large chunks) and the mixture is mealy.
  8. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk and maple-bacon mixture and stir/fold until your dough forms.
  9. Turn your dough onto a generously floured surfaced and give it a few kneads to come together and then pat it to 1-inch thick .
  10. Using a floured round cutter, cut as many rounds as you can and then pat the dough back together and repeat until the dough is gone - I got 10 biscuits using a 2.75-inch cutter.
  11. Place biscuits on a lined baking sheet (sides just barely touching) and bake 12-14 minutes or until the tops are golden.
  12. Serve warm. Leftovers reheated nicely for the 2-3 days they stuck around.


Yields: 10 biscuits

Slightly adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Estimated time: 35 minutes



Baked Chipotle Ranch Chicken Taquitos

What do you call these?

Baked Chipotle Ranch Chicken Taquitos

In most of the restaurants that we frequent here in southeast Texas, they’re called “flautas” and might be made with either corn or flour tortillas. On the freezer aisle, they’re called “taquitos” and I’ve only seen them made with corn tortillas. The internet seems to loves “taquito.”

Whatever you call them, they’re absolutely one of those convenience foods that are infinitely better when homemade.

We usually make flautas (taquitos) with leftover pulled pork, some chopped onion, and a little cheese – nothing else – and then dunk them into some Chuy’s-inspired Creamy Jalapeno Ranch or barbecue sauce (we have clearly-drawn battle lines in this house). This time, we put the ranch in the flautas.

Baked Chipotle Ranch Chicken Taquitos

You’ve probably seen the base for this recipe somewhere. It’s quite popular, having been made by some of my favorite bloggers. Our version uses a homemade Chipotle Ranch Dressing instead of salsa. The chipotle ranch is killer as a dipper for sweet potato fries and it’s even better here.

I doubled the recipe (big batch shown below) to make sure that we have plenty of good football eats on hand for the weekends, and ended up with nearly quadruple the taquitos (flautas) because I used the smallest tortillas I could find (~5 inches). And instead of individually wrapping each flauta (taquito) destined for the freezer (no way), I just bagged them up in 2 large freezer bags after freezing solid on baking sheets. Nothing stuck together and I didn’t waste a ton of plastic wrap.

I also did an even split between corn and flour. Corn tortillas get crispier in the oven but I prefer the taste and texture of flour tortillas much more (another southeast Texas thing). And they’re a lot easier to work with, though I have to confess – I only had 1 corn tortilla tear on me this time. My failure rate is usually much, much higher. Like near slamming cabinet doors and expletive levels.

Baked Chipotle Ranch Chicken Taquitos (Flautas)

Creamy baked chicken taquitos dressed up with a homemade chipotle ranch dressing. It's the perfect snack for gameday.


  • 6 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup Chipotle Ranch Dressing (or a store-bought equivalent)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Large handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 4 chicken breasts, shredded
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used half cheddar, half monterrey jack)
  • 2 dozen 6-inch corn or flour tortillas (or ~4 dozen 5-inch tortillas)
  • Guacamole, for serving (optional)
  • Sour cream, for serving (optional)


If you despise shredding chicken like I do, check out this tip to do it in seconds!
  1. Preheat oven to 425 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or Silpat (if not preparing for the freezer).
  2. Mix together the cream cheese, ranch dressing, chili powder, cumin, onion, garlic, and cilantro until uniform (a mixer makes this easier but can be done by hand).
  3. Fold in the chicken and shredded cheese until well coated.
  4. Spoon ~3 Tbsp of filling into a line across the lower 1/3 each tortilla.
  5. If using corn tortillas, work with 3 at a time, microwaving for 15-20 seconds on a plastic wrapped plate before filling and rolling.
  6. Roll each tortilla up tightly and place seam-side down on the pan.
  7. To freeze, stop here. Place the pan(s) into the freezer and freeze solid, ~2 hours, and then transfer to a large ziptop bag.
  8. Bake 15-20 minutes (~25 if frozen), until crispy (and lightly browned, if using flour tortillas).
  9. Serve with additional chipotle ranch, guacamole, and sour cream if desired.


Yields: 2-4 dozen, depending on tortilla size

Adapted from Our Best Bites via Pink Parsley

Estimated time: 45 minutes



Cherry Chocolate Chunk Muffins

There are 10lbs of fresh, pitted cherries in my freezer right now – they probably won’t still be there when that cherry margarita craving hits in November, but I do plan to stretch cherry season out as long as I can this year!

We’ve managed to work cherries into dinner, dessert, and most importantly: margaritas. What’s missing from that list?


And pizza. One thing at at time, though.

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Muffins

I took my very favorite stripped-down basic muffin recipe – it’s moist, reliable, and bakes up a beautifully domed top every single time – and converted it to a dark, chocolatey muffin loaded with fresh cherries chunks and chocolate chunks.

And it was sweet, rich, and decadent. Exactly like dessert-for-breakfast should be.
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