Maple Whiskey Glazed Bacon Wrapped Lit’l Smokies® will be the hit of any gathering with a rich glaze of maple and whiskey then wrapped in bacon.
This post is sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Ah, the holidays are upon us. Whether you’ve been playing Christmas music since July or have reluctantly begun to accept what the calendar and weather are telling us, it’s time to start figuring out what we’re doing when.
I moved away from family in Southern California 19 years ago. In those 19 years, I’ve gone home for Thanksgiving maybe twice and Christmas maybe ten times. Holiday travel hasn’t always been possible or practical for me.
As a result, I have had many holidays with friends or shall I say Friendsgivings and Friendsmases.
What are Friendsgiving and Friendsmas?
I’m uncertain of when these phrases came to be. I know TV pop culture had a lot to do with it; particularly the ever-popular Friends TV show and their Thanksgiving episodes each year.
Friendsgiving and Friendsmas are pretty much like they sound, Thanksgiving and Christmas with friends (vs family.)
The holidays are a special and important time for many. However, for those who are unable to spend it with their family (or do not want to spend it with their family), gathering of friends, particularly those friends who serve as family, to celebrate is pretty common place.
My core group of friends do not have family nearby either (well one does but she falls into the ‘doesn’t want to spend it with family’ category.) Some of our gatherings are full meals with all the trimmings. Other times we prefer to do the small plate approach.
This year is the small plate approach.
I don’t know about you, but holiday parties are not the same if there isn’t Lil Smokies on the table somewhere. It’s not much of any party or gathering anytime of the year if there aren’t Lil Smokies out.
What are Hillshire Farms® Lit’l Smokies®?
Lit’l Smokies® are the miniature sausages (or hot dogs) made by Hillshire Farm®. They are bite size and either all-beef or a blend of both beef and pork. Both are delicious.
I’ve made them so many ways over the years, but usually in the slow cooker in a tasty sauce of some kind. This season I wanted to up my game.
My best friend’s husband a couple of years ago told me about some he had a dinner while traveling once. He asked me to recreate them for him. I finally did. Introducing Maple Whiskey Glazed Bacon Wrapped Lit’l Smokies®.
Maple Whiskey Glazed Bacon Wrapped Lit’l Smokies®
Making the glaze using mostly on-hand ingredients was really simple. However, Maple Whiskey is needed and for most, a special purchase.
All the glaze ingredients go into a saucepan, reduce, and then it’s done.
Since this was going to be a larger gathering, I went to Sam’s club to pick up both my Hillshire Farm® Lit’l Smokies and the Wright® Brand Bacon. My philosophy is it’s better to have more, not less, than what’s needed.
After wrapping the bacon around the mini-sausage, secure it with a tooth pick. I’d dip it in the glaze at this point then place it on the baking sheet. You could wrap them all then dip them all or brush the glaze over them with a basting brush.
Maple Whiskey Glazed Bacon Wrapped Lit'l Smokies
Maple Whiskey Glazed Bacon Wrapped Lit'l Smokies will be the hit of any gathering with a rich glaze of maple and whiskey then wrapped in bacon.
- 1 cup maple whiskey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/2 tsp ground mustard
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 2 lbs Wright® Brand Bacon
- 3 lbs Hillshire Farm® Lit'l Smokies
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Whisk all glaze ingredients together and bring to a boil in a small saucepan.
Allow to cook at a high simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by ⅓, about a half-hour.
While the sauce is reducing, cut the bacon into four pieces.
Wrap each smokie and secure with a toothpick.
Ladle some of the glaze into a small bowl.
Dip each wrapped mini-sausage into the finger bowl of glaze or using a basting brush, coat each piece with glaze.
Place them in a single layer in a baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes. (optional) At the 15-minute mark, give them another quick basting.
After 30 minutes or when they've reached the desired crispiness, remove them from the oven and allow to cool to touch.
Plate and serve.