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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.

Split image of the Maple Whiskey Glazed Bacon Wrapped Lit'l Smokies®, one on a toothpick and the other on plated and on a platter.

This post is sponsored by Tyson Foods, Inc and Sam’s Club but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. It has been updated from its original November 2018 publishing with clarified recipe card, updated text, and a new image.

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.

White platter of baked bacon wrapped lit'l smokies in a maple whiskey glaze.

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.

Overhead picture of Maple Whiskey Glazed Bacon Wrapped Lit'l Smokies®.

As I mentioned, it has not always been possible or practical for me to travel to my family during the holidays and am grateful I have my tribe to celebrate with.

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.

Overhead image of a table filled with appetizers. Roasted red pepper hummus, easy smoked salmon sushi, mini sausages, salad, and fruit and cheese plate.

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.

Image of Michelle De La Cerda of The Complete Savorist and her 3 friends.

What are 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®.

Platter of mini sausages garnished with fresh parsley.

How to make bacon wrapped little smokies

Packages of bacon, mini sausages, and other items for making this recipe.

The bacon is thick-cut (which in my humble opinion is the ONLY way bacon should be cut), so I was able to cut each strip into 4 pieces for wrapping 4 smokies.

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.

Ingredients needed to make the maple whiskey glaze.

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.

Prepared mini sausages wrapped in bacon secured with toothpicks, glazed, ready to bake.

These will be devoured quickly, so make sure you get a few squirreled away for your own savoring. Or just make sure your friends save you a few. 

Easy Party Appetizer Recipes

Maple Whiskey Glazed Bacon Wrapped Lit’l Smokies® are always a hit at a party, but a good party needs a variety of noshes.

Easy Dip Recipes

Easy Small Bite Appetizers

A single Maple Whiskey Glazed Bacon Wrapped Lit'l Smokies® held aloft by the toothpick with the platters blurred in the background.
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 ~ The Complete Savorist by Michelle De La Cerda

Maple Whiskey Glazed Bacon Wrapped Lit’l Smokies

Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bacon wrapped mini sausages
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 15
Calories: 601 kcal
Author: Michelle De La Cerda

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.



Maple Whiskey Glaze

  • 1 cup maple whiskey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • cup ketchup
  • ½ tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • tsp salt
  • tsp pepper

Bacon Mini Sausages

  • 2 lbs Wright® Brand Bacon
  • 3 lbs Hillshire Farm® Lit’l Smokies


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Whisk all glaze ingredients together and bring to a boil in a small saucepan.

  3. Allow to cook at a high simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.

  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is reduced by ⅓, about a half-hour.

  5. While the sauce is reducing, cut the bacon into four pieces.

  6. Wrap each smokie and secure with a toothpick.

  7. Ladle some of the glaze into a small bowl. 

  8. Dip each wrapped mini-sausage into the finger bowl of glaze holding by the toothpick or using a basting brush coat each piece with glaze.

  9. Place them in a single layer in a lined baking sheet.

  10. Bake for 30 minutes. 

  11. At the 15-minute mark, give them another quick basting. (This is optional.)

  12. After 30 minutes or when they’ve reached the desired crispiness, remove them from the oven and allow to cool to touch. 

  13. Plate and serve.

Nutrition Facts
Maple Whiskey Glazed Bacon Wrapped Lit'l Smokies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 601 Calories from Fat 441
% Daily Value*
Fat 49g75%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Cholesterol 98mg33%
Sodium 1408mg61%
Potassium 320mg9%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 50IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 24mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Thank you for sharing!

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  • Reply
    Chrissie Baker
    November 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    5 stars
    Wow is such a cool idea to treat guests with a great appetizer. It looks so appetizing that I can not wait to try. I add this recipe to my favorites because it really impresses.

  • Reply
    November 21, 2018 at 2:55 am

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness! How inviting are these lottle smokies!

  • Reply
    November 21, 2018 at 2:57 am

    5 stars
    Such an amazing appetizer idea! Everyone will love this!

  • Reply
    Toni | Boulder Locavore
    November 21, 2018 at 9:12 am

    5 stars
    This is perfect for entertaining! Such a great idea!

  • Reply
    Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert
    November 22, 2018 at 4:12 am

    5 stars
    This couldn’t look any more perfect!

  • Reply
    Brandy O'Neill
    November 23, 2018 at 9:34 am

    This would go so fast in my house!

  • Reply
    Jeff the Chef
    November 24, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    I love Friendsgiving. I also love spending Thanksgiving with my family (as I did this year), but it’s so wonderful to spend it with friends, too. I usually alternate years. I guess what I’m trying to say is that even for those of us who can and want to spend Thanksgiving with family, it’s refreshing and wonderful and special to with friends sometime.

    • Reply
      Michelle De La Cerda
      November 26, 2018 at 9:18 am

      I agree completely. It’s nice to spend with either/or or altogether with both.

    • Reply
      Trish Gardner
      November 14, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      Right on!❤️

  • Reply
    Sandra | A Dash of Sanity
    November 26, 2018 at 7:58 am

    5 stars
    These look really delish! A sure hit at holiday parties!

  • Reply
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