I hope I’m not cutting it too close to Christmas for this recipe today because it’s definitely something that could make your holiday menu better!
Lets talk about Christmas traditions a little bit if that’s okay with you. Even if they’re not anything extravagant or major, I think we all have sort of a typical set of Christmas traditions, right? There was a time when I was little and my parents only had my older sister and I.
Back then when it was just the 4 or 5 of us we did our Christmas a lot closer to what would be considered “the usual” I think; open presents with immediate family either on Christmas eve night or in the morning Christmas day (short and sweet), go to a big, potluck-style family feast done with all the trimmings, exchange gifts with extended family afterwards, then go home and my sibs and I would play with all our new things. Our Christmas has sort of evolved and changed since then though, as our family has grown in number every year.
Oh, quick question about present opening; what’s your style? I mean, does your family all jump out of bed as early as they can and rush to the tree to rip open their own gifts as soon as they see them, or do you wait until everyone is ready so you can all enjoy each other’s reactions? We have always been in the latter group and I love it that way.I feel like it’s such an anti-climatic thing to rush it and not take the time to appreciate all the giving and receiving. We’ve never done it that way so I can’t say for sure, but I just think it would be depressing for it to be over so fast when most of the fun is in the giving.
That’s just how we do it, but I’m sure there are a million other ways to do Christmas and I guess what’s really the important thing is that it has meaning to you, however your family does it. Another thing that has started to become sort of a tradition for us is to keep the food very simple on Christmas eve and Christmas day.
We started shifting away from the traditional feast a few years ago so that we could just enjoy the day and our time together rather than having to have anyone laboring in the kitchen for hours. I know that for a lot of families their Christmas dinner is a huge deal and I completely understand that, but since we all get our fill of traditional holiday food around Thanksgiving, my family doesn’t mind having casual menu by Christmas.
I’m not saying my gang doesn’t still love to enjoy some really good food though, and that’s why over the past few years we’ve tried to have a big variety of finger foods and snacks all day long. Not just small snacks though, the guys would never go for that idea, I mean hearty stuff, stuff with meat and cheese to appease everyone’s holiday appetites.
Yeah, so this is something that I was experimenting with to possibly make for the weekend and everyone loved it. It’s a perfect appetizer for any party and it’s a major crowd pleaser. Oh, and like I said, I hope it’s not too late for you to include this in your spread this year, but if it is don’t worry ’cause it also makes a great tailgate party snack for football season!
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 7 1/2 cups flour
- 8 strips uncooked bacon
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons everything bagel seasoning (or recipe follows)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Stir water, milk, sugar, salt, and yeast together until yeast is dissolved and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Pour into a large mixing bowl and whisk in egg and melted butter until combined. Add flour and mix until dough comes together. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead for a 2 to 3 minutes until dough is smooth and resilient. Place in oiled bowl, cover, and place in warm place to rise for about 1 hour until doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising, cool the bacon in a medium skillet over medium high heat until browned and crispy, then use tongs to remove from pan and place on a separate plate. Pour the drippings from the pan into a small glass bowl and set aside to cool for at least 5 minutes. Add the everything bagel seasoning and oil to the bowl and stir until combined.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and grease a bundt pan or 10-inch springform pan very well with oil. Press dough down and divide into balls about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons each (you should get about 48). Dip each ball in the oil/seasoning mix to coat and place in your prepared pan until you have an entire layer, then sprinkle generously with bacon and cheddar. Continue dipping the dough balls and sprinkling the bacon and cheddar between layers until all of the dough is coated. Sprinkle any remaining bacon and cheddar over the top and place pan in oven to bake for 35 to 40 minutes, checking halfway through. If the top starts to look too done during the bake time cover with a sheet of foil.