Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pumpkin & Goat Cheese Muffins with Candied Bacon

For some reason muffins remind me of lazy Sundays, slowing down, and taking a break.  I also love them because they give me an excuse to eat dessert for breakfast!  I think right now it's really important to remember to slow down.  With the holidays upon us it's easy to get caught up in the craziness and miss what's happening right now.  I've been a bit caught up in the madness lately myself.  When someone asked me what projects and desserts I had planned for Spring, I almost collapsed.  My list of projects I want to make for the holidays is daunting enough, please let me get through that first! Anyway, these muffins are a good way to decompress.  A few bites and all the stress melts away, for a little while anyway!
Well these muffins kind of speak for themselves.  Pumpkin, goat cheese, and candied bacon all together is outrageous!  I knew the goat cheese would work well with the pumpkin, but I wasn't sure how the whole bacon thing would work out.  I guess that was kind of silly because hello it's bacon, but the outcome was much better than I hoped for.  First I candied some bacon, and that in itself is ridiculous.  I suggest making extra because you'll wind up eating it all before it makes it on the muffins.  Turns out to get that perfect candied crunch, you need to let it bake till it starts smoking.  This took a few rounds of trial and error, see what I do for you ;)  The goat cheese filling works really well too.  It's not overpowering at all, it just adds that bit of tang that completely brightens up the pumpkin.  Now once the batter was in the muffin tins, I crumbled up my candied bacon, sprinkled it on top and sent them off in to the oven to get happy.  What happened in the oven is what made the outcome so much better than I imagined.  When they baked, all that bacon goodness dripped down through the muffins adding this wonderful smoky flavor.  I was expecting a nice little crunch on top, but I got so much more.  When you take the muffins out of the oven the bacon will have softened up a bit, but don't worry.  Once they cool down it will crisp up again and return to fabulous.
The shoot for these was also a lot of fun too!  I don't think I've ever seen the How2heroes crew so excited to wrap so they could try the goods.  Everyone loved them, and the extra candied bacon on hand.  So take a step back, breathe, give yourself some "me" time, and eat some muffins.  Enjoy the video!

Candied Bacon

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Put sugar on a plate and press both sides of the bacon on it so it sticks.
  3. Place a baking rack on top of a parchment lined sheet pan and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Place bacon on rack and bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating after 10 minutes.  Start checking bacon after 18 minutes, it is done when it starts to smoke and get dark.
  5. Once you remove it from the oven transfer to a plate right away so it doesn't stick.
  6. After it cools, crumble into pieces.
Pumpkin Muffins

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/2t. baking powder
  • 1/2t. baking soda
  • 1/2t. salt
  • 1t. cinnamon
  • 1/4t. ground cloves
  • 1/4t. nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl mix eggs and sugar together with a whisk.
  3. Add pumpkin puree and mix.
  4. Stir in all dry ingredients and mix till combined.
Goat Cheese Filling

  • 4 oz. cream cheese at room temp.
  • 3 oz. goat cheese at room temp.
  • 3T. light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 oz. sour cream
  • 1/4t. vanilla extract
  1. Cream goat cheese & cream cheese with sugar
  2. Add egg
  3. Mix in vanilla and sour cream
  1. Fill muffin pan 2/3 full of pumpkin batter.
  2. Drop a heaping spoonful of goat cheese filling on top of each muffin.
  3. Swirl together with a toothpick.
  4. Sprinkle tops with candied bacon.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes rotating once half way through.

Sorry to be a tease, but I felt a close up shot was necessary!


  1. I love savory sweets, this looks amazing Meghan!

  2. Those are really fun and I love the look of the candied bacon--it has such a gloss to it.

  3. This is definitely the time of year when the "super organized, I have all next year planned", people can be unnerving!
    The way you have explained about the effect that the bacon flavor has on the cake when baking sounds heavenly. That is enough to convince me but the goat cheese is the 2nd primo flavor factor.It is understandable why everyone was impatient to dig in. Enjoyable video of a must try treat!

  4. WOW! Love the salty yet sweet idea. GREAT recipe

  5. OH MY GAWD YUM!!! I'm on a huge goat cheese kick right now so I am def. making these.

  6. Anonymous11/17/2011

    omg these sound fantastic!!! awesome recipe!!

  7. Candied bacon!? That's like a dream come true! I cannot wait to try these out!

  8. Meghan-yes, you are teasing...not fair!
    Love the candied bacon on top of the savory-sweet muffins. Totally incredible,and genius:DDD

  9. Wow! O_O I've definitely never tried anything close to this, but it sounds very intriguing. Candied bacon? Really? Haha, I have so much to discover about American bacon usage!

  10. Oh wow! Wowiewowwow! These sound amazing. My husband (and I) would gobble these down.

  11. Pumpkin, goat cheese, and bacon. Yup. I'm sold!

  12. Goat cheese and bacon, very cool muffin!

  13. These muffins mean serious business! I love anything with candied bacon, and to pair it with pumpkin? Genius! Totally want to try this!

  14. I knew I liked you for a reason! Just this morning, I posted pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and candied bacon sprinkles! You might just be my lost soul sister!

  15. Anonymous11/18/2011

    Oh, this is FANTASTIC! I love the idea of that flavor combination!

  16. So...the bacon which is already candied drips goodness down into the muffins while they bake? Genius!

  17. Love at first sight :) These are amazing. Great video again!

  18. I love the idea of salty cheese with the sweet pumpkin muffin! Wonderful.

    we used to make bacon in a similar way, only we added a little cayenne pepper too. It was known as "pig candy." Looking back, it is kind of a gross name. LOL!

  19. Muffins are definitely for lazy days. These are so fun too. Great flavor combinations!

  20. Yummy!! Another new taste I have to try... Thanks for the video. It really helps a lot!

  21. oh my dear! This sounds outrageously awesome. I love the sophisticated yet so deliciously crowd pleasing. Don't worry about Spring! Are you nuts?! lol! You almost gave me a heart attack with that comment. I thought I was ahead of the game by holiday decorating before the snow fall. lol! I love this recipe and I'm sure there will be many more just as fabulous recipes to come. Slow down and enjoy! :) Happy start of the holiday season to you.

  22. So cool! I really love goat cheese and put it in just about everything I can! I have yet to put it in muffins though; must try. Also, your Pumpkin Ice Cream with Beer Caramel Sauce & Gingerbread Croutons is so pretty, I just had to PIN it! :)

  23. I LOVE the idea of these three ingredients together. WOW! Bacon juice dripping down into the muffins....YUM.

  24. Seriously, I don't know what reeled me in faster - the bacon, the goat cheese, the muffin or the pumpkin... these are AMAZING. Thanks for a lovely recipe, Meghan!!

  25. These sound like the answer to many cravings! Sweet cake, rich goat cheese and salty crunchy bacon! Great combination :)!

  26. You are a genius. I am in awe. Loving this beyond belief. The pics are fantastic.

  27. No bacon for me... but I love the idea of pumpkin and goat cheese! :D

  28. Anonymous11/22/2011

    This looks incredible in so many ways! I love that this is a more savory take on a classic pumpkin muffin. Just because I'm vegetarian doesn't mean I can't appreciate this!