Easy, make ahead Cranberry Bacon Jam and cheese on top of a crusty baguette, topped with chopped walnuts for extra crunch — these crostini are the perfect combination of sweet, smoky, salty and cheesy!
So, this post was originally going to be some kind of way (way way way way) over the top fudge recipe, but I was looking at my calendar, and since I’ve color coded sweet and savory recipes to make sure there’s a balance, it was pretty easy to see that there was absolutely no balance in December. Sweets won out!
Now, I still have way more sweet recipes in December than others, but I’m letting myself get away with it because…. well, it’s my blog. And I can eat cookies the whole month of December if I want to.
But I thought I should have at least a few savory holiday options for you, but I couldn’t let go of my love of cranberries this time of year (Maybe this Cranberry Apple Cider rings a bell? Or these White Chocolate Cranberry Sweet Rolls? Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Blondies?).
And then bacon and cheese because bacon and cheese. I can’t seem to make many appetizers without them.
I used a Smoked Cheddar from a local cheese company, and it was totally unreal. It complements the smokiness of the bacon so well! I just love all of the different flavors and textures in these crostini: sweet, salty, smoky, cheesy flavors. Gooey, chewy, crunchy, saucy textures. It really is everything you want in one bite!
- 1 lb bacon, finely chopped
- 1medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp brewed coffee (hot or cold, doesn't matter)
- ½ cup cranberry juice
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 baguette, thinly sliced (you'll get about 20-24 slices from one regular length baguette)
- butter or margarine
- 20-24 slices good quality cheese (I recommend smoked cheddar!)
- toasted, chopped walnuts
- fresh, chopped parsley
- In a medium pot, cook the bacon until nicely browned. Remove from pot, saving about 2 tbsp bacon fat. (Strain the rest off of the bacon)
- In remaining bacon fat, cook the onions over medium heat until translucent. Add garlic and cook about a minute until fragrant.
- Add bacon back to the pot. Add remaining bacon jam ingredients (through to dried cranberries).
- Cook over medium heat, stirring often (watch carefully so the sugar doesn't burn), for about 30 minutes until thickened and syrupy (there shouldn't be a lot of liquid remaining). Set aside. (This can easily be made ahead and stored in the fridge!)
- Spray a baking sheet with non stick spray and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Lightly butter one side of each bread slice, and place on baking sheet with the butter facing up. Place pan in the oven for 3-4 minutes, until the bottom is lightly toasted. Flip bread slices and top with cheese slices. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of bacon jam on top of cheese and place in the oven for 4-5 minutes, until the bacon jam is warmed through and the cheese is melted.
- Top with chopped walnuts and parsley if desired.
The bacon jam can be made up to a week ahead, which reduces your prep at the time of your even.
More awesome crostini recipes!
Bacon Ricotta Crostini from The Food Charlatan
Harvest Fruit, Pecan and Goat Cheese Crostini from The Creative Bite
Mushroom Bacon Swiss Crostini from Lemon Tree Dwelling