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« Foodbuzz 24x24: Sweet Brunch in Philadelphia | Main | Sweet Discovery: The Cookie Lady, Ogden UT »
Sunday
Feb262012

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Bacon-Cheddar Whoopie Bites

Image: Pillsbury Bake-OffThink these are sandwich cookies? Think again, fool!

In one of the few acceptable ways to punk people by not serving them dessert, these morsels are treats--but not sweet! They're called "Bacon Cheddar Whoopie Bites" and they're a finalist in the upcoming Pillsbury Bake-Off! As entrant Teresa Smith of Santa Rosa, CA, says, "Whoopie! Indulge in three-cheese melt-in-your-mouth appetizers with savory bacon too!".

Here's how you make them at home.

Bacon-Cheddar Whoopie Bites

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese (4 oz), room temperature
  • 4 oz (half of 8-oz package) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 2 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Unsalted or Salted Butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
  • 1/2 cup Fisher® Praline Pecans, chopped
  • 8 slices packaged precooked thick-sliced bacon, microwaved according to package directions until crisp, crumbled
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray large cookie sheets with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray or line with cooking parchment paper. To make filling, in medium bowl, beat ricotta cheese and cream cheese with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Add milk; beat on medium speed 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Stir in lemon peel. Cover; refrigerate.
  2. In food processor, add flour, baking powder and red pepper. Cover; process until well blended. Add butter; cover and process until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add Cheddar cheese, pecans and bacon. Cover; process with on-and-off pulses until mixture is consistency of fine crumbs. With food processor running, gradually add enough water through feed tube and process just until dough pulls away from side of bowl and forms a ball.
  3. Shape dough into 48 (1 1/4–inch) balls; place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Using fingers, press each ball into 2-inch round.
  4. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.
  5. Spread or pipe about 1 tablespoon filling on bottom of each of 24 rounds. Top with remaining rounds, bottom sides down. Store covered in refrigerator.

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