Scrapple. I doubt there is a more polarizing food in the world. People either love it or detest it. I think some may even fear it just a bit. For those not familiar with this Mid-Atlantic “delicacy,” scrapple is a breakfast meat that has often been described as consisting of everything leftover from a butchered pig except the oink. In reality, it is a mash of pork trimmings, cornmeal and spices that has been formed into sliceable blocks. So easy to prepare, just slice and pan fry until the outside is nice and crispy and the inside warm and creamy. In my opinion, it’s the best breakfast food there is.
So imagine my delight when my favorite craft brewer, Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery, announced a few years ago, that he was going to brew a specialty ale using scrapple. Brilliant! I was so looking forward to trying his Beer for Breakfast, a lovely stout that boasted classic breakfast ingredients such as coffee, maple syrup, and of course, scrapple. But alas, it was not to be. Those first couple of years, the brew was launched as a limited edition draft available only at the Dogfish Head brewery and pub. On weekdays. Devastated, this 9 to 5-er prayed to the beer gods that someday she’d get to sample Beer for Breakfast.
This year, my prayers were answered. Sam, in his ultimate wisdom, decided to bottle and distribute Beer for Breakfast. I was in seventh heaven! I immediately ran out and picked up a six-pack before they were gone. So worth the wait, it was everything I hoped it would be, and then some. And although this breakfast inspired stout was amazingly delicious to drink on its own, I couldn’t wait to try it in a recipe. And it just so happened I had the perfect recipe I’d been holding on to for just such a beverage.
A came across this recipe for Spicy Bacon and Brew Muffins in Cooking Light several years ago and I knew immediately it was one I’d have to try. A moist breakfast muffin, not too sweet, with the flavors of stout and bacon subtly shining through, topped with a maple bacon-studded streusel. These muffins are perfect just out of the oven on a slow Sunday morning.
I altered the original recipe very slightly by using maple bacon, instead of applewood smoked bacon, and of course, Beer for Breakfast Stout instead of Guinness. Ingenious improvements on both counts, if you ask me.
Now you can have your Beer for Breakfast and eat it too!
Beer for Breakfast Muffins
Have all ingredients at room temperature before starting. These muffins freeze really well and thaw quickly in the microwave for 35-45 seconds. Makes 1 dozen muffins.
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (up to 2 teaspoons if you really like it spicy)
3 slices maple bacon (or applewood smoked bacon)
3 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on the baking sheet.
Combine 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 teaspoons water and red pepper in a small bowl. Spread mixture over both sides of the bacon. Place back on the rack and bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes. Cool; finely chop and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Combine the oats and 1 tablespoon of flour in a small bowl. Stir in melted butter. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped bacon. Set aside.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (7.9 ounces)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup Beer for Breakfast Stout
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Line muffin tin with paper liners.
Combine flour, remaining bacon, 1/2 cup brown sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir well.
In a separate bowl, combine beer, oil, vanilla, and egg, stirring gently with a whisk.
Add beer mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Batter will be thick.
Evenly divide the batter amount the muffin cups. Sprinkle streusel evenly over the batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean.Cool in pan for 5 minutes; serve warm, or cool completely on wire rack.