I first shared this recipe on the blog in 2009 when we were living in South Africa and enjoying a beautiful, summery Christmas in Bloemfontein with my dear mother- and father-in-love, and there was just one Collie baby on my hip. After receiving a few recipe requests, including one from a friend who remembered these treats from a Christmas TEN YEARS PREVIOUS… it seemed logical to revive this old recipe with some better explanations and re-post it, because a world without bacon cherries is, basically, just a little less merry and bright.

Happy Holidays and… you’re welcome!

If you know me at all, you might know that I really, really love bacon. Really. When I first started this blog I called it Smiling’s My Favourite. And Bacon. So, good news. Bacon is on the menu in the Collie household at Christmastime! As promised, I have an illustrated step-by-step for you and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best holiday hors d’oeuvre since figgy pudding. Which I’ve actually never had.

These are the players:

Glazed Cherries#1, Glazed Cherries. We’re obviously off to a good start.

Do note: these are not maraschinos. They will typically be hanging out in a clear plastic tub (not a jar) and surrounded by syrup if you’re in the US. Look in the holiday section or maybe the baking sectionOur current tub says “Sun-Ripe Red Cherries” on it. It does not say glazed, but the ingredients include cherries, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, water, citric acid and some flavorings.

Since we are pretty clean eaters the rest of the year, I’m cool with a little bit of those hectic ingredients for now. It’s the holidays.

I Heart Bakey#2 Streaky Bacon. We’re obviously moving in a good direction.

Toothpicks#3, Toothpicks. A necessity for the sweet bacon-y goodness to become possible.

The Play by Play:

Cut bacon to an appropriate length for wrapping completely around a cherry once. Wrap one piece of bacon around each cherry and push a toothpick through to keep it all together. You should arrive at:

Like So

Repeat process until you run out of something. Then go to the store and get more of whatever you ran out of. You’re welcome.

Place your delectable delights either on a roasting rack over a baking tray or in a braai (grill) clamp. If you have a clamp (as pictured below) you can flip the whole thing under the broiler to ensure super crispiness. Trust me, it’s worth the work any way you do it. So worth it.

The Hero Hubs’ preferred cooking method is to put them on a roasting rack and cook them on our gas grill with indirect low heat until they’re nice and crispy. While some South Africans might be offended by the use of the gas braai, we’ll beg you to overlook it while remembering we have four young children and are occasionally slaves to convenience. But only very occasionally.

Grill Pan Helps

If you’re going with the oven method, you have two options. Either way, place a grill pan of some sort underneath your clamp or roasting rack to catch the drippings. Then choose an option below.

The Bake Method:

Slide these tasty treats into a preheated oven and bake at 350F/180C until the bacon is done and things start looking good and crispy. If you’d like to turn on the broil setting to speed up the process, feel free. But pay attention. Overcooking to the point of destroying these after all that work… sounds like a nightmare I’d wake up screaming from. This can take 20 minutes or longer, based on the thickness of your bacon and how crispy you want it.

The Broil Method:

Slide your tasty treats under the broiler and watch carefully. This method requires paying close attention, and works better if you’re using a clamp, so that you can easily flip the clamp and get both sides nicely crisped. If you want to do this but you’re using a roasting rack sitting on a baking tray, I’d say it’s worth it to pull them out and turn them individually.

Hot Stuff

This is when I start drooling.

And here’s the final product, which will leave the plate before you’ve finished laying it out:

Gone Too Fast

Feel free to take an instagram photo, like this one circa 2010, and make sure you get your chipped polished fingernail in the picture if you can, thank you kindly.


{Obviously, this is from some distant past where attempts at nail care were still part of my leisurely time usage.}

One last word of advice, people. Maybe two. First, there’s an important Afrikaans saying that we often repeat around the Collie house: Haastige hond verbrand sy mond. It’s an adorable little rhyme, trust me. Translation? The hasty dog burns his tongue. Sounds much better in Afrikaans, I promise.

Why am I spreckening this, pray tell? Because those cherries get hot hot hot inside that bacon, so fasten a bib around your neck to catch the drool, and give these puppies a few moments to rest and cool when they come off the grill/out of the oven.

Otherwise you’ll need a different Afrikaans word: Eina. (pronounced ay-nah). Meaning? Ouch.

Step Two? Linger near the hors d’oeuvres tray when they’re ready for action. They are clearly so magical, they’ll disappear.

Merry Christmas!


P.S. Planning to try making this delectable treat? Feel free to ask questions in the comments, or let me know how it goes!