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Merriment :: Mac and cheese bacon cups by Not Martha recreated by Kathy Beymer

The Fulton Market area of Chicago where I work is filled with food wholesale companies – fish, meat, eggs, butter, …and (xoxo) bacon. This week I walked into Meadow Brook Egg Company and walked out with a twelve-pound box of premier restaurant quality bacon.

Merriment :: Mac and cheese bacon cups by Not Martha recreated by Kathy Beymer

Merriment :: Mac and cheese bacon cups by Not Martha recreated by Kathy Beymer

I’ve been dreaming about trying Megan’s famous bacon cups since Shane passed along the link last spring. Megan creatively made her cups in the oven using upside down muffin pans covered in foil. While they turned out lovely, Megan reported some smoking and fat burning by using the oven so I decided to see if I could make them 100% in the microwave. And as a tip of the hat to Shane’s 2007 Mac and Cheese Cooking Championship victory, I filled the cups with mac and cheese.


I tried two variations of cups in the microwave: solid bacon cups and open bacon cup.

Method 1: Solid bacon cup using glass prep bowls
This method creates a tighter, more solid cup that’s great for holding mac and cheese.

Merriment :: Mac and cheese bacon cups by Not Martha recreated by Kathy Beymer

First line your Pyrex baking dish with a bunch of paper towels. Set your glass prep bowl in the middle of the dish. Fold one paper towel into quarters and set on top of the glass bowl to help catch some of the grease and make it easier to remove the finished cup from the bowl. Drape three strips of bacon across the top.

Merriment :: Mac and cheese bacon cups by Not Martha recreated by Kathy Beymer

Now weave strips over and under the three core strips, covering the entire glass prep bowl and overlapping slices so to ensure it cooks with few holes in the cup. Cover with more paper towel and microwave for up to 4 minutes. Check it midway to see how it’s doing. When it’s ready, slip the bacon cup off of the glass prep bowl. Peel back the grease-soaked paper towel while it’s still warm and pliable. Fill with mac and cheese.

Merriment :: Mac and cheese bacon cups by Not Martha recreated by Kathy Beymer

Method 2: Open bacon cups “baskets” using 10-oz ceramic ramekins
This method ended up creating large open spaces which look really cute when filled with fresh green salad. I didn’t overlap the pieces on this try and used fattier pieces of bacon which shrunk up more and created larger spaces in the cup.

Merriment :: Mac and cheese bacon cups

Line your Pyrex baking dish with a bunch of paper towels. Then take two sheets and fold in half or thirds depending on the size of your ramekins, joining to make a single long rectangle. Wrap it around the ramekin and tuck under the paper towel on the open edge. Set it back in your baking dish, open end down, on top of the paper towels.

Merriment :: Mac and cheese bacon cups by Not Martha recreated by Kathy Beymer

Put two pieces of bacon across the top with one piece perpendicular. Next, wrap the bacon around in a basket weave, over under the three pieces.

Merriment :: Mac and cheese bacon cups by Not Martha recreated by Kathy Beymer

Cover and microwave for up to 4 minutes. Gently lift the cup off of the ramekin and peel back the paper towel. Thanks again to Megan for the original oven-baked inspiration!

Merriment :: Mac and cheese bacon cups by Not Martha recreated by Kathy Beymer

So what about my 12 pounds of bacon? Well, I used about 1 pound making cups, froze 6 pounds for later and gave three pounds away which leaves 2 more pound sitting in my refrigerator …I’ll be trying more bacon-centric recipes soon. Viva la bacon!

Merriment :: Mac and cheese bacon cups by Not Martha recreated by Kathy Beymer


27 Responses to “Mac and cheese bacon cups”

  1. Shiela Says:

    Congratulations! What a creative idea. This is also my first time to see this kind of thing and I am amazed with the idea. I’m absolutely sure it taste even better.

  2. Nikki Says:

    I love this. I have never seen it done but will definitely try it when I can
    Thanks so much. You have wonderful range of projects.

  3. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Mine for the mac and cheese ones held up pretty well …I actually had to break them on purpose to eat them. The salad ones were a bit more fragile. My guess is that it may be based on the type of bacon you buy and the amount that you overlap them, so if you’re wanting a sturdier bowl I’d go with the overlapping and smaller prep bowl base. Yum!

  4. Stephanie Says:

    How well do the cups hold up? I’m afraid that they’ll get very crispy and whenever I poke my fork in to eat, I’ll crack the bacon cup and the whole thing will fall apart in a (delicious) mess.

  5. Heather in SF Says:

    Cool! Thank you for the follow. I have a recipe for mac’n cheese with truffle oil and bacon, I should send it to you, imagine it in a bacon cup, drool.

  6. Kathy Beymer Says:

    @HeatherHAL, why yes I am. I just added you. I’m @MerrimentDesign and love your biscotti!

  7. Heather in SF Says:

    Any bacon fan like you is automatically a friend! Are you on Twitter? I’m @HeatherHAL.

  8. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Heather in SF, this is a fantastic idea! Can we be friends too??

  9. Heather in SF Says:

    I recommend pig candy for one of your pounds of bacon: liberally coat bacon with brown sugar and fry up in a large nonstick pan, turning frequently. The pan will become a seething mass of bubbling sugar and bacon fat. When the pan begins to get quiet the bacon should almost be done, remove to a silpat or tin foil. Immediately pour remaining sugar onto another silpat in a jelly roll pan. The fat will separate off and you should spread the remaining sugar as flat as possible. This makes a bacon hard candy that’s pretty tasty for snacking in the kitchen. The pig candy is awesome as is or crumbled to top donuts, in maple ice cream or in toffee instead of nuts. For obvious reasons I only make this about 3 times a year as my friends and I can go through about 3 pounds in one sitting. !!!

  10. s Says:

    brilliant idea. great photos.

  11. Kelly Clarke Says:

    This is such a wonderfully creative idea! I think I might have to work this into a Valentines Day lunch. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Merriment :: Kathy Beymer Says:

    Thanks, Andy! You are the sweetest.

  13. Andy Says:

    Bacon cups! You are an inspiration. I love this. I’m sending this link around. The world is a better place.

    The picture of the cup with mac and cheese is now my desktop wallpaper. Which reminds me: great photography.

    Well done!

  14. Natalie Says:

    un-be-lieve-able. my fiance would love this and I’d love to show it off at a dinner party! very cool.

  15. HooperPower Hoopdance Says:

    You temptress! What a great idea…those baby tomatoes are beeeeautiful.

  16. janna Says:

    I am such a bacon fan, what a great idea!

    Have you ever tried Martha Stewart’s Brown Sugar Glazed Bacon? BEST bacon I’ve ever had, without a doubt.

    Heat oven to 425.
    Line baking pan with parchment paper. Arrange bacon on paper and sprinkle brown sugar liberally over the bacon (1/2 c dark brown to 1 1/4 lbs bacon…but I probably used a bit more). Bake for 10 min, remove and drain fat. Return to oven until bacon is crisp, 6 to 7 more minutes. Transfer bacon to wire rack to cool.

    It’s like candy, amazing!

    (ooh, how about a Vosage-inspired pan of brownies? With bacon pieces throughout??)

    Ok, I’m hungry now.

  17. Brooke Says:

    This is such a great idea!!! Something I’ll have to save for a special occasion for my husband…. he loves bacon…. but whose husband doesn’t??


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