Looking for the perfect hostess gift? We have two words for you: Bacon Jam.

Bacon Jam and Black Pepper Biscuits

It’s party time! And you can’t show up empty handed. The Coastal Table is filled with great year-round recipes, but many of them can double as thoughtful and delicious hostess gifts. Some of our favorites include Karen Covey’s mouthwatering whole wheat pumpkin scones and a pitcher of her spicy bloody mary. (Why not? Just bring a bottle of vodka on the side!) If you want to knock your hostess’ socks off, make her a jar of bacon jam. Spiked with irresistible coffee flavors, this heavenly concoction will have her swooning the day after the festivities. Better yet, deliver the bacon jam with some black pepper biscuits and this gorgeous cookbook and your name will be on the invite list for years to come…

Bacon Jam

  • 8 strips thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon, roughly chopped
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup brewed coffee, cooled
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  1. In a medium saucepan, add bacon and cook over medium heat, stirring as needed, until nicely browned. Remove with a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
  2. Pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of grease from pan.
  3. Add onions to remaining bacon grease and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Carefully add apple cider and balsamic vinegar to deglaze pan, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Add coffee, brown sugar, maple syrup, and mustard and stir to combine.
  4. Add bacon back to pan. Cook over medium heat until mixture has thickened and reaches consistency of a jam, about 10-15 minutes (cook a bit longer if necessary). Set aside to cool to room temperature.

cook’s note: For a more spreadable consistency, transfer cooked mixture to a food processor and pulse until smooth or slightly chunky.

Black Pepper Biscuits 

  • 2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup milk, plus extra for brushing
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, pepper, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Using a pastry cutter, fork, or by hand, cut in butter until coarse crumbs form. Be sure to do this fairly quickly, so butter stays cold.  (Cold butter helps keep the biscuits light and flaky.)
  5. Make a well in center of flour mixture and pour in 2/3 cup milk. Gently combine until dough just holds together, adding an additional 1 tablespoon milk as needed (somewhere between 1-3 tablespoons). Do not overwork dough or biscuits will be tough.
  6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a rectangle about 1 inch thick x 5 inches wide x 6 inches long. Cut dough into 6 equal squares.
  7. Transfer biscuits to prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with additional milk and sprinkle each with a pinch of black pepper. Bake until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.