New Year’s Eve Countdown: Bacon Cheddar Swirls

1 Bacon, Cheese and Fig Jam Palmiers

Now that we’ve got you all set for New Year’s Eve, it’s time to get on with the really important stuff. New Year’s Day.

Please follow these instructions exactly if you want to have health, wealth and good luck for 2015:

1. Before you go to bed tonight (or if you’re not going to bed until after midnight, before 12 a.m.), place a dish of coins outside your front door. The next morning (or later that morning if you’re not a party pooper like me), bring the coins back in. That symbolizes bringing money into the house on the first day of the New Year.

2. On New Year’s Day, eat these three things: Pork, greens and black-eyed peas.

  • Pork: Any kind will do – ham, bacon, tenderloin, chops, barbecue. Eating pork on New Year’s Day means you’ll live high off the hog for the rest of the year.
  • Greens: Mustard, collard, kale, turnip, spinach, Swiss chard. Your random green vegetables such as beans, broccoli and peas do not count. Greens = money. So ignore this one at your own peril.
  • Black-eyed peas: Surely you want good luck for 2015. So eat your black-eyed peas any way you want: fritters, salsa, just straight out of the pot. Again, other beans (yes, black-eyed peas are beans) do not count.

I have been following these rules since I can remember. I know they’re standard Southern superstitions, but why take a chance? Knock on wood.


Bacon Cheddar Swirls
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 pound of center-cut bacon
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed but still cold
  • 1 jar seedless raspberry jam
  • 2 cups finely shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Parchment paper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the bacon in a rimmed, foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Drain and cool. Finely dice bacon by hand or using a food processor.
  2. Unfold one sheet of the puff pastry. Spread a thin layer of the raspberry jam on the puff pastry. Top with half the bacon, spreading it evenly over the pastry. Top that with 1 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese, also spreading it evenly.
  3. Roll the puff pastry up as you would a jelly roll. Using a serrated knife, cut the pastry into ½ inch rounds. Place the parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put the swirls on the parchment paper, leaving room for them to expand. If you have leftover swirls, refrigerate them.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry begins to brown. Remove the sheet from the oven, gently loosen the swirls from the parchment paper with a rubber spatula and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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