DARLENE’S HALFTIME TOTS
The big game is coming up. I must confess, I’m not a big football fanatic but I sure enjoy going to the parties with friends and watching the commercials. Is that bad? Whether I’m hosting at home or bringing a dish to someone else, I’m always looking for recipes that appeal to everyone and usually anything with bacon goes over big time. Are you ready for a quick and easy recipe that will knock the socks off of your guests? This is it! Make these and there sure won’t be any left at halftime! You will have frozen tater tots and cheese leftover to make these another time, or buy another package of bacon to make a large platter full and stuff yourself silly. These are best eaten hot out of the oven but they disappear in my house, even when cold.
DARLENE’S HALF TIME TOTS
One bag frozen tater tots, at room temperature (you will have more than you need)
1 package bacon
8 ounce cheddar cheese block, cut into ¼ inch squares (you won’t use it all)
1 cup brown sugar
1-2 tablespoons chili powder (or to taste)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with foil and place a metal cooling rack on top of the pan. This allows the bacon to crisp on all sides. Spray rack with nonstick cooking spray. If you don’t have a cooling rack, line cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and chili powder until well combined. The chili powder gives a subtle flavor in the brown sugar mix.
Cut each bacon strip into pieces large enough to wrap around each tot. Depending on the size, you should be able to get 2-3 tots covered per slice.
Working one at a time, take a small cheese square, place it on top of a tot and wrap it in a piece of bacon. Repeat with remaining tots, cheese squares and bacon pieces.
Dredge each tater tot in the brown sugar mixture, pressing to coat.
Place tots, seam side down, onto the cooling rack/cookie sheet, leaving space between each one.
Bake approximately 20 minutes or until bacon is slightly crisp.
Some of the cheese may melt off the tot and down off the cooling rack. No worries. Lining the cookie sheet with foil makes for an easy clean-up. Remove tots from rack while still warm and place on your serving plate.
SERVE WARM and watch how fast they disappear!
The quantity will vary depending on how many tots you can cover with the bacon. I was able to get 3 tots covered with each piece of bacon and there were 12 slices in a package so my recipe made 36. This will vary depending on how thick the bacon is and how many slices are in the package.