Not all parchment paper is created equal. Parchment paper has long been employed for the classic French “en papillote” style of roasting meats and vegetables; it literally means “in parchment.” It’s perhaps more commonly used as a liner for cakes, cookies, and mess-free cleanup from other baked goods. As more recipes and cooks call for the paper, more grocery stores are stocking it.
It’s easy to understand that as demand has increased, so has supply. But beware: Just because the box you reach for is labeled parchment paper, it may not be the right paper for you.
The biggest difference between brands of paper is the maximum temperature recommended. Although it’s not always easy to see, each manufacturer will put oven-safety guidelines on the package. In my pantry I currently have three different brands of parchment paper. One allows baking to 420 degrees, another only to 375 degrees, and still another up to 450 degrees.
If all you ever use your parchment paper for is baking cookies at 350 degrees or less, then you’re OK to purchase the “lower heat” papers. But I encourage you to double-check and upgrade to a higher heat parchment, so you, too, can enjoy the delectable bites of Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Apricots without any fear of appetizer ignition in your oven.
Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Apricots
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Yield: Makes 16; easily multiplied
16 dried Turkish apricots
8 teaspoons crumbled blue cheese, or more to taste
8 slices already cooked bacon, soft
Wooden picks for securing
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with appropriate parchment paper and set aside.
Butterfly each apricot, leaving enough of one side to create a “purse.” Stuff with a heaping ½ teaspoon of cheese crumbles and wrap with ½ slice bacon. Secure with wooden pick. Place on the baking sheet pick-side down.
Bake 5 to 6 minutes or until bacon is crispy. Remove from oven, cool, and serve. Best when consumed within 30 minutes of baking; appetizers will be safe at room temperature for buffet serving for up to 2 hours.
Approximate values per serving: 71 calories, 4.4 g fat (1.6 g saturated), 12 mg cholesterol, 4 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 0.6 g dietary fiber, 239 mg sodium.
Contact Alicia Ross at Kitchen Scoop, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Kitchen Scoop Web site at www.kitchenscoop.com.