bacon squares
photograph by Matt Hulsman

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

8 slices thick-cut bacon
2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup grated Swiss cheese
½ cup grated Gruyère
¼ cup grated Parmesan
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 scallions, trimmed and chopped
Sliced party-sized rye bread

Preheat oven to 400°.

Place a wire rack inside a large baking sheet and arrange bacon slices in a single layer.

Bake until bacon begins to brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

During the last five minutes of cooking, remove pan from oven and drizzle a little maple syrup and brown sugar over each slice; season with ground pepper. Bake until syrup caramelizes and bacon is golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes.

Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Cool and crumble bacon, reserving some crumbles for garnish.

In a bowl, combine bacon, cheeses, mayonnaise, and scallions.

Spread on bread slices and place on a large baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Remove pan from freezer and bake until toasts are golden brown and bubbly, about 15 to 20 minutes.

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For several years, Our State featured recipes from the pages of community and church cookbooks from around North Carolina. These dishes continue to be among some of our most popular and enjoyed.