The recipes in Easy-as-Pie are so promising, at least if you like vintage cooking. Bacon-and-Cheese Beauties are the perfect example. What could possibly go wrong with bacon and cheese? The answer to this question lies in the ingredients list, which calls for processed American cheese and white bread. When Friendship Club decided to meet for a cooking party, we agreed to make the beauties as instructed and then each try our own variation on the theme. This is the original recipe and… I don’t recommend it. But we said we were cooking through the whole book, and so in the spirit of completion, here goes.
Bacon-and-Cheese Beauties Barbie’s Way
- 4 slices processed American cheese
- 4 slices white bread (we used Wonder Bread because of course)
- 1 large tomato, cut into thick slices
- 8 strips of bacon
Set your oven’s broiler to low heat and place the rack about 4 inches below the element. You will want a broiler pan for this recipe.
Cook the bacon. Barbie recommends a cold frying pan over medium heat, but your bacon cooking method of choice will be just fine.
Put 4 slices of white bread on the broiler pan and place them in the oven for a scant 60 seconds. We burned our first batch like a couple of clueless Skippers, so be careful! They are done when they are lightly toasted on one side. Take the bread out and turn the slices over.
Put a slice of tomato on each piece of bread, followed by a slice of American cheese. Top the whole thing with two slices of bacon.
Place the beauties back under the broiler for about a minute and a half, but again, be careful to take them out as soon as the cheese is melty and the edges are golden. Then eat them, I guess? Or not. Why would you do this? Plus, now you have a whole pack of fake cheese slices in your fridge. What have you done?
-Inspired by Barbie’s Easy-As-Pie Cookbook
Donna compared these to diner food, and that’s probably the most generous thing that can be said of them. The reality of this recipe is a sharp contrast to the luxurious and affluent lifestyle Barbie is supposed to represent. I wonder if that was an effect of the time period or the age group it was written for?
- These burn! They burn fast. It bears repeating.
Although these were more of a curiosity than a success, the bacon and cheese and tomato open-faced sandwich formula is a winning one, and we’re both excited to improve on it. (Our versions can now be found here and here.) While I guarantee I’ll never recreate this particular recipe, I plan to call every variation on the theme a Bacon-and-Cheese Beauty forever and all time.