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  • 1 pound hamburger (80/15 mix, to make 12 slider-size 2-inch round hamburger patties)
  • Coarse salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 1½ Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon chili sauce
  • 4 teaspoons sweet BBQ sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sweet pickle juice
  • 12 Slider Buns (2½ inches round. (Hamburger bun recipe Half/Wheat, Half /White page 253))
  • ½ cup Colby or Jack Cheese (grated)
  • ¼ cup arugula (optional)
  1. Form the sliders into 2 inch patties. Season both sides generously with coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°. Place the bacon on a small baking sheet and bake for 10 min. Drizzle the bacon with maple syrup and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake 10 min. more. Remove the bacon to paper towels to soak up the extra grease.
  3. Make the sauce: In a small bowl put the mayonnaise, chili sauce, sweet BBQ sauce, Worcestershire and sweet pickle juice. Mix. Set aside.
  4. When the bacon is cool, stack them and cut into 4 equal pieces. You will have 12 small pieces of bacon. Set aside.
  5. Turn the oven to broil. Place patties on a broiler pan or in a black iron skillet. Broil the sliders on the middle oven rack for 5 min., turn and place a piece of bacon on top, a teaspoon of grated cheese on top of the bacon. Broil until cooked through about another 4 min. Remove.
  6. Cut the slider buns almost all the way through. Lay out on a baking sheet. Quickly run the buns under the broiler and toast until light brown.
  7. Put a dab of sauce on the bottom bun and then a hamburger patty. Top with a piece of arugula and serve immediately.

Variations: Grill the Sliders instead of broiling. Instead of making your own buns use my French Baguette page 242. Cut 2-inch rounds, 1 inch thick. Use Blue Cheese dressing on page 264 in place of the hamburger sauce or just sprinkle on dry blue cheese. Add chopped sautéed mushrooms and Gruyere cheese. Sauté some mushrooms, add a little Gruyere cheese to the mushrooms until it melts and spoon a little on each Slider. Add Grilled Onions to the Slider: Melt 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add very thin slices of 1 red onion or 1 yellow onion. Cook slowly 15 to 20 min. stirring occasionally until the onions are caramelized. Sprinkle with coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Mini Sliders for a party: Cut the hamburger bun dough 1½ inches round. Make the hamburger 1 inch round.

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