Dessert Is Better With Bacon
Yeh, my day needs something special. I’ve put this day in the bag already and it’s ONLY 8:30 a.m.! Have you ever declared a redo? Well, I do ALL the time. You see, my weekdays always start at 4:30 a.m., just so I can spend some “alone” time with my husband (and actually have a conversation with someone who is taller than me) before he hurries off to work at 6:15 a.m.. And no, I rarely ever, go back to bed. Chores pile up, dishes are always a mile high, bills to pay, blog to write, and creative recipe ideas run through my head. This past night, my average 10 p.m. bedtime somehow managed to grow to midnight. How or why, I have no idea; but in turn that meant my night would consist of 4.5 hours of sleep (that is if everyone actually stays asleep). Our 1 year old, Gwennie, was up 3 times last night. Finally waking at 6 a.m. to find her crib thoroughly soaked. The last of the 4 littles, Faith, arises and lets just say there is evidence of a “fully submerged mattress” from last night. Ugh, seriously? 2 Loads of bed laundry all before 9 a.m.? Not to mention that my 2 oldest girls have been down each others’ throats since their eyes opened. Ahh, summer break is here. Full (and I mean full) days of my little ladies “playing” together SO nicely and the wonderful sound floating down the stairs “I’m bored!”. Somedays, I think to myself, “my sweet, little babies, you are lucky you are so cute”.
To ease the painful start of the day, after the ladies were all set with a safe activity, I headed to the kitchen. I was in one of those moods where I could’ t decide if I wanted to stuff my stressed out face with something salty or sweet. Ahh, there is the idea, my recent brownie obsession turned delightfully salty-sweet! Plus, in the back of my ever wandering mind I recalled seeing a Bacon contest. Yes folks, cookmore.com is hosting a recipe contest featuring the best bacon creations. The winner will receive a ticket to the famous World Food Championship in Las Vegas! For more details about this contest https://cookmore.com/contest/world-food-championship-bacon-contest/. And like that, I am off with my bacon inspired brownie dessert.
My girls LOVE bacon. No wait, Gracie is obsessed with bacon, every kind of bacon and bacon-ista item we see in stores. Gabby is a turkey bacon connoisseur. Faith is SO darn picky, she basically survives on turkey bacon. And Gwennie, she is like a hamster, hides the stuff in her cheeks for hours; savoring that salty smokey goodness for quite some time.
I get the bacon craze because we live it. I get the salty sweet craze because there are always moments when you just can’t decide what you want to eat. Keeping faithful to my bacon lovers and decadent brownie experts, I decided to mix that smokey treat into my Perfect Brownie recipe. But let’s not stop there because that just wouldn’t be superlicious enough! Let me entice you with my cinnamon caramel sauce. This stuff is seriously addictive. Like, “lick the bowl for every last drop” good. I take a very simple homemade, caramel sauce and add a bit of cinnamon, just to make your brain say “woa, what was that?”. I wanted to have a chunky topping that features the bacon, not just have it as a background flavor. My wheels were spinning and low-and-behold, I mix sliced almonds, a full package of bacon, and my cinnamon caramel sauce to make the perfect crunchy pairing with my moist rich bacon brownies. At first you receive the dark chocolate brownie, then the sweet and buttery caramel is chased down the back of your throat with the incredible smokiness. Are you ready to blow your tastebuds?!
Caramel Almond & Bacon Brownies
PLEASE NOTE: YOU WILL NEED 2 FULL PACKAGES OF BACON FOR THESE YUMMY BROWNIES!
For The Brownies (yields 16-1 inch circles)
10 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder (I love Ghirardelli brand)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp instant coffee (I prefer Starbucks VIA)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 package of bacon, cooked and crumbled. (about 1/2 cup)
NOTE: (I eliminated the mini chocolate chips from my original recipe and replaced with the bacon)
Caramel Almond Bacon Topping
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 package of bacon, cooked and crumbled (about a half cup)
1. Preheat oven 325 degrees. Line a 8×8 pan with tin foil for easy removal after baked and cooled. I
also like to spray the foil with nonstick spray.
2. Put about 2 inches of water in the pot and place on burner using a medium to medium-high heat.
Place pyrex bowl on top. This is the double boiler method.
3. Place butter in the pyrex bowl and melt thoroughly using a whisk to stir out lumps. Add both
sugars, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and salt. Mix on double boiler until mixture is completely
wet looking and well combined. Remove bowl from heat and set aside for about 5 minutes until
4. Add 2 eggs when the mixture is not hot enough to cook the eggs. Mix eggs well and add vanilla.
5. Mix in flour and finally add the cooked, crumbled bacon. Batter will be thick. Using a spatula, pour
into prepared pan.
6. Bake at 325 for 23 minutes. Toothpick will be mostly clean and edges will definitely look done.
Allow to cool completely before removing the tin foil from pan.
7. When thoroughly cooled, cut 16 bite size circle brownies and set on serving dish.
For The Caramel Sauce:
1. In a medium pot on medium heat, melt butter.
2. Using a heat proof spatula or whisk, mix in brown sugar and salt. Stir constantly until butter is well combined. It will thicken in 4-5 minutes. Do not leave unattended, it will burn.
3. When brown sugar and butter are thick, slowly add heavy cream. Then add cinnamon. It will rapidly bubble and spurt, be careful. Stir constantly and thoroughly for about 4 minutes.
4. Remove from heat, add vanilla.
5. Allow to cool and thicken until it is just warm.
6. Remove about 1/4 cup of sauce for “finishing” the brownie with a drizzle
7. Mix in the full cooked package of crumbled bacon and sliced almonds to the remaining 3/4 cup of caramel sauce.
8. Allow this mixture to cool completely. We will be scooping out and want it to be slightly formable.
9. When the caramel mixture is cool, using a 1/2 tbsp scoop out this mixture and place on each brownie circle.
10. Place the reserved caramel sauce in a piping bag, snip off a small hole. Drizzle each topped brownie with a zigzag.
Now, turn that oven off and eat your little heart out! And beware of the hoards of people running you down when they hear there’s bacon in your brownies!