Those that know me know I am a cooking and baking fan. It started with cookies and spaghetti when I was young and just kinda went from there. Anyhow, Here is a recipe for some really yummy brownies. I will also note that the brownie recipe by itself is quite good. The addition of the bacon-caramel glaze nicely enhances the flavor, working with the chocolate rather than competing. Instead, you get a nice combination of bacon and chocolate with a much chewier overall texture as the bacon will rehydrate slightly in the glaze when cooling.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) UNSALTED butter
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon PURE vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cup AP flour
- 1 cup UNSWEETENED cocoa
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 pound thick sliced, cured bacon, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons UNSALTED butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- If you can, a few hours before you begin cooking, set the butter, cream and eggs on the counter. Leave for a couple hours so everything gets just to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit (175° Celcius).
- Lightly grease a 9″x13″ cake pan – no need to flour
- If you have kitchen scissors (I highly recommend the easily disassembled Kitchenaide scissors), snip the bacon into small pieces (maybe 1/2″ to a side and smaller). It doesn’t have to be perfect as they will reduce down a lot anyway when fried and then reconstitute a bit in the glaze.
- Cover a large plate with wax paper, parchment paper, or aluminum foil – this will hold the caramel glaze while cooling so no holes or weird folds or you will have a mess.
- Heat a small saute pan or frying pan over Medium-High heat for a couple minutes and add the bacon. Stir occasionally until fats have formed nice big pools and then cook until a crispy brown. Scoop out bacon and lay on paper towels to drain off the grease and fat. Set aside. Undercooked bacon here will not work in the caramel.
- Melt butter in pyrex or microwave safe dish – try not to let the butter separate, but get it uniformly creamy – I nuke the butter at 30% power in 45 second intervals, carefully checking with a fork. As soon as the butter starts to melt, stop the microwave and carefully stir the butter, it may still be chunky. Now nuke it in 20 second intervals at 30% power, stirring until the mix is a nice, uniform, creamy, yellow color. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes or so.
- Pour butter into medium size bowl and whisk 10-15 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking thoroughly each time (this is where having room temp eggs is great). Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt.
- Gradually fold, with a large spoon or spatula, the dry mixture into the wet ingredients until combined. Stir in the semi-sweet chocolates until fairly uniformly distributed.
- Spread batter into the 9×13″ cake pan. Bake in oven 35-40 minutes, rotating once, back to front, half way through baking. Brownies are done when a toothpick can be inserted and removed and come out clean. Cool pan on wire rack when done.
Cooking Bacon-Caramel Glaze
- In pyrex or microwave-safe dish, combine sugar and water. Heat on high for 1:30-2:00 and stir. Heat and stir in :30 intervals until sugar is completely dissolved in the water. There should be no sugar crystals in the mix at all. Sugar crystals will cause the mix to condense at high temperature which means little chunks of sugar crystals in the caramel which won’t taste right.
- SLOWLY, CAREFULLY pour sugar/water mix into a thick-bottom saucepan so no sugar splashes up the sides. Heat on Medium. DO NOT STIR. The sugar will begin to bubble and boil. DO NOT STIR. Let it bubble for a few minutes. Did I mention not to stir it?
- When sugar begins to turn a dark, amber brown, SLOWLY WHISK in heavy cream (room temperature cream is a real helper here, too), it will boil and bubble a LOT, but continue whisking until the cream is all combined and bubbly. It will be sticky.
- Stir in butter and salt until combined and add in the bacon, stirring to combine.
- Pour the mixture on to the prepared plate to cool for an hour or so.
- When the glaze has cooled for an hour or so, transfer glaze into a liquid measuring cup, stir, and slowly drizzle the mixture with a spoon over the brownies, scooping up bits of bacon as you go.
The rest of the glaze will keep in the fridge for a couple days for pancakes or eggs or to dip the brownies in… I’m sure you’ll find a use for it. The brownies by themselves are a great recipe – if you use salted butter, reduce the additional salt to 1 teaspoon. It’s about 1/8 teaspoon for each stick, but there is no way to tell how much each company uses and there is no standard for the industry so its always best to use unsalted butter and simply add 1/8 teaspoon of salt so you always get a uniform flavor – you may also find you like being able to control the amount of salt in a recipe.
Go! Bake! Let me know how it came out. -Jonathan