This past weekend Aussie and I went to Portland to visit my family for a belated Father’s Day. In addition to celebrating my wonderful, warm, yogi dad, we also had some other awesome ways to celebrate: my sister got a promotion, my parents signed a lease on a space for their new yoga studio, and Aussie got his Green Card!!
(Let’s just pause for a moment to consider the full weight of that last bit. A Green Card! That means Aussie can’t be booted from the country! That makes me a very, very happy Jenni!)
With so much to celebrate, I wanted to contribute in the best way I could: food (am I turning into my grandma, or what?)! So, each person in my family got their own special treat, all of which I’ll write about here in the near future. Today, though, is dedicated to Aussie’s special treat.
Remember yesterday when I mentioned Aussie’s tendencies towards bacon? He has a similar moth-to-the-flame reaction with salted caramel. He was doubtful at first, but one bite of Fran’s salted caramels turned him into a convert forever.
So, when I stumbled across a recipe posted by savourfare on Tasty Kitchen for Bacon Salted Caramel Brownies, I knew I hit the jackpot.
These brownies are surprisingly tasty. You’ll bake up a batch, trying to justify using bacon fat to make caramel because, well, it comes from nature, so it can’t be THAT bad, right? (wrong). You’ll think it looks weird and downright gross as you assemble, bake, and then watch it cool. You’ll tell people what it is, and they’ll give you that “do I really have to?” look before they try it. You’ll watch them take a bit, chew, think, and then you’ll watch their faces melt into expressions of delight as they moan over the deliciousness.
Not kidding, here — that’s pretty much exactly what will happen if you make them.
So, here’s the recipe, slightly adapted — I used unsalted butter and then added some salt into the mix.
So good, so decadent, so will probably kill me. Oops.
Bacon Salted Caramel Brownies (very slightly adapted from savourfare’s on Tasty Kitchen)
2 slices bacon
½ cups heavy cream
2 cups sugar, divided
14 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 tsp salt
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cups cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
In a small saucepan, fry two slices of bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside, reserving the bacon grease in the pan. Add cream to the hot pan and let cool. When bacon is cool, crumble or chop finely.
In a larger pan, heat 1 cup of the sugar over high heat until the mixture is liquid and a deep amber color (Be careful! Sugar burns!). All at once add 6 tablespoons of the butter and the cooled bacon cream, and stir until the butter is melted (the mixture will foam up when you add the cream; that’s why a larger pan is essential). Add the salt and chopped bacon, stir, and let the mixture cool thoroughly.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Line an 8-inch square pan with two sheets of parchment paper that cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Grease the foil with butter.
On the stovetop, melt remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and the chocolate over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat when everything is melted and smooth. Sift in the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and (in order) the remaining sugar, vanilla, and flour. Stir only until combined.
Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan. Then drop about a third of the bacon caramel, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter in the pan. It doesn’t have to cover the whole batter, but should be in splotches. Spread the remaining brownie batter over the top, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining caramel sauce over the top of the brownies and swirl. I swirled vigorously using a bamboo skewer. It didn’t make for the prettiest results, but at least the caramel was well-dispersed!
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, but err on the side of underbaking (I baked for about 40 mins). Remove from the oven and cool completely. The caramel will be pretty gooey still; it’s easier to cut if your refrigerate it.
Wow, so good!