If the title doesn’t make you excited, I don’t even know what to tell you.
I have a friend who is vegan… and he decided to celebrate his birthday with a BBQ. A non-vegan barbecue. So naturally, if you are going to be un-vegan for the day, bacon is a necessity. I feel like bacon is the ultimate non-vegan food.
I love any excuse to make elaborate desserts. So naturally, I love it when people have birthdays and let me make treats for them. It’s really not too hard to make that happen. Plus, I have an office full of taste-testers again, so I can make all kinds of experiments and not be stuck eating it all myself, for better or worse. I am all for eating whatever, but “healthy” or not, a pan of brownies is still a pan of brownies. Usually sugar is involved and I think sugar is best in moderation. Bacon, on the other hand….
I based this recipe off of my current go-to for gluten free brownies that don’t taste like crumbly cardboard. They got a stamp of approval from gluten-eaters in my life, so I had to add that to the rotation. Plus I covered them in bacon – there’s no way that can end badly. The only change I made was omitting the vanilla extract and adding 1/8 cup of bourbon whiskey. They have a strong whiskey flavor, so if whiskey isn’t your thing, feel free to reduce the amount. Or omit entirely. Or use some other liquor – tequila, rum, Bailey’s, or Kahlua would be great in these!
Bacon Salted Caramel
3 strips bacon (I like Niman Ranch)
~1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar (maple syrup might also be awesome here)
~1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can)
1/2 tsp sea salt
Chop up your bacon and cook in a small sauce pan for 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add your brown sugar, coconut milk, and salt. Bring to a boil for a minute or two and then reduce the heat. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will thicken as it cooks and even more as it cools.
For a smoother texture and smaller bacon bits, I used my immersion blender to puree the caramel while the mixture was still warm. I didn’t make it silky-smooth because I still wanted that bite of bacon-y goodness.