Bacon makes almost every recipe better. I love the crunchy texture of crispy bacon. This recipe for bacon and salted caramel brownies features both crispy bacon and a deep bacon flavor because it incorporates some of the bacon grease into the batter. It makes for a very rich, very decadent explosion of flavor for your taste buds. This bacon and salted caramel brownies recipe has received great response from readers of the Baked Chicago blog, which is why it’s featured in the Simply Decadent Brownies Cookbook.
Update as of 10/26/13: The genius folks over at America’s Test Kitchen share an easy way to make caramel in the microwave. It requires a bit less constant attention than making caramel on the stove top, so I’m sharing their video quick tip in case you prefer to use the microwave for the caramel in this recipe.
In a medium skillet, fry the bacon slices until just crisp. Remove the bacon, reserving the bacon grease in the pan. Add the cream to pan and let cool. When the bacon has cooled, crumble or chop finely. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup of sugar over high heat until the mixture is liquid and deep amber in color. Add 6 tablespoons of butter and the cooled bacon cream mixture. Stir until the butter is melted. Add the chopped bacon and let cool.
Preheat your oven to 350° F. Lightly grease the bottom of an 8×8-inch baking pan with butter or shortening.
In a large saucepan, melt the remaining butter and dark chocolate over very low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa powder. Whisk until smooth and add in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the remaining sugar, vanilla and flour, just until combined.
Spread half of the brownie batter in the prepared baking pan. Drop half of the bacon caramel mixture by tablespoon, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter. Spread the remaining brownie batter over the top, and then drop the remaining bacon caramel mixture by spoonfuls over the top of the brownies. Drag the back of the tablespoon through the batter to create a swirled effect.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows to make 16 bacon and salted caramel brownies.