Pop Quiz: What’s better than a fudgy brownie? If you answered caramel bacon brownies, you just earned a gold star! You’re going to love this dessert recipe… trust me!
If you’ve been hanging around my virtual kitchen for a while, you’ve probably heard me mention that I’ve challenged myself to lose 50 pounds by my 50th birthday. Project #FitBy50 began this past May, but since suffering a sprained foot 3 weeks into the challenge, I’ve been unable to do any weight bearing exercise. I’ve lost a little bit of weight, but not nearly enough to comfortably assure that I’ll be a thinner, more gorgeous girl by January 30th. I continue to press on, exercising how and when I can. If I don’t achieve my weight loss goal by my birthday, I’ll be disappointed, but I’ll also be proud that I gave the challenge my best efforts.
I’ve been monitoring my daily consumption of carbohydrates, especially refined sugars and unhealthy, processed grains, which has helped a LOT. I was worried that I’d feel deprived without my bread and pasta, but then I remembered that bacon doesn’t have ANY carbohydrates. Awesome news for this carboholic, bacon lover!
Bacon is high in fat, so it’s important to eat it in moderation, but let’s get real… when have I ever eaten bacon in moderation? Besides, if I’m giving up cheddar biscuits, I need a comfort food fix, and bacon is my
gateway drug food of choice. Remember the golden dieter’s rule, though… All things in moderation.
That means I can have a splurge worthy dessert now and then. Enter stage left, caramel covered bacon!
Please don’t even pretend you aren’t ready to run to your kitchen and start crisping up bacon right now. Even if you’re not a bacon freak like I am, how can you possibly resist salty, crispy bacon? *swoon*
I could be completely happy chowing down on caramel covered bacon alone, but if I’m going to splurge, I thought I think it’s important to make it worth the exercise effort. So, enter stage right, CARAMEL BACON BROWNIES!
Crispy, salty, caramel covered bacon, swirled throughout chewy brownies. Can you stand it?! I’m a bit impressed with myself for dreaming this recipe up.
Because I started working full time in a restaurant last week, my kitchen time at home has been cut drastically, so I took a short cut and used a boxed brownie mix when I made these. If you have a favorite scratch brownie recipe, by all means, use it. If you need a recipe, check out my recipe for peanut butter brownies with chocolate ganache frosting. The same goes for the caramel sauce. I make my own because it doesn’t take very long and it’s SO good, but jarred caramel sauce will work just fine, too.
Never let it be said that I don’t know how to party bacon style.
I’m bacon sexy and I know it.
Enjoy these bacon brownies!
- 1 box of your favorite brownie mix or homemade brownies
- 1 teaspoon caramel flavoring
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce (see recipe below or use jarred variety of your choice)
- 4 slices bacon, diced and crisply cooked
- 1 cup (7.5 ounces) granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1/2 liquid cup (4 ounces) heavy whipping cream
- In a frying pan or oven, cook bacon until fat is rendered and bacon is crispy. Drain on paper toweling and set aside.
Prepare caramel sauce
- Before you begin, have the cream and butter measured and next to the pan, ready to put in. Making caramel is a fast process that won't allow hunting around for ingredients. If you don't work fast, the sugar will burn. USE CAUTION, because the caramelized sugar is hotter than boiling water.
- Heat sugar on moderately high heat in heavy-bottomed 2 or 3-quart saucepan. As sugar starts to melt and liquefy, stir gently with a silicone whisk or wooden spoon, but DON'T OVER STIR! Just stir from time to time to assure that the sugar on the bottom doesn't burn.
- As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, STOP STIRRING. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on, but don't stir. Note: This recipe works best if you are using a thick-bottomed pan. If you find that you end up burning some of the sugar before the rest of it is melted or you have large clumps of sugar, turn the heat to low and let it sit untouched...the clumps should melt. Next time you attempt it, add 1/4 cup of water to the sugar at the beginning of the process OR start with lower heat to help the sugar cook more evenly.
- As soon as the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color, like an old copper penny), immediately add butter and whisk until it's melted.
- Remove from heat, count to three, then slowly add cream to the pan and whisk to incorporate. NOTE: When you add the butter and cream, the mixture will foam up considerably.
- Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass jar and refrigerate or let sit to cool to room temperature before moving to next step.
- Heat oven to temperature indicated on brownie box. Prepare brownie batter per directions, but add 1 teaspoon of caramel flavoring to the ingredients called for.
- Pour batter into a greased 8" x 8" pan
- Add cooked bacon to caramel sauce and stir to incorporate. Pour caramel bacon over brownie batter and use a knife to swirl it into the mixture.
- Bake according to directions on box.