Salty or Sweet, why choose?!? Bacon Caramel Bars.

Source: Food & Wine Magazine

What’s my inspiration:
What do you like, salty or sweet?  Both? Either? Heaven forbid neither?  There is something absolutely sinful about the combination of the two. Treats such as Snickers are good for a reason.  Then there are the chocolate covered potato chips a.k.a the “Chipper” found at Candyland, total heaven.  If you haven’t had these before, you are missing out.  It does sound strange, but when you bite into the salty crunchy chip with a layer of amazing chocolate, you will be fully addicted. Yes, the $13.99/lb price tag seems ridiculous, but trust me, you won’t regret it.

Because of my love for combinations of salty and sweet, I wasn’t so scared when I saw this recipe in Food and Wine Magazine: Dolce de leche coconut and chocolate chip magic bars…with, what else but bacon!  Is this gross? Weird? Or, amazing?  I obviously had to try it.  After the house was filled with the sweet, greasy smell of cooked bacon and the bars were out of the oven, my husband and I sat down to try them.  D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!  We housed like ½ the pan before we forced ourselves to put them away.  I brought the rest to work and received equally rave reviews.  I would seriously make these every weekend if they didn’t go straight to my hips.  They are by no means low calorie but they are damn good.  So, give them a go.  I dare you to eat just one…

Tips:

  • I had no clue what dulce de leche was.  Turns out, it’s a thick caramel like sauce.  I found a jar of it at The Chefs Gallery in Stillwater, Minnesota and paid $11.00 for it.  Total rip off.  Next time, I would just use a jar of caramel sauce from the grocery store and achieve the same end result.

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (I just used 1 tsp vanilla)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces bacon, finely diced
  • 3 cups sweetened shredded coconut (6 1/2 ounces)
  • 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup salted roasted almonds, chopped
  • One 16-ounce jar dulce de leche
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

What you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper, leaving up to 1 inch of overhang. Spray the paper with vegetable oil spray.
  • In a medium saucepan, cook the butter over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and browned, about 4 minutes. Scrape the butter into a large bowl and freeze just until solid, about 15 minutes.
  • Using a handheld electric mixer, beat the sugar, vanilla seeds and egg yolk into the butter at medium speed until blended. Add the flour and salt and beat until moistened crumbs form. Press the crumbs into the prepared baking pan and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 25 minutes, until the crust is set and lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, wipe out the bowl used to make the crust. In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain the bacon on paper towels and let cool. In the bowl, toss the coconut with the chocolate chips, almonds and bacon.
  • In another bowl, whisk the dulce de leche with the condensed milk
  • Pour two-thirds of it in the crust. Lightly press the coconut-bacon mixture over the dulce de leche. Drizzle the remaining dulce de leche mixture on top.
  • Bake the bars for 35 to 40 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the bars cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Carefully remove the bars from the pan and peel off the paper. Cut into bars and serve.
Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Salty or Sweet, why choose?!? Bacon Caramel Bars.

  1. Pingback: Tiki Snack Mix « Twincitieschick's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s