From a glance, they just look like your average chocolate brownie...but trust me, they're not. In fact, they are probably one of the most surprisingly delicious brownies I have ever tried! The lackluster appearance of the brownies actually adds to the shock value, because it includes an unexpected combination of ingredients. The most important ingredient of any brownie, of course, is chocolate.
Melted semi-sweet baking chocolate and butter--with these two things, you can't go wrong!
But what really takes these brownies to the top is the most surprising ingredient of all...
If you take a bite of these unusual brownies, you can expect to taste chocolate, which you do at first...but then, you'll begin to taste something meaty and flavorful. The salty, smoky flavor of the bacon is the perfect contrast to the sweetness of the chocolate brownie. It's subtle enough to not overwhelm the recipe, yet it provides another layer of flavor that will delight your taste buds in a extraordinary way.
You may have seen chocolate-covered bacon at your local county or state fair. However, if you've tried it before and didn't like it, don't give up on this recipe yet! I didn't like chocolate-covered bacon either, but decided to give these a try and I'm so glad I did. The bacon in this recipe is precooked and chopped, then mixed in the batter. This eliminates the strange textural issue I had with the chocolate-covered bacon from the fair.
I suppose if you're really brave, you can even cook some extra bacon and sprinkle the chopped bacon on the top of the batter before baking. Another idea I had was making a caramel-bacon sauce to drizzle on the top of the baked brownies. Either make your own caramel sauce, or use the store-bought kind, and simply infuse it with bacon flavor by mixing in the leftover bacon grease.
I know that the combination of bacon and chocolate may be strange, but at least give it a try! It just might surprise you as much as it surprised me!
Chocolate Bacon Brownies
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Recipe adapted from the Ghirardelli Classic Brownie recipe, located on their baking bar label
Yield: 16 squares (one 8"x8" pan)
4 oz Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate baking bar (1 bar)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
3/4 cup & 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
Reserved bacon grease
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Butter and flour an 8" x 8" pan. In a heavy 1 1/2 qt. saucepan, melt chocolate bar and butter over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove pan from heat; cool to room temperature. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, mix well. In bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly fold in flour mixture; mix well. Stir in bacon pieces and 2-3 Tbsp of bacon grease. Pour batter in pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.