Bacon, whether it is flavored with maple or honey, seasoned with hickory or apple wood, bacon is yummy goodness and ups the anty on taste for anything it is included in, even dessert. That's right, I said bacon for dessert; even I had my doubts about trying out dessert recipes with bacon in it, but I had to try nonetheless. I'd seen bacon cupcakes on a few shows featured on Food Network, and one of the ladies at a local bank told me about a site that had a recipe for candied bacon. Well I couldn't remember the name she had given me, so decided to search the net for recipes, and I cannot believe how many hundreds of bacon dessert recipes I found. Which one to choose was a total mystery, so I printed out a few, compared notes, and came up with my own concoctions.
Now Roy was not happy about the whole experiment thing at all...bacon is bacon and shouldn't be made into candy or cake. He still doesn't like the idea of it all, but he did have to agree that my recipes came out pretty well, and he was impressed at my accomplishment. I likened the taste to French toast in syrup, but without the bread; and it was the perfect garnish for the cupcakes.
1 lb regular bacon
½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
In a large nonstick skillet, on high heat, cook the bacon until it is browned, but still flexible; drain on paper towels.
Drain grease from skillet, set heat on low; place bacon, in one layer, into skillet. First sprinkle sugar over the bacon, then the vanilla and finally the cinnamon. Let the bacon cook for 10 minutes before turning over and let cook an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the bacon to a wire rack (paper towels under the rack to catch drippings) and let it air cool for 30 minutes before snacking on, or using for garnish on baked goods.
Alternative: instead of ground cinnamon, use ½ Tbsp of ground chipotle powder
Then came the cupcakes, the fat from the bacon gives the cake a moister and richer consistency. The meat of the bacon does cook during the baking process, and it is like a little chewy surprise within the cake...think bacon gummy bear. There is not an overpowering taste of bacon, you know it's there, but it all comes together well.
Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
6 egg yolks
1 cup milk
½ lb regular uncooked bacon, chopped
Preheat oven to 350F; line muffin tins with paper liners.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and powder, cocoa powder and salt; set aside.
In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Mix in half the dry ingredients with half the milk; when well incorporated, repeat with remaining dry ingredients and milk.
Add in the bacon and mix well with spoon, not mixer. Fill each paper liner 2/3 with the batter; bake for 20-25 minutes; check for doneness by inserting toothpick in center; cupcakes are done if it comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool before removing from tins and frosting.
Makes 16 cupcakes.
Alternative: divide batter in half between 2-8 inch cake pans which were sprayed with nonstick baking spray. Bake time will be the same as for the cupcakes.
Topping: Vanilla frosting works best with a garnish of candied bacon.
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp cold milk
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy; add in extract and milk, continue to beat until smooth and spreadable.
Makes enough for 12 - 16 cupcakes depending upon how much is spread on each cupcake. To make enough to cover the top, sides and in-between 2-8 inch cakes, double the recipe.