I like bourbon for so many reasons. It’s sweet. It’s American. It’s always been nicer to me than other liquors (ahem, tequila). And wouldn’t you know, now I have a fourth reason – it plays well with others – namely, bacon and chocolate.
Much like bourbon I have a fondness for bacon, and chocolate. But when I first started reading over this recipe (entitled legal vice brownies, found on slashfood) I thought to myself “maybe this whole bacon thing has gone too far”. At that moment I knew what I had to do - try them. Would the bourbon and bacon really improve this already tasty treat?
What you need…
1/2 lb bacon
8 oz butter
10 oz baking semisweet chocolate
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
5 large eggs
Freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Bourbon (I used a little Woodford Reserve and Bulliet…it’s what we had in the house)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cook the bacon until it is very crisp, drain off the grease and set aside. Pat the bacon dry with paper towels and crumble into tiny pieces.
Place the pecans in a bowl and just cover with bourbon. When roughly half of the bourbon has been absorbed, scoop out the pecans with a slotted spoon, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until nearly toasted. Reserve one teaspoon of the bourbon, pour the remainder over the pecans, and let them finish toasting. Remove them from the oven and set aside. (P.S. I’m not a huge nut fan but the smell of bourbon roasted pecans is pretty intoxicating. Definitely don’t skip out on these guys.)
In a double boiler, over simmering water, combine the butter and chocolate. When the mixture is nearly melted, remove it from the heat and stir together until blended. Set aside and let it come down to room temperature.
Once the chocolate mixture is cool, add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, several grinds of black pepper, salt, eggs and reserved bourbon and whisk well to combine.
Add the cocoa powder and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Then stir in the flour 1/2 cup at a time, making sure it is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next portion.
Stir in the bacon and pecans.
Yeaaa… below is our container of reserved bacon fat that I’m about to use to coat an 8×8 pan.
Pour in batter and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the edge comes out dry, but inserted near the center, comes out lightly coated in batter.
So what’s the verdict? The hint of caramelly goodness from the bourbon combined with the salty bacon bites make these dense, gooey bars pretty irresistible. Sure, you probably won’t be making these for your next bake sale but they do make a mean treat. Go ahead, give ‘em a try, you know you want to…