Posts Tagged ‘bacon desserts

20
May
11

Pork belly donuts. Do you dare?

Dear U Street Music Hall: Your pork belly donuts take the pig-product-as-dessert trend too far.

Yes, I’m a fan of chocolate-covered bacon, bacon Rice Krispy treats, and even bacon-fat cookies. So why must I draw the line? Because pork belly is 90%+ chewy (ok, delicious) fat. But putting pig products like bacon, for example, in desserts works best when the fat has been rendered off so you’re only left with the crispy meat. That’s why I don’t enjoy Vosges’ bacon bar—it’s like eating chocolate-bacon gum. Why would anyone want to wrap their lips around a donut sandwich with a sizeable chunk of fat in it, unless they were training for the 2012 Olympics?

Mind you, I haven’t actually tried these so I’m just railing against the concept. It could be that:

Mushy donut + chewy pork belly fat = mouthful of greasy yeastiness.

OR

Fluffy donut + luscious pork belly slice = salty-sweet heaven.

But I’m probably not brave enough to find out.

13
Feb
11

Bayou Bakery’s PorKorn

Bayou Bakery is a welcome addition to Arlington, sitting in the old spot where Camille’s used to be on North Courthouse Road. I went in for the sketchily named Muff-a-Lotta sandwich (one of my new favorite sandwiches, perhaps even trumping Taylor Gourmet’s 9th Street Italian) but as I went to pay, their dessert case beckoned.

I ended up taking home a bag of the PorKorn, since cupcakes and whoopie pies seem ubiquitous these days. There are few desserts that haven’t been touched by bacon in the past few years, including this take on caramel popcorn with pork drippings. It had a smoky, spicy kick, although the bacon bits were so hard, I was afraid I’d crack a tooth.

Every other table around me seemed to have a plate of beignets on them. Here they’re made to order, and you can get ’em full-on Cafe du Monde style with a mug of chicory coffee. Although I’m ambivalent about fried-dough desserts, they’re on my list for next time.

Tom Sietsema of The Washington Post may have been unimpressed by some of the savories here, but he pretty much dug all of the sweets he tried. Despite his lukewarm review, this place is definitely worth crossing over to NoVa (closest Metro: Court House).

29
Jul
10

The bacon-fat gingersnap recipe I’ve been meaning to try since 2005

I first came across this recipe in The New York Times in 2005 and remember being horrified yet intrigued. I don’t usually take procrastination to this extreme, but when does one have 3/4 cup bacon fat just lying around? Sure, I’ve made a few batches of chocolate-covered bacon in the years since, but that’s always using precooked bacon, which isn’t as fatty.

Since I was craving BLTs last weekend, I finally had a reason to cook up 1.5 pounds of bacon (doesn’t yield as much bacon as you’d think). I stuck the fat in a jar in the fridge (and at one point, in Pie’s face. Vegetarians don’t like it when you do that.), but let it come to room temperature before making the cookies later in the week.

Verdict? It’s a salty-sweet spice cookie with a touch of porcine goodness. I found the bacon flavor to be mild–not sure I would have noticed it if I didn’t know it was in there–but others found it pretty powerful (in a bad way).

A few modifications to the NYT recipe below:

  • I used a mixer to form the dough. Seemed to work as well as a food processor.
  • I doubled the amount of ginger powder but would add even more next time. That’s a personal preference–I like a mild bite from my gingersnaps. Taste the raw dough to gauge the spiciness, salmonella be damned.
  • The pieces on top were crystallized ginger (Ginger People). Read the label on the package to make sure they use baby ginger, or you could wind up with the super fibrous kind. Unless you’re serving your gingersnaps with a side of floss, you don’t want that.
  • If your bacon fry-up party doesn’t yield 3/4 cup bacon fat,  make up the rest with room-temperature butter.
  • Don’t use flavored bacon (e.g., apple- or maple-smoked). It’ll affect the taste. I used Trader Joe’s regular bacon.
  • Spread out your dough balls on the cookie sheet. Give ’em room.

Swedish Ginger Cookies

From The New York Times article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/04/style/t_h_2290_2291_talk_cookie_.html

Adapted from Nelle Branson in the “Trinity Episcopal Church Recipe Book,” 1982 edition. Bacon fat can be substituted with 1 1/2 sticks butter; for the authentic cookie, though, bacon fat is the key ingredient. Makes 40 cookies

3/4 cup bacon fat, cooled (from 1 1/2 to 2 pounds Oscar Mayer bacon)

1 cup sugar, plus 14 cup for dusting the cookies

4 tablespoons dark molasses

1 large egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine all ingredients. Spin until dough forms.

3. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for a few hours. Drop the dough in 1-tablespoon lumps on a cookie sheet, form into balls, roll in sugar, space 2 inches apart and press flat with fingers.

Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until dark brown. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to finish cooling.

30
Nov
09

Candied bacon ice cream recipe. Just in time for the holidays!

This recipe’s from David Lebovitz, who trained with Lindsey Shere at Chez Panisse, the storied locavore/organic restaurant in San Francisco. I like the way this dude experimented with a bunch of different ways of doing the candied bacon to get it crispy. The texture’s going to be very important, since the last thing you want in a bacon dessert is to be chewing on some gristly piece of pig fat like a stick of Wrigley’s. Check out Lebovitz’s bacon ice cream recipe here: http://ow.ly/EdCh.

If you’re juxtaposing bacon with an ingredient that’s already sweet, you could take a shortcut and not bother candying the bacon. When Mr. X-sXe and I made chocolate-covered bacon and bacon Rice Krispy treats for the holidays last year, we stuck with precooked bacon, which has a super crispy texture without the chewy fatty bits. We microwaved the bacon a bit longer than the package directions recommended (but not to the point where it burned), then blotted off any excess fat before crumbling it into our concoctions. Recipe for chocolate-covered bacon here: http://bit.ly/4X9bWH

Serving bacon treats at the holiday family gathering went over pretty well–even if your friends and family are initially wigged out, they’ll come around to the idea once they taste how the salty, smoky bacon brings out the sweetness of the dessert. It was fun to add some unexpected desserts to the standard pie-and-cookie fare. For a while, we had people guessing at what the chocolate-covered bacon was. A lot of folks mistook it for toffee.

BTW, if you’re up in Rehoboth Beach anytime soon, check out the bacon ice cream at The Ice Cream Store to get an idea of how this recipe will taste.

09
Oct
09

Sir Francis Bacon Peanut Brittle

The week wouldn’t be complete without a bacon treat of the week. So as we go into the Columbus Day weekend, I present to you baconized peanut brittle. These are available online and at Dean & Deluca. Check out the great logo.

baconpeanutbrittle

21
Sep
09

vosges’ bacon caramel toffee beats their mo’s bacon bar

Apparently the American public can’t get enough of bacon treats, or we’re just developing a taste for salty-sweet confections. Ann went to Chicago last week and got me the latest from Vosges, who presciently brought us Mo’s Bacon Bar a few years back. I guess it’s a hit, because they’re now offering this milk-chocolate toffee with bacon bits. I prefer it way more than the Bacon Bar, where the bacon was chewier (and you’d occasionally wind up burping it up for the rest of the afternoon. It’s not as good the second time around.)

vosges

Here the crispy smokiness of the bacon really works well with the buttery cruch of the toffee. Beware, though. At $12, it’s pricey considering there were only about 6 squares in our box. Then again, I think they have the market cornered on this one. At least for now.

02
Nov
07

Bacon + chocolate = luv

pannacottaetc-002.jpg

Here’s a concept that really wigs people out: a chocolate bar with bacon in it.

It’s from Vosges, a small chocolate company out of Chicago that has a knack for unconventional chocolate pairings (e.g., chocolate and wasabi, curry, star anise, etc). When I bought Mo’s Bacon Bar, the cashier commented that everyone she worked with liked it, but she was too afraid to try it.

Luckily, my mom, dad and I weren’t. (At $7+ it’s pretty steep, but Vosges kinda has the bacon-chocolate-bar market cornered). Believe it or not, it surpassed expectations for all of us. The sweetness of the milk chocolate plays off the saltiness of the tiny pieces of Applewood bacon nicely. It went down smooth, with a lard-y finish. Just kidding about the lard!

As the creator explains:

“Crisp, buttery, compulsively irresistible bacon and milk chocolate combination has long been a favorite of mine. I started playing with this combination at the tender age of six while eating chocolate chip pancakes drenched in maple syrup. Beside my chocolate-laden cakes laid three strips of fried bacon, just barely touching a sweet pool of maple syrup. Just a bite of the bacon was too salty and yearned for the sweet kiss of chocolate syrup. In retrospect, perhaps this was a turning point, for on that plate something magical happened: the beginnings of a combination so ethereal and delicious that it would haunt my thoughts until I found the medium to express it–chocolate.”
–Katrina

Would I buy it again? As a gift, yes. Too bad most of my friends are vegetarian. 🙂