Bark, Bark, Bacon

Occasionally I see a recipe that makes me think, “Who would have ever thought of that?”  But now that I watch “Chopped”  on the Food Network I understand how inventive professional cooks can be, so I’m not as surprised at unusual combinations in food.

But, having said that, I was still surprised and intrigued by a recipe in the newspaper last week that was a chocolate bark with bacon in it.  So I made some of it to take to a party on Saturday night and it was a big hit!

Well, because I enjoy taking something that “is a big hit” to a party, I’m going to make it again for a party this coming Friday night.

Here is the recipe and a picture (with my comments in blue).  In case you want to be a “hit” too!

Caramel Bacon Peanut Bark

12 oz. maple or brown sugar bacon

2 12-oz. packages milk chocolate bits

1 1/2 C. chopped peanuts, salted or not (I used lightly salted)

1 10-oz. bag soft candy caramels (I used caramel bits made specifically to melt.)

large flake sea salt (I just used the sea salt I had on hand.  I have no idea if it’s “large flake” or not, but it does look flakey.)

Line a baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper.

(Before you do this first step, let me tell you that I instead did the bacon in the microwave because I knew it would get uniformly done.) Heat a large saute pan over medium high.  Working in batches add the bacon and cook until very crisp, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Drain bacon on paper towels.  Set aside to cool completely. When cooled, crumble the bacon into small pieces.

Place the chocolate bits in a medium microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds, or until melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet, then tap it on the counter to settle the chocolate into an even, smooth puddle.

Immediately sprinkle the chopped peanuts and crumbled bacon evenly over the chocolate.  (I gently pressed them down into the chocolate to ensure they stayed put after it hardened.) Allow the chocolate to fully harden, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile place the caramels in a medium microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds, or until melted and smooth.  Drizzle the caramel over the bark, then sprinkle lightly with the sea salt.  Allow to cool and harden, then break into pieces.

Next time I will mic both the chocolate and the caramel just a little longer so that they spread thinner.  And this first time I made this just a couple hours before the party and it tasted very salty.  But when we ate a few leftover pieces the next day, it didn’t taste as salty. So I’ll make it a day ahead from now on.

No one is more surprised than me that this may become a recipe we make every year!

7 Responses to Bark, Bark, Bacon

  1. Fantastic and interesting! I love it.

  2. C. Beth says:

    This is very interesting! I keep hearing about “chocolate covered bacon” but haven’t tried anything along those lines. Might be worth trying just for the “life experience” value of it :) and maybe we’d find out we love it too!

  3. Linda says:

    I see it as adding nutritional value to candy and an excuse to eat more of it. :)

  4. Sandra says:

    Thank you, frugalfeeding.

    Beth — If you try it, let me know how you like it. :)

    Linda — And THAT is one of the many reasons we are friends … we think alike. :)

  5. Dave says:

    An unlikely combination for sure Sandra. As they say, “Don’t knock it till youv’e tried it” huh? – Dave

  6. Dianna says:

    Wow. I’m amazed at this combination. It DOES look good though! I just may have to try this. Thanks for sharing the recipe – and your notes. Always nice to have advice from someone’s who’s already been there, done that!

  7. Sandra says:

    Dave — If there is one saying that I’ve come to believe totally in my “later years” it is that one! Nothing ventured, nothing gained! :)

    Dianna — That’s exactly why I add my observations — because I know I find it helpful when someone else does. :)

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