Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dark Chocolate Bacon Jalapeño Bars

There is an idea that has been brewing in the back of my culinary consciousness for quite awhile now. It’s a simple idea, really, a combination of flavors that makes total sense (at least in my mind). There is only one problem. It calls for bacon.
Problem? You don’t think that’s a problem? Well then you must live alone.

See, in my house, bacon is a hot commodity. When I cook bacon, it disappears like my diet plans a week into February every year.

I love to put bacon in my recipes.... but if I want bacon to USE in those recipes, I have to be sneaky.

When I need bacon for a specific purpose, I either have to:

1. Cook it when no one else is home (and make sure I clean up the evidence before they get back) and hide it away in the fridge or freezer until I need it. If I do this, I have to make sure I hide it well, too. My boys can sniff out bacon a mile away. OR

2. Cook a meal for the family that INCLUDES bacon, cooking at least a pound extra, and chop and hide the excess while the boys are eating their share so they don’t realize there is extra.

Even under the best circumstances, these methods don’t always work. Seven times now...that’s right, SEVEN..... I have cooked bacon for this recipe and had it disappear before I had a chance to put it to use. TWICE, I chopped it up into tiny little bacon bits before hiding it, thinking that the men in the house wouldn’t eat it if it wasn’t in “Strip” form. WRONG. Instead of realizing that I must have prepped it that way for a purpose, they see it as a fortuitous occasion to top their potatoes with porky goodness when I am not looking.

Finally, this weekend, Matt was working overtime. I defrosted a package of bacon, cooked it, pre-chopped all of it, promptly made this treat, and buried the remaining bacon in the depths of the freezer, under the sun dried tomatoes and chicken carcasses being reserved for my next day of making chicken stock. Chances are, they will even find it THERE.

At least I finally got to create this little tasty treasure.... and I will again.... because there is just something very addictive about the combination of Chocolate..... Bacon.....and Jalapeño.

I melted 7 ounces of dark chocolate in a double boiler, added about a teaspoon of jalapeño powder, and then stirred in chopped bacon (maybe about 10 strips worth). I gently spooned the smoky mixture into my (long-ago purchased) candy bar molds, tapped them on the counter to evenly distribute the chocolatey dream, and popped them in the freezer to harden.
What a fabulous idea..... that's just all I can say. Just enough heat to make me happy but not to make my eyebrows sweat. Plenty of bacon to crunch on, and the bittersweetness of the dark chocolate.
I know someone at work who is going to be very happy when I bring my latest experiment to work today.

3 comments:

Bev said...

What is it about bacon? When my middle grandkid was about 7, we had breakfast at a buffet and I heard the server say "I just filled the bacon pan and it's empty again!" I looked over at Dylan's plate and sure enough...

The last time we took the three grands RVing, I had cooked and frozen 10 pounds of the delectable stuff and it was all gone by the time we got back.

Kim said...

I hear you on the bacon, Beth. It's the same way in my house. I'm thinking maybe we should start hiding the bacon in the crisper drawer underneath the veggies(the men will never look there). LOL!

Holy cow do these bars look terrific. You just can't beat this combination of spicy and smoky.

girlichef said...

Awesome!!! This is soooo killer, I must make this pronto!!