Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Pumpkin Caramel Bars with bacon
That's right, with bacon. Adding bacon to desserts is all the rage right now and this is one trend I'm all for. I love a salty/sweet combo. I'm sure in years to come we'll look back at these combinations and say, "That is soooo 2010."
Oh but I love bacon.
The recipe comes from my favorite food magazine Cuisine at Home. The mag has absolutely no advertisements! My mom saw this recipe and knew I would want to make it.
Anyway, you can google the name of the bars for a printable recipe. I was going to link to one but some of the pictures showed bars that were a little wonky. This reminds me.. my pumpkin bars were a little thin because I used a pan that was too big :)
Preheat your oven to 350 and coat a 9 x 13 inch pan with non-stick spray.
Cook up 8 oz of diced bacon until very crisp and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Reserve 2 tbs dripping. Oh yeah.
In a medium bowl whisk together 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp table salt.
In a large bowl whisk together 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1 egg, 2 tbs melted unsalted butter, 1 tsp vanilla AND 2 tbs bacon drippings.
If you are anti-bacon grease you can use melted butter. I guess. ~insert disapproving look~
Stir in flour mixture and an optional 1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans.
I like the texture they add.
Spread evenly in the pan- it won't spread and even itself out during the baking process. Bake about 20 minutes or an inseryted toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely before frosting.
I skipped pictures of making the caramel because I know trying to cook it and shoot would only result in serious injury.
Boil 2 cups packed brown sugar, 1/3 cup water and a pinch of salt in a large saucepan over high, for 5 minutes, gently swirling occasionally to prevent burning.
Whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 stick unsalted cubed butter. Keep whisking as it bubbles up and becomes frothy. Boil for another 2 minutes.
Transfer the caramel to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on high speed until the sides of the bowl are cool to the touch and the caramel is thick. Using the whisk attachment would be better than using the paddle attachment like I did.
The whole process will take roughly 10 minutes. You want the caramel to cool down so that it doesn't melt the cream cheese. Oh yes, we are going to add in 4 ounces of cream cheese, 1 ounce at a time until the frosting is cool.
Frost your cooled bars and top with the chopped up bacon. I ran a knife over the bacon after cooking to break into small piece.
I wasn't sure how these bars would go over and so I left bacon off a portion of the pan.
None of that side got eaten.
This picture is for Aunt Marie. She thinks if I must post anything not having to do with the Peanut I should at least include a picture of him.
His expression is a little odd because I woke him up trying to take a picture.
He'll get used to it.
I'll be honest and say that I was surprised that everyone who tried these loved them.
Perfect and unique for the holidays!