So it seems I have jumped on the bandwagon with both feet. Except maybe I never got off the bandwagon in the first place. Confused? Let me explain. I recently said that I was not down with bacon in sweets, despite the growing trend among foodbloggers. I believe my exact words were “I am not ready to grant bacon a place at the dessert table”. But here’s the thing – I have always been down with bacon and peanut butter. I know that to many, this is a strange combination, but I’ve been eating it together since I was a little girl. My parents used to make us grilled peanut butter and bacon sandwiches, the ultimate in greasy, salty goodness. Not often, mind you, but on special occasions, and I loved them. I loved how the peanut butter got all melty from the heat, and the way the salty smokiness of the bacon mingled with the salty sweetness of the peanut butter. Heaven on a plate.
I recently got thinking about a peanut butter blondie of sorts, made with peanut flour. And I suppose all of the bacon/dessert posts I’ve been seeing finally broke down my defenses. Because I suddenly really wanted to put bacon in my peanut butter bars. It was more than just a passing fancy, it was visceral. I NEEDED to put bacon in my peanut butter bars. I needed to see if I could somehow recreate that childhood love of peanut butter and bacon together, in a dessert. A low carb, gluten free dessert, to be exact. With a layer of chocolate ganache, of course, because what is a peanut butter blondie without a layer of chocolate?
So I guess all of this is to say that I get it now, this trend of adding bacon to sweet foods. I’ve always loved bacon and peanut butter together, and I’ve always loved peanut butter in sweet foods, so it didn’t take a huge leap of logic to get to this combination in a dessert item. I am not quite ready to add bacon to my apple pie or my ice cream though. I may get there, who knows? I am obviously not immune to the suggestions of my fellow bloggers. Oh, the power of suggestion!
The Results: Overall, these bars were quite good. But the bacon didn’t stand out as much as I had hoped. I wanted to be swept off my feet by the bacon and peanut butter combo. I wanted to be beat about the head with memories of my favourite childhood sandwich. Instead, I got a lovely peanut butter and chocolate bar with the occasional taste and crunch of bacon. I think it just didn’t quite live up to my expectations, despite having 8 pieces of crumbled bacon in it.
Next time, I might increase the amount of bacon but I might also switch out the coconut oil for butter. I used coconut oil because I liked it so much in my Cranberry Walnut Chocolate Chip cookies. But it does have something of a presence on its own, and I think that might have played a part in overpowering the bacon. Bacon should never be overpowered, wouldn’t you agree?
Peanut Butter and Bacon Bars
1 1/3 cups peanut flour
1/4 cup erythritol
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
8 (or more) pieces cooked, crumbled bacon
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut oil or butter
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla
20 drops stevia extract
1/4 cup almond milk
5 tbsp butter
1/4 cup powdered erythritol
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
1/4 cup cocoa powder
For the bars, preheat the oven to 325F and grease an 8×8 pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut flour, erythritol, baking powder, and xanthan gum. Stir bacon.
In a small saucepan or a microwave safe bowl, melt peanut butter and coconut oil or butter together.
Add oil mixture, eggs, vanilla and stevia to peanut flour mixture and stir well to combine. Add almond milk and stir thoroughly.
Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake 18 to 24 minutes, or until top is set and edges are light golden. Cool in pan.
For the glaze, melt butter and erythritol together in a small saucepan, stirring until erythritol dissolves. Add chocolate and cocoa and stir until smooth. Spread over top of cooled bars and refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.
Serves 20. Each bar has 9.9g of carbs, but only 5.1g if you subtract erythritol.