Cooking with bacon is a lot like cooking with wine: The first rule is to start with more than you need, because the cook will be sampling the goods throughout the process.
So although these bacon blondies only call for 12 ounces of bacon, I started with a 16-ounce package of thick cut bacon to ensure appropriate munchies.
Creator Meseidy of the blog The Noshery (thenoshery.com) calls these beauties her Elvis Blondies. Inspired by the King's love of fried bacon, peanut butter and banana sandwiches, the blondies have an elegant but hearty appeal perfect for serving as bite-size treats at your next party.
The thick layer of peanut butter ganache on top adds a rich, fudgey shine and texture.
The only change I've made to the Noshery's recipe is to substitute mini chocolate chips for regular ones; having full-size peanut butter chips and full-size chocolate chips in the blondies makes them a little too crowded and crunchy for me.
Don't neglect the instructions to refrigerate or freeze these bars before removing from the pan and cutting. Try to cut them warm, and you'll lose too much of their sticky appeal to the knife. I'd also suggest keeping them refrigerated until serving. They taste excellent chilled, and the firmer topping is less of a mess.
12-ounce center cut or thick cut bacon
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1-1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper and lay the bacon on it. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until bacon is crispy.
Set bacon aside to cool. Roughly chop once cooled.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Generously butter an 8-by-8 or 9-by-9 pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, draping the excess over two sides. (The excess will help lift the blondies out of the pan later.)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg, mashed banana and vanilla.
Add salt and stir in flour until just combined. Fold in half of the chopped bacon (reserving the rest for garnish) and all of the peanut butter chips and chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until set in the middle. Cool on a wire rack.
To make the ganache, pour the peanut butter chips into a heat proof bowl. Heat the cream on the stove until almost boiling. Pour it over the peanut butter chips and add the butter. Whisk until smooth.
Pour the ganache over the cooled blondies and sprinkle the top with bacon.
Place the pan in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes to allow the ganache to set.
Remove the pan from the refrigerator and run a spatula or knife around the edge to loosen the blondies. Using the parchment "handles," lift the square out of the pan and cut to the desired size.
— Reach Mel Barber at firstname.lastname@example.org.