You know, last week’s recipe was light, tangy, crisp & springy. This one is definitely not. You probably read this title & thought “Seriously?” Well, yes, actually. It’s 100% serious. Quite serious.
When is bacon fat something to be taken lightly? Never.
If you’re like me, you save your bacon fat. Every time I make bacon, I save the fat in a jar & when it’s cool… I pop that baby in the fridge & save it for later. It has so many possibilities! Add it to a skillet or pan before making cornbread, make pancakes in it, make candles with it, pop some popcorn in it, make grilled cheese in it, etc. It’s a magical substance that imparts a bacon-y flavor & scent into whatever you use it for. Of course, if you bake your bacon in the oven (or microwave it *cringe*) you won’t get as much of this magic, so if you’re looking for a lot of fat then just do it the old school way: in a skillet on your stovetop!
And NO TURKEY BACON. None of that fake stuff. You need real bacon. I know that seems self-explanatory but you never know.
I know I said they weren’t light, but they’re not obscenely heavy either.
BACON FAT BROWNIES
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup strained, “clean” bacon fat
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cold large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325° F. Line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
- Combine the butter, bacon fat, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.
- Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
- Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.
- Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into squares & shove in your face.
WHOA, DUDES. I think these would be good with some fancy salt sprinkled on top, or a burned caramel sauce on it. Or even that whiskey caramel. Mmmm. The bacon fat flavor is very subtle, not in your face or overly salty. I could have done with a bit more salt, actually.
I’d even make some candied bacon next time to sprinkle on top.
I used dark cocoa powder because it’s what I had. And you all know this about me but I LOVE my dark cocoa powder. But next time I’d use regular. Not that these weren’t good- they were- but I think a lighter chocolate flavor would accentuate the bacon-ness better. I actually upped the sugar amount by two or three tablespoons in mine just to compete. Stick with regular cocoa powder.
If your bacon fat has a LOT of dark burned fatty solids in it, just strain it through cheesecloth into a jar overnight. For most things you’ll want it as clear as possible… but in these brownies it doesn’t really matter. You can also use the fat/grease either solidified or liquid in this recipe.
You could also just swap it out & replace it with butter for an amazing “regular ” brownie.
The moral of the story is: don’t be afraid to save that delicious bacon grease & use it in unconventional ways! Or conventional ways. Whatever.