I was debating between which recipe to enter in the Foodbuzz BACONALIA contest, sponsored by Denny's. At first, I had made up my mind to submit the bacon wrapped pears, but at the last minute wanted to tweak a recipe for caramel bars, using crumbled bacon and bacon grease instead of all the butter in the original recipe. These are nowhere near as healthy as the former recipe, though they are addictive and swayed my opinion on which recipe to enter.
These couldn't be any simpler to make. First, you cook the bacon until crisp, saving 1/4 cup bacon grease. Graham crackers line the bottom of a foil-lined baking sheet and are topped with mini marshmallows.
Brown sugar is melted in a saucepan with bacon grease, butter, and cinnamon. A little vanilla is stirred in afterward, and then it gets drizzled over the graham crackers.
To finish, the top is sprinkled with unsweetened flaked coconut, sliced almonds, and the crumbled bacon.
The end result is a gooey, sticky treat that's similar to a candy bar and cookie, all in one. The bacon provides a satisfying saltiness to what would otherwise be an overwhelmingly sweet treat. What I liked the most is that these can be prepared in less time than it takes to make cookies, perfect if you want something fast that doesn't require a lot of effort.
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caramel bacon bars
Adapted from Taste of Home
12 whole graham crackers
4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 slices bacon, cooked until crispy, and crumbled
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup bacon grease
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with foil; grease lightly. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place graham crackers in pan; cover with marshmallows. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook butter, bacon grease, brown sugar and cinnamon until the butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.
- Spoon over the marshmallows. Sprinkle with almonds, coconut, and bacon crumbles. Bake for 15 minutes or until browned. Cool completely. Cut into 2-in. squares, then cut each square in half to form triangles.