Hold on to yer hats, everybody. I’ve been baking again. And somehow I always choose to do so on days when it’s sweatstache weather. Or maybe it’s just always going to be sweatstache weather from here on out. Is this just how we’re going to roll for, like, always? Seriously, I feel like how The Rock looks in pretty much every F&F franchise movie (or, more accurately, every movie ever). That is: dripping with perspiration to the point where you just assume there’s a tiny person off camera whose entire job consists of soaking him down with a tiny mister of baby oil. Or I guess it could be an average size person with an average size mister. But regardless, that has been me. The Rock, not the Mister.
Ugh. (← bad sigh)
I think what I’m trying to say is just: I’m ready for it to feel like fall — but if it’s not gonna feel like fall, I’m at least gonna eat like it’s fall. And that means trading that sweatstache for sweatpants. And then filling out those sweatpants with things like sticky, candied bacon and dark, fudgy chocolate and sticky, candied bacon embedded in dark, fudgy chocolate.
And olive oil.
For heart health.
Because sticky candied bacon and dark, fudgy chocolate.
Ugghhh. (← good sigh! )
I recently made these brownies for the annual Autumn Festival at the gorgeous historic Filoli estate and gardens and, yeah, they were pretty dang well received — but the real reason I mention that is this recipe is super conducive to multiplying if you need to feed a crowd. Punched out with a simple little 3″ biscuit cutter, these pack up nicely for holiday gifts (try stacking 3 or 5 in a tall treat bag), or cut into simple squares, you can easily get two dozen pieces from a half-sheet pan for all your upscale bake sale needs.
And then there’s always the option of just hoarding the whole triple batch in the freezer for yourself and warming a brownie or two on demand. Just pop ’em in the toaster oven for a few mins and you’re golden. Ice cream optional but highly recommended.
Uggghhhhh. (← frustrated-by-not-eating-dairy sigh)
Ok, brownies, sweatpants and hugs you guys! Hope you’re having a great week!
p.s. juss a reminder that healthier fall things happened last week in the form of this pumpkin curry!
p.p.s. and, then (sneak preview!) more pun’kin stuff is headed your way next week! (also: thanks to Food & Wine for the shoutout — blushing!!)
p.p.p.s. remember that time I made tasty brownie-like things that wouldn’t scare away your cardiologist? here ya go! ♥
- For the Olive Oil Brownies
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup AP flour + 1 T, separated
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional)
- 1 recipe candied bacon (see below)
- nonstick cooking spray or olive oil
- For the Candied Bacon
- ½ lb bacon slices, halved lengthwise
- 2 T olive oil
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Make the Bacon: Preheat oven to 400F. Combine olive oil, brown sugar, chili powder and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add bacon pieces and toss to coat thoroughly. Arrange bacon on rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20-25 mins or until bubbling and caramelized. Allow to cool slightly on baking sheet, then remove to wire rack set over paper towels to cool completely. Roughly chop bacon into small pieces.
- Make the Brownies: Turn oven down to 350F. Prepare a 9" square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil.
- In a medium, heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, warm olive oil and bittersweet chocolate together over low heat, stirring until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
- Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Beat eggs in one at a time. Add vanilla and beat until sugar is mostly dissolved and mixture is smooth and glossy. Add flour, espresso powder, baking powder and salt and whisk until batter again becomes smooth and shiny.
- In a medium bowl, combine about ½ chopped candied bacon and pecans. Toss with 1 tablespoon flour. Fold floured bacon and nuts into brownie batter.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared brownie pan and sprinkle with remaining bacon + pecans. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until edges are set and top is crackly in places but center is still slightly gooey.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 30 minutes before cutting into squares (or use a 3" biscuit cutter to punch out circles, like I did here). Enjoy!
OH! before you go…
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I love the salty sweet game and you’re killing it with these! So happening for holiday gifts this year 🙂
Yaaaaaay! You’re guaranteed to have some happy pals come xmas! 🙂
ooh, have you ever gone to sweet maple/kitchen story in sf? their (overpriced but tasty) millionaires bacon sounds similar to your candied bacon! and you managed to throw in some espresso into the brownies, too, amongst all that goodness?!?! i can’t even.
I haven’t, Heather, but I’ll have to check it out! Overpriced bacon is my kryptonite. 😉 And yes — there is, indeed, espresso in these brownies. Mostly because, when you take the bacon into account, as well, they most definitely pass as breakfast. Heh.
UGH (jealous sigh). These look amazing. I love nuts in brownies so much. Plus candied bacon!? Big win!
You know what’s funny, Amber — I didn’t really used to dig nuts in brownies…or cookies, or anything really. I thought they were a distraction. But now I appreciate the added texture (and, um, healthy fats…? Let’s just pretend…). And I know bacon + chocolate has probably seen its day, but it’s not like it has stopped tasting delicious, so I’m just gonna keep right on going. 😉
That sounds awesome! I’m not usually a fan of nuts in baked goods, but the candied bacon… yum!
Nuts optional, Alice! Well, unless I’m the one making them. Pretty hard to separate the nut from the brownie when one is baking the other! Hah.
I tried these at the Autumn Festival and can attest to their deliciousness. 😉
Yeah you did! <3
Sweatstache??! Love it! Had that experience so many times, frantically moving around a hot kitchen and then trying to photograph stuff while my brothers hover impatiently to get me to hurry up (so they can eat!). Will be a new word in my vocab haha. And candied bacon in these brownies sounds absolutely amazing , and love the idea of olive oil instead of butter too. (also….if I cut out circles…does that mean I get to eat all the scraps?? I can get around cute shapes + extra brownie eating!!).
It absolutely means you get to eat the scraps, Claudia! In fact, when we sold these at the event, we bagged up the scraps to sell separately and they went faster than the actual brownies. Everyone, myself included, loves an edge piece!
Holy Crap these look so good! I don’t really have any else to say…they speak for themselves 🙂
No other words are necessary, Kristin. 😀 Thanks!!
hi. 2 questions… is this regular or extra virgin OO? and what was your chocolate percentage ? thnx
Hello! Good questions! I used organic extra virgin (should probably have clarified that!) and I’ve made these brownies with everything from Nestle semi-sweet (which do contain dairy) to 80% dark and they’re always good, so it just depends whether you tend toward sweeter things. I kinda like them best with something between 60-70%. It’s a good balance of sweetness to complement the sharpness of the espresso, too. Let me know what you go with! Enjoy!
Oh wow, these are just epic. How are you so funny all the time?!? The vision of the rock with a little mister side kick just killed my insides. Seriously girl, you are a comic and a creative genius. Your baby must be so effing cool.
thanks for the reply EM. i forgot to ask about espresso powder, i don’t have that. do i need it (also feeding this to a toddler)? can i substitute it with anything else? ground coffee?
I’d say you could probably skip the espresso if you’re feeding them to kiddos. Plenty of caffeine in the chocolate! ?
I never had bacon with something sweet, but this brownies sound delicious.
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Your pictures… and these brownies… make me happy. xoxo, K
Thanks Kelly! I give all the credit to the chocolate. Hard to bake up a brownie that doesn’t command happiness! 🙂
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