Red Zone

Red Friday tailgate: Bacon, chocolate can go together

Chef Georg Paulussen, former executive chef at Ameristar Casino, made these chocolate-glazed maple bacon brownies, topped with candied bacon.
Chef Georg Paulussen, former executive chef at Ameristar Casino, made these chocolate-glazed maple bacon brownies, topped with candied bacon. The Kansas City Star

Set aside those New Year’s resolutions for a few more days. This week’s culinary concoction is a multipart ode to bacon and chocolate.

That’s right: bacon and chocolate.

Look, we never said we were going to be your health-conscious adviser every week (although we have tried to be mindful of such things). We’re here to party. Besides, around the holidays, you’ve just got to cut loose a little bit.

So get out your mixing bowls and a heavy saucepan. It’s time to rock and roll.

Beer Pairing

In our neverending quest to bring you brews that you can find and sample close to home, we offer the pride of Latrobe, Pa.: Rolling Rock lager. Part of our reasoning for suggesting this extra pale is that Latrobe is located just outside of the ’Burgh. But we also figured that after eating this week’s marriage of bacon and chocolate, you might want something light to wash it down.

Craving More?

Digging this week’s recipe selection? You’ll love The Star’s Food section. Fill up on the latest edible inspirations at Kansas City’s No. 1 recipe source:

Glazed Maple-Bacon Brownies

Makes 9 servings

▪ For the brownies:

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter, melted

3 eggs

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup Candied Bacon pieces, divided

1/2 cup bacon fat

▪ For the chocolate glaze:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

To make the brownies: Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, maple syrup, sugar and chocolate chips together. Stir in hot, melted butter and mix by hand for 1 minute until well incorporated. Add eggs, salt, 1/4 cup Candied Bacon pieces and bacon fat, and mix until well combined. Pour batter into a 9-inch square pan and bake for 45 minute and check doneness.

To make chocolate glaze: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the cream to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Pour in chocolate chips and stir until chocolate is melted.

Pour glaze evenly over baked brownies and top with remaining 3/4 cup candied bacon.

Per brownie: 639 calories (58 percent from fat), 43 grams total fat (24 grams saturated), 150 milligrams cholesterol, 63 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein, 305 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.

Candied Bacon

Makes 1 cup

6 slices bacon

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bacon slices side by side on a wire rack. Do not overlap. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of uncooked bacon. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Allow bacon to cool.

Turn oven down to 300 degrees. Combine bacon and maple syrup in an oven-safe bowl. Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Allow bacon to cool, then chill in refrigerator overnight. Cut into small pieces, which can then be used as a topping on brownies or cheesecake bites.

Per (1/4-cup) serving: 116 calories (33 percent from fat), 5 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), 8 milligrams cholesterol, 16 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 157 milligrams sodium, no dietary fiber.

Source: John Lacroix, Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City