The holidays are upon us and all of the traditional flavors are out in full force—peppermint, gingerbread, and egg nog. Sometimes though, it doesn’t hurt to train something different and a little bit adventurous. A
friend decided to throw a Christmas bacon-themed party (playing off the Christmas ham tradition) and encouraged a pot luck of bacon-focused dishes.
The number of bacon dishes was overwhelming and incredibly varied. Bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers, BLT dip, bacon-wrapped dates, cheddar bacon dip, BBQ bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, and so much more. It was delicious.
Before I found out this was a competition (Mel loves a good competition), I tried to do some recon into what people were bringing. There was a surprising lack of desserts and I thought why not try out the sweet side of bacon.
I will not lie to you, these are rich but wonderful. Little bit of a bacon surprise when you bite into the chocolate truffle! Heads up, you need some time for this one but the end result is great!
Bacon Bourbon Truffles
- 1/2 lb bacon
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1.5 lbs semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 18 oz chocolate almond bark
- 2 tbsp shortening (or bacon fat)
- Start by slicing your bacon into bits, about 1/4 inch thickness maximum.
- Strain the bacon pieces. (Reserve the bacon fat if you are without shortening for the truffle topping.)
- Reserve ¼ cup of the cooked bacon and place the remainder back on the stove top at medium heat in your pan.
- Add the ½ cup bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark—it’s a personal favorite.) and cook off the alcohol. Should take 3 minutes.
- Add the heavy cream and salt to the bacon.
- Bring everything to a boil then turn off the heat and let the cream mixture sit for 20 minutes.
- The cream will become infused with the bacon and bourbon flavors.
- While the cream sits, place your semi-sweet chocolate chips in a glass bowl and set aside.
- After 20 minutes, turn the heat on medium-low and warm the cream mixture through.
- Once the cream mixture is heated through, pour it over the chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes. The chocolate will be soft and shiny. Stir until smooth.
- The bacon bits should be evenly incorporated. Pour the chocolate bacon mixture into a glass baking dish lined with plastic wrap.
- Cover the chocolate as well and place the refrigerator until firm (3–4 hours).
- While the chocolate is firming up, take the reserved bacon and place it in a skillet on the stove at medium-high heat.
- Add the ¼ c brown sugar and 2 tsbp water. Cook until caramel covered. Stir often. When the mixture is caramel covered, remove from heat and mix in ¼ tsp baking soda. Stir quickly. It will start to bubble.
- Pour the topping onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread with a wooden spoon.
- Allow the brickle topping to cool completely before placing in a food processor to break up into a crumply topping.
- Set aside until you are ready to coat the truffles.
- Once the truffle filling is firm, divide into little balls (I used a cookie dough scoop dipped in hot water to scope out the firm chocolate) and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up.
- Take out the frozen balls and roll them into smooth balls.
- Place in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate coating.
- Melt almond bark coating either in a glass bowl placed onto of a saucepan with hot water (not boiling) or in a saucepan over very low heat. I prefer to place the bark directly in the sauce pan and melt slowly over low heat for about 7-8 minutes.
- Use a long tined fork to dip the frozen truffles, one by one.
- Remove the excess chocolate by tapping the fork on the side of the pan.
- Place the truffle on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and top with the brickle bacon topping immediately.
- Place in the fridge to harden the coating.
- Then transfer to an airtight container; keep in the fridge for up to 4 weeks (if you last that long).
- This recipe makes about 48 quarter-sized truffles.
Majorly adapted from Michael Ruhlman