bacon-caramelsBy far the most popular items at Bacon Day were the sweets. We linked to the recipe Naseem used for Bacon Caramels, which were amazing. Although I have not traditionally been a fan of mixing my sweets and savories, I believe I’m being won over. Between the caramels and the chocolate fountain, I’m starting to sing a different tune. And let us not forget the cookies!

Maurie, the director of Genesis West (the theatre company for which Bacon Day raised funds), volunteered to help out by making some bacon-themed cookies for the event. His doll of a mother, Holly, also jumped in with a fury and came up with TWO new recipes. Three very different cookies, all equally enjoyed by our guests.

elvis-barsMaurie’s Elvis Bars were a tweak on Ina Garten’s Peanut Butter & Jelly bars. Simply substitute chopped bacon for the peanuts! You may remember that last year our friends Chrissy & Smiley made peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with bacon…these cookies partially made up for Chrissy & Smiley’s absence at this year’s event.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups (18 ounces) creamy peanut butter (recommended: Skippy)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (18 ounces) raspberry jam or other jam
2/3 cups crisp, crumbled bacon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.

Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don’t worry if all the jam isn’t covered; it will spread in the oven. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.

bacon-chocolate-chunkHolly’s Chewy Bacon Chocolate Chunk Cookies make me drool just thinking about them.

2 cups + 2 tablespoons unsifted, bleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking solda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 bars dark chocolate, broken into chunks
1 1/2 cups chopped crisp bacon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside.

Mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended – mixture should become almost caramel like in color and texture. Mix in whole egg, yolk and vanilla until thoroughly blended. Mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks and crumbled bacon.

Using tablespoon, drop dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes, reversing sheet position halfway through baking time. Cookies should be light brown with outer edges beginning to harden while centers are still soft and puffy. Cool on sheets until set, transfer to cooling racks to finish until chocolate begins to set. Yields 32 cookies.

bacon-breakfast-cookiesAnd finally, Holly’s Bacon Breakfast Cookies. The secret ingredient is Rice Krispies! They make the cookie airier than normal oatmeal cookies.

1 cup Bacon Grease
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 cup Light Brown Sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
� teaspoon Baking Powder
� teaspoon Salt
2 cups Plain Flour
2 cups Oatmeal
2 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup Chopped Pecans
1 cup Chopped Crisp Bacon

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Cream grease and sugars. Add eggs, vanilla and sifted dry ingredients. Mix well. Add aatmeal, Rice Krispies, pecans and bacon. Batter will be very stiff. Drop by teaspoons onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake 25-30 minutes. Yields 5 dozen.

So there you go, bacon cookie recipes galore! I can personally recommend them all; enjoy!

jennifer-and-laurenSo I met these two great girls at Bacon Day, Jennifer and Lauren, and we talked a bit about theatre and whatnot. I was super impressed that they drove all the way from Los Angeles for the event, and very sad that they didn’t win any raffle prizes. What I didn’t realize is that Jennifer is a freelance columnist for the LA Times Magazine, and has a great blog, one that I actually read from time to time.

jennifer-nametagJennifer’s review of Bacon Day puts me to shame. She probably took more photos than I did. So for a candid review of the good and the not-so-good novelties served at Bacon Day, check here. More to come from us when we get all our photos in order!

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What can I say about International Bacon Day 2009? It was so fun. It was muy delicioso! I am too exhausted to really even think about it. I CAN tell you that no fewer than 43 pounds of bacon went into the event, and no one left with an empty belly. I will tease you with a few photos here, but a more full and informative report will be forthcoming. Likely over the course of many days.

These bacon caramels made by Naseem were the #1 hit of the day. There have been a ton of hits to this page since the event…everyone wanted the recipe. They melted slowly in the heat of the day, but that didn’t make them any less scrumptious.

The bacon goat cheese lollipops got mixed reviews. What did I learn while making them? Grinding bacon, toasted pecans and fresh basil together makes your whole house smell like heaven.

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Finally, the chocolate fountain. You simply cannot go wrong with a bubbling fountain of warm, semi-sweet chocolate. And yes, chocolate-dipped bacon is delicious. The big debate was this: Does that prove that everything tastes better with bacon? Or that anything tastes good dipped in chocolate? There was much disagreement.

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I hardly know where to start with my thank yous. Wendy was my hero, my champion, my getter of all needful things. Thank you, Wendy. This event would have been a disaster without you. My co-conspirator Naseem. Thank you for planning and shopping and cooking and designing all the t-shirts and signage and EVERYTHING! Your work really took the event up a notch or fifty. The Genesis West team, Maurie and Holly. Thank you for inventing and baking the amazing array of bacon cookies (more to follow…you’ll want these recipes!) And of course our army of volunteers who manned the door and the bar and helped with set-up and tear-down: Cameron, Parry, Sarah, Sheri, Krista, Julia, Brian, Natalia, Ryan, and my brother Matt. You were like a dream come true.

Last but not least, thank you to all those who attended! It was great to meet you and share the beautiful day. And for those who didn’t get to RSVP before it sold out, mark your calendars for next year: September 4, 2010. I’m already in talks with Nicolaysen Winery about their potential involvement…I promise you, you will NOT want to miss it!

What happens when a health-conscious mom suddenly finds herself in charge of a junk food-loving family? Hilarity ensues, of course.

Thanks, Bruce, for the biggest laugh I’ve had all week.

frying-baconSo you’re all familiar with my experiments in making Bacon Bourbon. I did it a few times and although it was alright, it wasn’t exactly addicting. Although I never did make a bacon maple Manhattan, which is still on my to-do list.

This year for Bacon Day we decided on a brunch theme specifically so we could try out Bloody Marys made with bacon-infused vodka. We have ordered a couple bottles of Bakon Vodka, but we want people to have the chance to sip that, unadulterated, and tell us what they think. With that in mind, I have the task of infusing lots more vodka with bacon before the big day arrives. Last night I did my first batch.

Because we’re talking double-sized bottles of vodka, I started with four slices of bacon and added a little reserved bacon grease. I fried it up good and crispy, extracting as much grease and flavor as possible.

I didn’t want to put all four slices of bacon in the vodka, so Brutus helped me dispose of the extra meat.

brutus-loves-bacon

I’m using a big mixing bowl because I don’t have any double-sized pitchers. In goes the grease and bacon…

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…followed by vodka. I let it sit for a couple hours, then stuck it in the freezer overnight.

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Ugh, the romance is over. Why does bacon grease look so unappealing when frozen on a lake of vodka? Or is it just the harsh light of morning that’s making me feel this way? No. Definitely the disgusting coagulated grease.

frozen-vodka

Much as I would love to tell you I mixed up a cocktail right then and there for breakfast, that would be a lie. Basically all that followed was a lot of straining and putting of vodka back into its bottle. This process will be repeated tonight and Wednesday, for my freezer is small and full of bacon.

For a flavor review, you’ll have to wait until Bacon Day 2009 is over. I’ll share with you my own thoughts, and the sure-to-be-varied opinions of our guests. Can’t wait!!

Wow. I don’t know what to say about KFC this morning. I once got really sick after eating KFC wings, so am perhaps over-cautious about their products. And I do admit their snackers look good to me, but they have really outdone themselves this time. Their new product, the Double Down, is only available in limited markets (two cities at this point), and for good reason.  They need to give this idea some deep consideration before unleashing it on an unsuspecting America.

The Double Down, you see, is a bacon and cheese sandwich with fried chicken filets for buns. Let me say that again: FRIED CHICKEN FOR BUNS! I know, this is the kind of thing you’d expect me to stand up and cheer for, but I just can’t. Maybe it’s a mood or a phase I’m going through, but the idea of eating two pieces of fried chicken with bacon, cheese and sauce snuggled between them, with my bare hands no less, is enough to make my stomach turn. Yep, there it goes, turning away.

For more on this story, check out MSN’s  Willie Geist giving you the full low-down on the Double Down and its fast food predecessors:

KFC's shocking new sandwich
KFC’s shocking new sandwich

Thank you, Chrissy. I’ll be on the lookout for this potential heart attack to invade our fair city.

I’m sure many of you were aware that there was a vote taking place to determine once and for all which breakfast meat is truly king: bacon or sausage. Over at Super Action Vote, people were submitting videos and voting for their favorite, and I hope that you were among those who took the time to tell the world that bacon rules.

It’s no surprise that BACON WON with a whopping 64%! Here are a couple fun videos from the site, including the promo for the vote. You can see all 4 featured videos here.

bacon-day-09I don’t know about you, but I’m in love with the logo designs for Bacon Day ’09. And now, whether you’re planning to attend Bacon Day or not, you can get your very own Bacon Day gear. From t-shirts to bumper stickers, the Bacon Day Store has it all. You can also find lots of plain old Royal Bacon Society logo gear here.

This is my favorite t-shirt, designed with a little creative help from our good friend Heather. The back side says FOOD WE CAN BELIEVE IN. Here here, t-shirt.

I have to say a big thanks to Naseem for working so tirelessly, getting all these items ready in advance of the event. Now go! Shop! Don’t be the last on your block to show your bacon pride!