Monday, August 20, 2012

The Bacon Payday and A Giveaway

Would you like to be paid with bacon?  No not that kind of bacon payday.

Recently, the editor, Clint, challenged us folks in the highly compensated* writing department to come up with some outrageous or best bacon recipes for the upcoming International Bacon Day.  I was standing at the dry erase board in our kitchen brainstorming ideas when Alexis said something brilliant.

"What about a Bacon Payday?" 

Her idea was to take candied bacon (aka "pig candy") and combine it with her version of a PayDay candy bar.  Game on!

The Bacon Payday

  • 16 oz jar of dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 of a 10 oz bag of peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 can  condensed milk
  • 1/2 16 oz bag miniature marshmallows
  • 1 package bacon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp bbq rub*
  • 2 Tbsp agave nectar*
  1. Preheat a charcoal grill set up for indirect heat to 375f.
  2. Mix the brown sugar and bbq rub together.  Toss with the bacon to coat.  Drizzle with the agave nectar and toss again.
  3. Cook the bacon on the grill until brown and crisped, about 18-25 minutes.  Remove and cool.  Finely dice enough bacon to make 1/2 cup.  That will only take 2-3 slices and I told you to cook a WHOLE package?!?!  Yeah, you now have a lot of extra candied bacon.  I did that on purpose because your family will want to eat it all right on the spot.  You can thank me later ;)
  4. Place the can of condensed milk in hot water for 5 minutes.
  5. Preheat a medium sauce pan over medium heat and melt the butter and peanut butter chips together.  
  6. Stir in the condensed milk, reduce heat and then stir in the marshmallows.  It will start out like a hot mess but keep stirring and it will blend.  Remove from heat.
  7. Grease the bottom of an 8" by 8" baking pan*.  Pour one half of the peanuts on the bottom of the pan and then top with half of the diced bacon bits (1/4 cup).
  8. Pour in the gooey nougat mixture and spread evenly.
  9. Top with the remaining bacon bits (1/4 cup) and peanuts, pressing down with a spatula.
  10. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  
  11. Use a metal spatula to free the edges from the pan and invert.  Slice into 1" x 4" bars with a sharp knife and enjoy.
*Source - The Payday portion adapted from a widely repeated clone recipe on the Internet but we can't find the original source.  So many places have a version of this recipe but none that we found can establish themselves as being the original source.
*Highly Compensated - just kidding....we're paid in bacon.
*BBQ Rub - I used Mike Davis' UnBULLevable rub but you could use your favorite.
*Agave nectar - I used a vanilla flavored agave nectar.  You could substitute honey.
*Pan size - This size makes an extra thick, nougaty (just made that an adjective) candy bar.  You can use the same recipe in a 9" x 13" pan for a thinner and more like the original candy bar.

Benton's bacon is widely recognized as one of the best in the nation and it is produced locally.

A grill pan helps keep the mess down.
I was out front grilling the bacon when a neighbor asked what I was making.  When I said "Candy bars" you can imagine the befuddled look that I received.  I didn't bother to explain :)


More bacon.

Ready for slicing.

They are so filling that I can only eat one at a time.  
With my first bite, I knew we had nailed it.  I had thought about adding more bacon when first making it but the 1/2 cup was perfect because the sweet, smoky bacon flavor really shines without being overbearing.  The bacon adds to this candy bar instead of just being thrown in for bacon's sake.

Check out for grilling recipes and inspiration.

National Pork Board Giveaway
This is actually two giveaways in one and is sponsored by the National Pork Board.  It is a follow up to the series I did regarding sustainable pork farming.  Teresa and the gang at the National Pork Board gave me two wooden cutting boards and two grilling tool sets to give away.  The tool set carry bag doubles as an apron, how cool is that?

I am awarding the first board and tool set to the first person who gives the correct answer to the question:  At what time do narwhals bacon?  (Yes, that is bacon as a verb.)

The second set is going to the winner selected as follows:
  1. Leave a comment that includes whether or not you knew that hormones are not permitted for use in American pig farming.   
  2. Contest period runs from the time this is posted until Sunday, August 26, 2012 11:59pm.  
  3. If you use an anonymous option for commenting, be sure to leave a way for me to contact you (email, forum name, etc).
  4. You have one week to respond to prize announcements.  After that I will pick another winner.
  5. Winner will be selected by random draw.
  6. National Pork Board is sponsoring prize.  I am running the giveaway and set the rules, so I have final say on any contest matters.
  7. I'm paying for shipping so prize winners must be in the continental US unless you want to pony up for the extra shipping charges.
Winners Announcement:  The first to reply with the correct answer was Syscokid and the random comment winner was Sleepy Headed Mom.  I have sent you two emails.  Congrats!