I had made the original version a couple times, to rave reviews (thank you PaleOMG), but wanted to make something a little more earthy. Maybe that's the wrong word. But I always associate maple syrup with the woods (I guess that's my Michigan roots). And there is nothing better in the world than when the maple syrup "accidentally" drips onto the bacon and creates a salty-sweet-delicious breakfast treat.
Can you see why I've been dreaming about this recipe?
I stayed fairly-true to the original recipe for the base layer. My only modification was to switch out the honey for maple syrup.
I got the idea for the middle layer from the cook at hotel in the Alps (in Chamonix I believe, but don't quote me. I was so far out of my element, I could have been on the moon...). She made this amazing and simple apple tart that was just crust, apple sauce, apple slices, and seasoning.
The topping is the real money-maker. That part was all me (and I'm pretty-damn proud with how it turned out)! CaveBoy loved it! The beauties all agreed it tasted great, and the boys polished off the whole batch. I'm fairly certain this one will be a hit even with the non-paleo crowd (but I haven't tested it, yet).
Pecan Maple Bacon Bars
|I have to hand it to PaleOMG. The bar texture is perfect.|
2 1/4 cups unsalted pecans
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
3 pear canned pear halves
3 pitted dates, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
2 strips thick-cut bacon, cubed
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Coconut oil spray
These bars have three major components that need to be made and assembled in order.
First, for the base of the bars: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add 1 1/2 cups pecans to the food processor and process until they become a fine meal. Add coconut oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and vanilla and continue processing until it becomes pecan butter. Pour pecan butter into medium bowl. Add almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, a pinch of salt, and the egg. Stir to combine. Grease a small baking dish with coconut oil spray. Pour batter into baking dish and smooth into an even layer. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
While the base layer bakes, add pears and dates to the food processor and process into a smooth puree. Remove from food processor and set aside. Once the base has baked for 20 minutes, remove it from the oven. Spoon the pear puree onto the bars, in an even layer. Return to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes. Then remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, place bacon cubes in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until all the fat renders out and the cubes are the texture of bacon bits. While the bacon cooks, add the remaining 3/4 cup pecans to the food processor. Pulse until they are roughly chopped. Set aside.
Once the bacon is cooked, remove the bacon bits from the pan and set aside. Pour out the bacon grease, leaving only enough in the pan to coat the bottom. Discard excess grease. Return the pan to medium heat. Add the chopped pecans and toast until the are warmed through. Be careful not to burn them. Add the bacon bits back into the pan and stir to combine. Remove from heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons maple syrup. Stir to combine.
Spoon the bacon-pecan mixture in an even layer onto the fully-cooked bars. It will become sticky as it cools. Allow to cool fully before serving. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. Serves 6 to 10 (depending on how many CaveBoys you're feeding).