Gord Brownies: Maple-Bacon Nanaimo Brownies
Moist, chocolatey maple-infused brownies topped with candied bacon, creamy Nanaimo filling and topped with maple-chocolate glaze and Sweetapolita "Tragically Chip" Sprinkles.
For the Maple-Bacon Brownie Base
- 8 slices quality bacon
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (120ml) plus 2 tablespoons (30ml) for bacon pure maple syrup
- 6 1/2 oz (200g) best quality chocolate chips, callets or chopped (*see notes)
- 1 1/2 sticks (175g) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups (155g) all-purpose flour
- 3 whole eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp (5ml) pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
For the Nanaimo Filling:
- 3 cups (345g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
- 1/4 cup ( custard powder (Bird's brand, if possible)
- 2 tbsp (30ml) water
For the Maple-Glaze:
- 5 oz (150g) best-quality chocolate chips, callets or chopped (*see notes)
- 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup (180ml) pure maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup (85g) sprinkles! (*see notes )
Make the Maple-Bacon Brownie Base:
Preheat the oven to 350℉ (175℃). Line a 9 x 9-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and the 2 tablespoons (30ml) maple syrup.
Cook the bacon: Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and place a metal cooling rack over top. Lay the bacon slices across the rack with no overlapping. Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 10 minutes, then turn the bacon over and bake for another 5 minutes. Brush both sides of the bacon with the sugar/syrup mixture and return to the oven. Continue baking until crisp, but repeat basting every 10 minutes, about another 30-35 minutes total. Remove from the oven and set side. When cool, cut the bacon into small, 1/4" pieces.
Make the brownies: Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, but make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Leave to melt until smooth.
Remove the mixture from the heat, and whisk in the sugar and maple syrup until well combined. Add the flour and salt, and whisk until blended. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula or palette knife. Add the bacon pieces on top of the batter, in a single layer across the top. Bake the brownies for 30-35 minutes, until the top cracks slightly and the centre is soft. Let cool completely.
For the Nanaimo Filling:
Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or any mixing bowl if you are using a handheld mixer), and beat on the lowest speed until the confectioners' sugar is blended in. Increase the speed to medium-high, and beat the mixture until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.
Transfer the mixture onto the cooled brownie base, and spread evenly. Chill for 30 minutes.
For the Maple-Chocolate Glaze:
STOVETOP METHOD: In a medium heatproof bowl set over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, butter, maple syrup and salt until smooth, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool slightly. MICROWAVE METHOD: Add all of the ingredients to a heatproof bowl or measuring cup with spout. Microwave at high heat for 1 minute, then stir. Continue to heat in 30 second intervals until the mixture is completely melted. The glaze will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. When ready to use, warm the glaze over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave.
Pour the glaze over the Nanaimo filling and spread evenly. Chill for about 5 minutes before sprinkling the well, sprinkles, on top. Chill until firm, and then use a knife to loosen the any sides that are stuck to the pan, and then use the parchment sides to lift the brownies from the pan. Cut into squares on a cutting board.
- For the brownies and the glaze, I used Callebaut Semi-Sweet Callets.
- You can certainly omit the bacon from this recipe, but it does make it pretty darn Canadian (sorry, but it does.)
- For the Nanaimo filling, I always use Bird's Custard Powder.
- I used a combination of Sweetapolita Rainbow Crunchy, Rainbow Nonpariels and Rainbow Bit Chips which are pretty ideal, but you can use any sprinkles your heart desires!
- These babies are perfect for cottage weekends, after-school snacks and more!