Thursday, January 09, 2014

Bacon Baked Goods, from Baconery

Sure, I eat a lot of baked goods.  Most aren't that notable.  But ...  I recently had the opportunity to experience baked goods unlike any others I've ever had before, from a place called Baconery.

What is Baconery?  Their tag line is "Bacon meets bakery.  Their love child: Baconery".  Basically, a bunch of curated baked goods, created in partnership with assorted chefs, that all feature ... bacon!

Yes, bacon baked goods.  I love baked goods, I love bacon, so, these sounded far to intriguing to resist.  Generally available online, but in my case, I was lucky enough to have one of the Baconery chefs bring them to me direct!

Let me back up a little.  You might know Chef Russell Jackson from his recent appearance as a finalist on Food Network Star Season 9.  If you saw the show, you couldn't miss him.  He'd be the one with the mohawk, and the point of view all about incorporating culinary sins into cooking (the sins being salt, ice cream, liquor, bacon, fat, offal, and sugar).  Hmm, salt, bacon, fat, and sugar, and a bakery that specialized in bacon goods? I think you see where this is going.

But I know Chef Jackson from before he was famous on the Food Network.  Prior to that, and prior to his appearance on Iron Chef America, he ran a restaurant here in San Francisco, called Lafitte.  In the final looming days of the foie gras ban, he hosted a number of special foie gras dinners, which I was lucky enough to attend.  Given the focus of those dinners on obviously offal, fat, (and liquor!), I wasn't at all surprised when I saw his 7 culinary sins play out on TV.  He clearly lives by these "sins", and they were not something he just made up for TV.

He's also a great guy, who I've seen do several cooking demos around town, and even given all his recent "fame" from his Food Network appearances, has stayed friendly (and, as down to earth as he ever was).

But this review isn't about Russell.  It is about Baconery.  He teamed up with Baconery to produce a special bacon chocolate chip cookie.  Now, at his first foie gras dinner, I had his vegan chocolate chip cookie, and was blown away by it.  It had no bacon, obviously.  It was vegan.  And somehow, delicious.  I was beyond excited to thus try his signature cookie, with bacon!

He visited an artisans holiday fair at my office, and came with treats.  Plenty of treats.  Which I got to enjoy and share with everyone around me (and, enjoy we did!).  You can order them online from Baconery directly, or through his partnership with OpenSky.  If you like bacon, or interesting desserts, you should do just that!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bacon Cookie.
These things were insane.  A standard chocolate cookie, with little bits of bacon, and Reece's Pieces.  It turns out that the combo of chocolate, peanut butter, and bacon is just killer.  I've heard of people having peanut butter and bacon together before, but for some foolish reason, I'd never tried it myself.  After eating these, all I wanted to do was candy some bacon, dip it in peanut butter, and drizzle it with chocolate.  Mmm, candied chocolate peanut butter bacon!

Besides being great flavor combinations, I also liked how the bacon bits and Reece's Pieces provided a crunch inside the cookie.  And the bacon added a bit of saltiness.  So good.  I am not admitting to how many of these I ate.

Best Baconery product I tried, and I'd gladly eat more.
Triple Sugar Bacon Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Next, was Russell's signature cookie, made with "Tcho Chocolate, 3 types of sugar, Pecan Smoked Bacon, Hazelnuts, and Oats."  Oh yes, please.

These put all chocolate chip cookies to shame!  And all the other bacon products (besides the chocolate pb cookies) for that matter.  While the other products I tried all used the bacon to accent the other flavors, these were in-your-face bacon goodness.  There was no messing around here.  No doubt that they were loaded up with bacon.

And it totally, totally worked.  I also loved the texture from the oats and nuts.  So much going on in these cookies, and they were really, really good.  I'm also not admitting how many of these I ate.

The bottom of my box of goodies wound up with a bunch of broken little bits of the cookies, basically, a cookie crumble.  I just scooped the bits up and ate them, but I think they would have been really, really good as an ice cream topping.

If Russell is looking for another product line to develop, bacon cookie crumble ice cream topping would be a winner (alongside some bourbon caramel of course!)
Chocolate Bacon Brownie.
I do like brownies, but I like a specific kind of very fudgey brownie, which these were not.  They were just a classic cake brownie, a bit dry.  But with a subtle bacon thing going on.  Better than a standard brownie, but my least favorite of the items I tried.
Red Velvet Bacon Brownie.
And, another brownie.  These had a beautiful red color,  and had white chocolate chips for a bit of sweetness.  Like the chocolate brownie, they had a subtle bacon flavor, but were drier style brownie than I like.  My second to least favorite.
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