I have lured you here with the sweet siren song of bacon….further elaboration on this recipe is probably not required. So let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Okay then.
To make one batch, you will need:
-2 packages store-bought bacon, cooked the way you like it (I prefer crisp, and I think it works best in this recipe that way)
-2 sticks unsalted butter
-1 cup brown sugar
-Two 12 oz packages semi-sweet chocolate chips
-approx. 2 tablespoons Bacon Salt (see recipe below), or sea salt
For the Bacon Salt:
–1.5 tablespoons grey sea salt or whatever sea salt you prefer
-1 package bacon
Cooking the bacon:
To cook large quantities of bacon, I prefer to throw it in the oven rather than fry-pan-it. Line your baking sheets (two packages of bacon will probably require four baking sheets), with tinfoil and put them in a cold oven. Turn it to 375 and then cook anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how well-done you want it. Keep an eye on it.
Once your bacon is cooked how you like it, remove it from the baking sheets and let it cool off sandwiched between layers of paper towel to soak up the excess oil. Help it a bit by mopping it off with the paper towel, too. You really want as much oil off as possible.
Once it has thoroughly cooled, separate out one package-worth to make the bacon salt. Throw it in a food processor and pulverize it into very fine pieces. Add your 1.5 tablespoons of sea salt, process for a moment, and then store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Take your remaining two packages-worth of cooked bacon and put in a food processor and process till you have smallish bacon bits (or as small or large as you want it). I find that smaller pieces of bacon work better for this.
To make the bark:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cookie sheet with tinfoil (if you want thinner bark) or a smaller baking dish (if you want thicker bark). I use heavy-duty tinfoil, as normal tinfoil can be a bit tricky to peel off afterwards.
Spread your bacon bits in an even layer across the bottom of the pan.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt your butter. As soon as it is completely melted, add the brown sugar, stir well and dissolve. Let this come to a boil and stir it steadily. It will thicken and darken, and you want to keep stirring the whole time–don’t let it burn. When it is a nice caramelly brown color and kind of fluffy and thick (after about 5 minutes), pour it evenly across the bacon bits in the cookie sheet.
Pop the sheet into the oven for 5 minutes, then take it out and pour your two bags of chocolate chips evenly across the top of the caramel-bacon mixture. Pop it back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
Take it back out of the oven and then use a spatula to gently smooth the schmelty chocolate chips out.
Now sprinkle about a tablespoon of bacon salt (or however much to taste) over the top of that.
Put the whole sheet in the freezer for a few hours to set. Remove from the freezer, peel the tinfoil off, and break the bark into pieces to serve (I like to dust another layer of bacon or sea salt over the top here, too).
Store in refrigerator.