Dear Food Network, Cupcake Wars has nothing on me. That's right, I say bring it on, because I'm convinced that my birthday cupcakes would demolish the battle and kill the war.
Most normal people would be stoked on birthday cakes and normally I'm one of those people. For whatever reason this cupcake came to me. Banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting topped with candied bacon.
I love banana cake so much it was awarded two layers on my wedding cake and it was awesome. Peanut butter is a spread that I can put on almost anything, burgers included. (Thank you Rees for that revelation.) And candied bacon - HELLO! It plays perfectly on the sweet and savory and adds an great crunch. Plus it's just become a fun thing to add bacon to the most random things.
Here's how I did it:
Peanut butter frosting:
8 oz. bacon - (I usually use thick cut applewood smoked bacon from Trader Joe's. There's 12 oz. in the package. I made the entire package and used the leftovers for salad.)
handfuls of brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides) with parchment paper and arrange sliced bacon so that it touches. Generously cover with brown sugar. Flip bacon and cover the other side. Bake for 22 minutes or until crispy and gooey.
The parchment paper here is key. The bacon will be so oozy-gooey you'll be thankful you'll be able throw the paper away instead of scrub. Make sure you use parchment paper over wax paper because wax paper has a layer of huh, how about that, wax - while parchment paper has a layer of silicone that won't intermingle with your candied bacon goodness.
Let the bacon cool on the pan for about five minutes then remove and place on a wire cooling rack. When cool dice the bacon and set aside until ready to use. (Note, don't put your candied bacon on a paper towel lined plate like you would for bacon straight up. I did that the first time around and was peeling paper towel pieces off the bacon. Not fun.)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lay