Valentine's Day is only 2 days away. But instead of rushing out to buy some cardboard heart filled with sub-par chocolates, why not surprise your loved one with something truly special -- Smoked Candied Bacon Chocolates.
My latest creation for Kingsford.com, the grilled bacon chocolates strike the perfect balance of sweet and savory with bacon that is rolled into spirals before being smoked on the grill then finished with a dip in either white or dark chocolate.
To really take it over the top, dump those cheap chocolates from a store bought heart-shaped box and replace them with the grilled candied bacon chocolates!
VALENTINE’S DAY BACON CHOCOLATES
18 slices thick cut bacon
3 tbsp. agave sweetener
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 medium mixing bowls
1 small saucepan
1 large empty heart-shaped box
Preheat charcoal briquets in a charcoal chimney. Once the briquets are ashed over, place them on one side of the grill’s bottom grate to create a 2-zone cooking surface with one hot side and one cool side. Replace the top cooking grate, cover the grill, and adjust the bottom grill vents to bring it to approximately 300 degrees.
Lay bacon slices on a sheet of parchment paper. Starting at one end of the slices, begin rolling them in to a tight spiral. Insert one toothpick through each spiral to keep the outer end of the slices in place while they cook.
Place the bacon spirals on the cool side of the grill as far from the charcoal as possible.
Cover the grill and allow the bacon to cook for approximately 30 minutes until cooked through and nicely browned.
Remove the bacon spirals from the grill, place them on a plate or sheet of parchment paper, and brush six of the 18 with agave sweetener.
Fill a small saucepan by 1/3 with water. Place saucepan on the hot side of the grill and once the water is warm top the saucepan with 1 medium sized mixing bowl to create a double boiler. Add the dark chocolate chips to the mixing bowl and allow the chocolate to melt while stirring frequently.
Once the chocolate has melted, dip the top half of six of the remaining 12 bacon spirals (ie the non-agave slices) then return them to the plate or parchment paper to cool. Carefully remove the mixing bowl from the top of the saucepan using an oven mitt or tongs and replace it with a second clean mixing bowl. Add white chocolate chips to the mixing bowl and allow them to melt while stirring frequently.
Dip the top halves of the remaining six bacon spirals in the white chocolate then return to the plate or parchment paper to cool. Once cooled, place bacon candies in an empty heart shaped box and present to your loved one.
* Recipe by Clint Cantwell, courtesy of Kingsford.com