Bacon Butter Pecan Ice Cream

bacon-butter-pecan-ice-cream

Yes, Bacon Butter Pecan Ice Cream. When you eat ice cream, do you often find yourself thinking, “this would be better with bacon”? No? Well, I promise there is a reason for this madness: a vegan bacon zine!

I’ve been talking about it and occasionally working on it for years, but I’m now actively making recipes and planning to design and print a bacon-themed zine very soon. If you’ve been following my posts, you may have noticed a the occasional bacon recipe like bacon vodka and Maple Bacon PBR Cupcakes. Since the bacon trend pioneers don’t appear to be calling it quits anytime soon, a bacon zine will still be ever so relevant. Filled with recipes, games, and words, printed on paper, and held together with not two, but three(!!) staples, it’ll be just what you need in your life.

Without further ado, this week’s post features a recipe from the forthcoming zine. If bacon in ice cream is not your thing, you can leave out the bacon and replace the maple syrup with agave or another liquid sweetener for a classic butter pecan ice cream.

This ice cream is smooth, caramel-y, and loaded with flavor and richness. The butter pecans add a punch of flavor on their own, so the bacon is more of an accent. I used chopped Upton’s Bacon Seitan for this recipe because it stays tender after cooking in the butter and sugar syrup (baking with bacon seitan often yields chewier results). I find that coconut cream yields the creamiest vegan ice cream. As I mentioned in my last ice cream post, Thin Mint Ice Cream, you can now buy Trader Joe’s coconut cream in a can without the hassle of separating the fat from a can of coconut milk. It does add a bit of coconut flavor to the ice cream, so try to choose stronger flavors or flavors that complement coconut when using coconut as an ice cream base. The buttery flavor of coconut goes well with the brown sugar and butter pecans.

Bacon Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Makes about 1 ½ pints

Ingredients

¾ cup chopped pecans
⅓ cup chopped vegan bacon
3 tablespoons vegan margarine
1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar
14 ounces coconut cream
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup almond (or other non-dairy) milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

Toast the pecans in a dry skillet for 2-3 mins until fragrant, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in the bacon and butter. The pecans will burn quickly, so keep an eye on them.
Transfer to a small bowl, then pour in the maple syrup and sprinkle on the 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Set aside to cool.

Combine coconut cream and brown sugar in the saucepan and cook until sugar is dissolved and starts to bubble, then let boil for 3 minutes. Add milk, vanilla extract, and ⅓ cup of the pecan mixture. Let cool.

Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Put the remainder of the pecan mixture in the freezer for the duration of freezing so it doesn’t bring down the temperature of the ice cream when you add it. Add pecans and bacon in last 5 minutes of freezing.

If you make this recipe (with or without bacon!), let me know how you like it! And I would also love to hear what kind of recipes and content you’d like in a bacon zine, so keep the suggestions coming!

Vegan Bacon Vodka

Vegan bacon vodka

When I made infused vodka the other week, there was a little tidbit I left out of that post. A small omission, really. See, in addition to cucumber and hibiscus vodka, I decided to use the remaining liquor for a slightly off-putting experiment: bacon vodka. Since bacon has been in the trendy public eye for far too long, every bacon-flavored product that can exist does exist, so you don’t even need to Google bacon vodka to know that people are putting it in their bodies. Ironically, commercial bacon vodka does not actually contain bacon, just chemicals and food coloring. So of course, bacon enthusiasts were quick to remedy that by making a liquor chock full of salty meat strips. If you weren’t already glad to be vegan, one of the complaints associated with bacon vodka will do that for ya: the grease yielded a layer of bacon fat in the final product. Nothing like chunky bacon liquor! In my vegan version, the bacon was extremely low in fat, so not much could go wrong, right? In the spirit of entertainment, I tasted it (a whole shot, so you guys better enjoy this!) for the first time on camera:

If you still want to make your own vegan bacon vodka, here is the recipe. Usually, infused vodka doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but it seemed really gross to let veggie bacon hang out at room temperature for days on end.

Bacon Vodka

Ingredients

4-5 strips prepared vegan bacon
1 cup vodka

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Arrange bacon on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake bacon for 4-5 minutes, until it starts to crisp up, but remains pliable.
  4. Combine vodka and bacon in a bottle and store in the refrigerator for a week before consuming.

This will be my last post before Vegan MoFo, which starts next week (!!). I’m thrilled to participate and will be posting more information soon!

Maple Bacon PBR Cupcakes

Maple bacon cupcake

Here we have maple bacon PBR cupcakes. If that doesn’t sound like food to you, you may revel in the grossness or exit your browser in pursuit of greener pastures or cat videos (come back next week for regularly-scheduled programming!). The omnis have been making bacon desserts for years, so I decided to abandon my dignity in a chocolate bacon cupcake batter.

For reasons unbeknownst to me, I decided to start writing a vegan bacon zine. I don’t even like bacon that much. It started as an April Fool’s Day joke of bacon-laden desserts, then became a summer project. Since it doesn’t seem like the populace is ever going to accept that the bacon trend has worn out its welcome, why don’t we jump on the bandwagon and ride it out (OR INTO THE GROUND)? Bask in the sheer ridiculousness of bacon or let your vegan bacon freak flag fly and enjoy some cupcakes.

The first step involves frying vegan bacon in ungodly amounts of margarine to create a double threat of crispy bacon for garnish, and bacon-infused butter for the batter and frosting.

I originally shuddered at the thought of putting PBR in cupcakes, but it really acts a leavening agent to make the cupcakes light and fluffy. And the least offensive ingredients, chocolate and maple, hold down the fort.

So what are you waiting for? Make some cupcakes for the tragically hip people in your life. Or take my word for it.

Maple Bacon PBR Cupcakes

Makes 1 dozen cupcakes

To make bacon-infused browned butter:

6 tablespoons vegan margarine
5 strips uncooked veggie bacon

To make cupcakes:

¾ cup PBR or other light beer
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons bacon-infused browned butter
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons canola oil
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

To make topping:

3 tablespoons bacon-infused browned butter, solid
3 tablespoons margarine
½ cup vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
3 cups powdered sugar

Heat the margarine over medium-high heat. Sauté the bacon until crispy, about three minutes on each side. Allow the butter to get foamy and start to brown. Transfer bacon to a plate to cool, letting excess margarine drip off. Set aside. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the bacon-infused browned butter for the batter, then pour the rest into an airtight container and refrigerate to solidify.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Fill a cupcake pan with liners.

Pour the beer and vinegar in a stand mixer or regular mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar, 3 tablespoons reserved browned butter, maple syrup, canola oil, and vanilla extract.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix until just combined. The batter should be thick, but pourable.

Using a cupcake scoop or measuring cup, fill each liner ⅔ full. Bake for 18 minutes, or until the tops are firm and a toothpick comes out clean. Let sit in the pan on the stove for 3-4 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Cream together the bacon-infused browned butter, margarine, and shortening in a stand mixer or with handheld beaters. Add the maple syrup and milk. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar and beat the frosting until light and fluffy, 6-8 minutes.

Pipe or spread the frosting on the cupcakes. Slice cooked and cooled bacon into 1-inch pieces for garnish.