Ok, firstly, I just came across a website for Candied Bacon Ice Cream, which I felt the need to share. I'm a little upset that my previous searching efforts did not unearth this little charm sooner. But alas, it's found and shared.
Secondly, this past weekend was spent putting the finishing touches on our new apartment and getting it to feel like home. Then, in a wonderful moment of clarity, I realized that baking something in the new kitchen would inevitably put the proverbial icing on that homey feeling we were missing. So, what to bake, what to bake?
Why, Bacon Baklava of course. To which my wife lamented of course. Now, she loves her some baklava. And she loves her some bacon. She was just VERY unsure of the combination of the two. After going back and forth over whether to make it or not, and should I only do half with the bacon and half without, I finally looked at her and said "When was the last time I made a bad dessert???"
Point 1 for Ryan.
So off I go, crisping up a boatload of bacon, smashing fresh walnuts and spicing them all up nicely. I have to say, Baklava is not a difficult thing to make. It's just time consuming. And tedious. And oh-my-god-must-I-really-butter-each-individual-sheet-of-phyllo-dough??!?!??! My wife can't stand to watch that part. She can't believe the amount of butter that actually has to be used in this recipe.
So I get this all done and off the the oven it goes. Now this really isn't the part that gets things smelling good. It's the syrup that does that. I make my own syrup rather than taking the easy way and just using straight maple, as I've seen in many recipes. I use 2 cups of water, 2 cups of sugar, strips of orange peel, orange blossom honey, a few cloves and a cinnamon stick. Slap that all in a pot and boil it all up and THAT's what smells good, I tell ya.
So this heavenly smell draws my wife over from stapling down all our various electrical cords to ask her standard question: "Is it ready yet?"
Nope. Not till that hot baklava comes out of the oven and you hear the satisfying sizzle of me pouring delicious gooey syrup all over it. A 350 degree pan and liquid make one helluva satisfying sizzle sound, I must say.
And now you're supposed to wait. Overnight.
Pshhhh. Yeah, right.
We usually only take the little corner pieces that are not full sized at this point, but man oh man, are they good. My wife takes her first skeptical bite and I watch, waiting.
She closes her eyes as she chews and I watch the flavors registering on her face. She opens her eyes wide. "It's delicious."
Point 2 for Ryan.
And it is. Delicious, I mean. The salty sweetness of it is awesome. Neither the salty nor the sweet is too overpowering and it balances out just right. I'm used to the crunch from the nuts, but now you also get these little pockets of chewy bacony goodness and you just don't know what to do with yourself.
I brought some in for a coworker and she said something along the lines of "This is crack cocaine."
Point 3 for Ryan.
My work here is done.