Maple & Candied Bacon Blonde Brownies

(Grain/Gluten/Casein Free)

Makes 1 - 8 brownies, depending on how you cut them.
2 1/4 cups Blanched Almond Flour
1 cup (6oz) Granulated Maple Sugar or maple flakes
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup palm shortening or casein & lactose free ghee
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
3-4 pieces of bacon
About 1/3 cup maple syrup
Maple Candied Bacon
Make the candied bacon before starting the brownies as it will need to cool down before breaking it up into tiny pieces for the topping.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
On a parchment paper lined rimmed cookie sheet, lay out the strips of bacon.  You want the rim so that your bacon grease doesn't run down into oven and start a grease fire.
Using a pastry brush, sweep a generous amount of maple syrup over each piece of bacon. You could also sprinkle maple sugar instead of using syrup, but I find that it takes less syrup and it goes on smoother and faster.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from oven and flip the bacon over. Brush the other side with maple syrup and return to the oven for another 8-10 minutes or until dark and caramel-y. Watch the bacon closely toward the end, it burns fast. Times will vary from oven-to-oven (most basic ovens don't actually read temps accurately). For best results use an oven thermometer.
Remove from oven and cool. I like to place my bacon on a plate and chill in the freezer. This both speeds up the cooling process and makes them easier to cut in to small pieces.
Cut or break the bacon into small pieces. If they are too large the brownies will be difficult to cut later.
Blonde Brownies 
Grease and line a 8x8 inch cake pan with parchment paper, leaving flaps on two sides of the pan for easy brownie removal. You don't have to lay parchment paper both ways, just one set of flaps will suffice.
In a blender or coffee/herb grinder, pulse the maple sugar a few times to make it a finer grind. 
Using a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt the palm shortening/ghee till it just becomes liquid. You don't want it to be hot, just liquid. Remove from heat and let cool.
While the fat is cooling, combine the almond flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Now add the eggs and vanilla extract to the liquid shortening/ghee and lightly beat together.
Combine the egg/fat mixture with the almond flour mixture, mixing till combined and there are no lumps in the batter.
Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and smooth the batter out as best as you can.
Sprinkle the bacon and pecan pieces evenly over the top of the batter.
Bake at 375 degrees for 22-25 minutes. 
When they're finished cooking, remove the pan and allow the brownies to cool. Slice into squares and then watch in amazement as they vanish mysteriously from your counter top every time you look away. (at least that's what happens around my house.)
Courtesy of (and adapted from): http://urbanposer.blogspot.com/2013/06/maple-candied-bacon-blonde-brownies.html

Dori Ross