Coffee Bacon Sandwiches

Happy Fourth of July! Let’s celebrate America with fireworks, beer, bbq, and sparklers.

But first can we talk about coffee bacon?

Sounds strange. It’s very good.

Bacon spends the night covered in freshly ground coffee, brown sugar, molasses, and chili powder. The oven crisps it up the next day, hissing and popping as it cooks. It’s so loud! The bacon hissed at me as if to say, this has gone too far. Simple, perfect bacon wasn’t enough? Joy told me to do it.

A peek inside the oven showed me the coffee marinade had spread out, making big bacon molasses blobs. I worried. I didn’t really scrape off any of the marinade before cooking the bacon.

Fourteen minutes later, everything was just as it should be. Bacon, crispy and hot, with a hint of spice and coffee. The lemony goat cheese spread flecked with date was ready. This crazy little sandwich was almost done!

There was nothing to worry about. This sandwich with blackened bacon strips tasted just as it should. Don’t skip the tangy goat cheese or the spinach. They’re important here in the same way a BLT needs lettuce and tomato.

coffee bacon sandwiches

8 slices uncooked bacon
1/4 cup freshly ground coffee grounds
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon water
a few handfuls of fresh baby spinach
4 slices bread from a wide, crusty loaf

lemony goat cheese spread

4 ounces goat cheese
4 medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Layer 8 pieces of bacon in a baking dish so that they overlap each other a bit, very much like the way they are packaged but a bit more spread out.

Stir ground coffee, chili powder, brown sugar, molasses, and water together in a small bowl. Spread the coffee mixture all over the one exposed side of the bacon, pressing it into the bacon with the back of a spoon. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap. Let bacon hang out in the fridge overnight (or two hours if you’re in a rush).

Heat oven to 375ºF. Separate bacon slices and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush off some of the marinade.

Bake until bacon is crisp, 14 to 17 minutes. Let cool on a plate lined with parchment paper. (Paper towels work, but may stick to some of the coffee bacon).

Whip goat cheese, dates, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and red pepper flakes using a fork in a medium bowl. Taste the spread, and add more olive oil if you want to thin it out some more.

Toast that bread. Butter it up. Spread the goat cheese mixture on each piece of toast, and finish it with a couple slices of coffee bacon and a small handful of spinach per sandwich.

Makes  4 sandwiches. Adapted slightly from the Joy the Baker Cookbook.

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