We Found The Ultimate Valentine's Day Gift For Bacon Lovers

Baconery in Harlem Exterior

Photo: Megan Willett/Business Insider

When Wesley Klein started baking bacon banana bread and bacon chocolate chip cookies at his home in 2011, he knew he had stumbled onto something big.Jump right to photos of our bakery tour and taste test >>

“For a couple of months, I would bring my creations into work once a week,” said Klein, a former Best Buy manager. “Some stuff worked, some stuff didn’t, but [my coworkers] loved it. Baconery took off from there.”

Since his first makeshift test kitchen experiments, the menu at the Baconery on New York‘s Upper West Side hasn’t changed very much. Most of the core items that Klein first baked for coworkers in 2011 are still on the menu, like those chocolate chip bacon cookies and the beloved thick-cut bacon dipped in high-quality chocolate.

That hasn’t stopped the menu from expanding into seasonal and monthly specials though, including the latest Valentine’s Day treats like marshmallow hearts with bacon sprinkles, red velvet bacon cake balls, and chocolate-covered bacon with “naughty” phrases.

But it’s not all sweets and pastries at Baconery. On Saturdays, Klein and his team are already planning to expand their Saturday bacon mac and cheese nights to an all-weekend affair, and their monthly caramel apple bacon doughnuts to a weekend morning pick-me-up.

“Our fan base has definitely grown. We get a lot of regular local and international press, and of course we have our repeat customers,” Klein explains.

All that press — from features on the Travel Channel to The New York Times — has definitely paid off. This weekend alone, the Baconery staff will be working non-stop to fill more than 100 orders for Valentine’s Day. The company also has plans to build a worldwide franchise on their salty-sweet products and hopes to become a recognised brand on store shelves with bacon ice cream and bacon cookies.

So with all this hype and Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we had to see the specialty bacon bakery for ourselves. And after visiting with Wesley Klein and trying all his bacon sweets, we have to agree with him: “Life is just better with bacon.”

Welcome to the Baconery Café, up on 105th and Columbus on New York's UWS.

The inside is small, but bursting with personality. Note the bacon tables, pillows, framed bacon art, and bacon carpet leading you towards (what else?) the bacon.

As you can tell, they take bacon VERY seriously. Check out their Rules of Bacon.

Surprised, surprise: You can also buy uncooked strips of bacon at Baconery. They sell a ton of different kinds, like turkey, beef, applewood, and hickory, just to name a few.

They also had chocolate-dipped pretzels coated in bacon sprinkles while we were there. These looked amazing.

Seriously amazing.

I stepped back into the kitchen to watch some of the staff make the bacon chocolate chip cookies. You can see the bacon bits in there if you look closely!

Who doesn't need a bacon platter and pig-shaped cutting board, really?

Or bacon soap! I was expecting this to smell like bacon, but it was lavender-scented. They only used the bacon fat to create the soap, not the smell.

I brought back samples to our Union Square office for the staff to try.

We got two strips of naughty chocolate bacon, and one white chocolate-dipped bacon strip with sprinkles.

We also tried five different types of sweets, including three types of cookies, and two types of brownies. All of them were chock-full of bacon bits.

I set them up in the kitchen, and waited for the staff to come try them.

Everyone wanted to try the chocolate-covered bacon first.

We could tell the ingredients were high quality, and the bacon was chewier than anyone expected.

The favourite amongst the cookies were the oatmeal cranberry and the chocolate chip.

But the chocolate-covered bacon went the fastest (it was gone in 5 minutes).

Bacon Brownies Verdict: While the brownies themselves were good, the staff agreed it was hard to taste the bacon. Also the bacon bits in here seemed crunchier than in the cookies.

Maple Bacon Blondies Verdict: This was a similar complaint to the brownies, in that the staff wanted more overall bacon flavour.

Chocolate Bacon Cookies Verdict: These were a crowd pleaser, and we wish we had more. They were soft and tasted amazing with the bacon.

Oatmeal Cranberry Bacon Cookies Verdict: These were another favourite. The sweet flavours of the oatmeal and cinnamon worked well with the salty bacon bits.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies Verdict: Though the cookies as a whole were good, no one tasted a lot of bacon in here. The peanut butter chips seemed to overwhelm this batch.

Chocolate-Covered Bacon Verdict: The real crowd pleaser was the chocolate-covered bacon, which reminded one editor of salted caramel in its combination of salty and sweet.

You can never have enough bacon.

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