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January 22, 2012 / beatricebunny

Candied Bacon

A friend threw an absolutely lovely ladies’ potluck brunch today.   Everything was delicious and the conversation and mimosas flowed freely.  My contribution was candied bacon.  I learned to make this delightful little treat in a cooking class around this time last year, but this was my first time making it.  The recipe as we made it in the class calls for an oven safe cooling rack, which I do not own.  I made mine on my broiler pan instead, and it turned out well, though with a different texture than the class.

The brown sugar on the bacon in the class caramelized to an almost glassy texture, and the bacon was firm (because the rack allowed all of the fat to drip down off the meat).  Mine was a little chewy and, because more of the fat remained on the bacon, a little more sticky.  I actually preferred the texture of mine, and the other ladies seemed to really like it.

While we ate delicious food (blueberry muffins, brie and apples, asparagus bread pudding), we talked about cooking.  I find that I am still really uncomfortable talking about cooking, as much as I enjoy it (cooking and talking about cooking), because I feel weird and self conscious talking about the fact that cooking is my primary creative process.  I feel like I sound both terribly pretentious and like I am a better/more experienced cook than I am.  I am excited that I have found a real joy in cooking the last few years, but I feel like I am still such a novice.  I want to talk about it with other people, and hear their thoughts and ideas, but often, I feel like I am completely out of my depth with it.  It’s really exciting to me when I recipe comes out well or I discover a flavor combo that works really well.  It makes me happy, and I want to talk about it, but I also don’t want to sound like someone who brags about her cooking.  It makes me feel like one of those annoying literati who is always talking about their writing rather than actually writing anything.

Anyway, the bacon turned out excellent, and it was super easy to make.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Get about a cup of brown sugar together (packed).  Open a package of bacon, separate the slices, and bring them to room temp.  Spread the bacon on a broiling pan (or oven safe cooling rack).  Leave an inch or so between each piece.  Coat the bacon in brown sugar and sprinkle with cayenne pepper to taste.  Flip bacon over and do the same on the other side.  Bake for between 20-25 minutes until bacon is done and sugar is liquid.  Let sit for a minute or two and then move to cooling rack.  Do not eat while hot!  Liquid brown sugar will burn you badly.  The sugar will harden as the bacon cools.  Serve at room temperature.  It took me three batches to make a full package of bacon.

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4 Comments

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  1. Laura Benedict / Jan 22 2012 4:58 am

    Hm. I wonder what temp the bacon would reach before my dog attacked the counter and dragged it off? The recipe sounds delicious. Good for you trying something interesting and fun!

    I believe cooking is like any art–if you believe you’re really good at it all the time, you’re probably not growing. Sounds like you have an awesome attitude, and mad skilz! xo

    • beatricebunny / Jan 22 2012 9:22 pm

      I suspect your puppy would burn his mouth over this stuff – it’s bacon and sugar! He might find that cayenne a little surprising though. 🙂

      I agree about the fact that if you aren’t making mistakes then you aren’t growing. Have you seen the Neil Gaiman blog about making mistakes? It’s profound: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2011/12/my-new-year-wish.html.

  2. Amber / Jan 22 2012 7:40 pm

    I think you should brag as much as possible because you are awesome. Candied bacon is phenomenal! We made some over Christmas and hoarded it for ourselves! We’ll have to try it with cayenne next time!

    • beatricebunny / Jan 22 2012 9:19 pm

      Thanks, sweetie! Your recipe didn’t have cayenne? Where there any other differences?

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