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Candied Bacon With a Zing

Baking Bacon

Focus your eyes on the picture. Stare until you’re drooling. (It’s really happening, yes?) Now imagine that bacony goodness as candy

Okay, it’s not a stretch. Lots of recipes out there for candied bacon; even videos on YouTube. Yes, it’s every bit as addictive as it’s made out to be. Tremendously easy to make, which is more dangerous, because there’s no barrier to making and eating it regularly. I’m speaking theoretically here, you realize; I’d never eat the stuff, myself.

No, I have a better version. Completely my own! And I’ll never share it. Never. Not even if tortured with chicken feathers, warm beer and rollerblading babies.

Well, okay; you convinced me. Here’s the secret: Don’t use just any old sliced pig. Use jalapeño bacon instead.

Get some brown sugar and cinnamon ready; about 2/3 cup of sugar and a couple of tablespoons of cinnamon. I added a bit of cardamom and the like; you can use any of the sweet spices that you use in things like apple pie. If you want a bit more tingle, try peppering the bacon liberally before coating with sugar. Set the oven for 350-375° F, then place a rack over a baking sheet that’s covered in foil (to make cleanup easier). Coat the bacon with the sugar mixture, pressing plenty onto the meat. Lay the strips out on the rack, then bake on a middle grate in the oven. Here’s the trick: There’s not a set time, until you learn how your oven behaves and how the bacon responds. Also, you may want your bacon more or less crisp. Mine took nearly 25 minutes before it was as crispy as I liked.

Served warm, this stuff is magical. Sweet, savory, with a bit of zing from the jalapeño bits on the bacon. Use some kitchen shears to cut the cooked bacon into bite-sized pieces for serving at a party. Drape across a pork roast to add a unique essence to dinner. Build a BLT with this bacon and you’ll never go with plain again!

Once you’ve eaten three or four pounds of this stuff strait off gotten to where there’s bacon left at the end of a cooking session, you can consider making this great recipe: Ogre Toes.

Turn several pieces of candied bacon into bits. Take a pound of breakfast sausage and divide it up into 8-10 roughly even balls. Pat the sausage out and put candied bits in the center, then ball the sausage up into a fat, toe-shaped lump. Now, wrap each sausage lump in a couple of slices of bacon and secure with toothpicks. Bake these until the sausage is done and the outer bacon is crisping a bit, and serve.

Trust me, these delectable goodies will give you a monster of a foot fetish an appetite for more…

Enjoy the (Peppery Candy) Slow Burn…


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