When I tell people how much I love to cook, I often get the response that the person I’m talking to doesn’t cook because he/she isn’t good at it or is scared of it. I’m like, WHA? Don’t be scared! I mess up ALL THE TIME. It’s no big deal. It’s a skill you learn; you just keep going! This bacon praline brittle is a great example.
I have not been very successful making candy. When I tried my first candy adventure last year (Smitten Kitchen’s apple cider caramels), the end result was a very delicious, but a very unset, drippy caramel sauce. Wonderful on ice cream. Failure as a caramel candy. So, I got a wild hair up my butt last week and decided to make bacon candy. Because …bacon. To make this candy, you have to marinate the bacon in sweet happiness for a whole day before you can bake it and continue with the recipe.
After doin the marinating thing, I put those puppies in the oven. Disclaimer: I did a bad thing. The recipe called for thick cut bacon but I just used the regular cut bacon I had. Not necessarily bad, but I see now it led to my eventual problem; cookin makes you think, man. The recipe called for the bacon to bake for 20-30 minutes. I knew my bacon was thinner, so I set the timer for 20 mins– on the lower side. I checked it after 10 minutes and it looked beautiful. I went sit on the couch and to hang out with John. Then, I noticed the room looked … misty? I was like, “John, does it look foggy to you?” I went to check on the bacon and when I opened the oven, WOOSH. All the smoke and burnt bacon smell and everything came out. Fire detectors wailing, I brought the smouldering bacon out onto our porch to cool off. Though it was 11 PM, we opened all our doors/windows to air out our apartment. It took an hour before my eyes stopped watering with all the smoke. It was a mess.
But you know what? F that. Try and try again, mf. So, the next week, I bought (the correct cut) bacon, marinated, then cooked. And it was totes worth it.
This recipe brought to you by tenacity and Chasing Delicious/Cookies and Cups cooking blogs.
Bacon Praline Brittle*
*note, while this is called a brittle, the consistency is MUCH closer to a praline
½ lb. thick sliced bacon (When reading recipes, I always wonder– does this type of ingredient REALLY matter? In this case, thick cut does.)
½ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. molasses (I used what I had– sorghum)
½ tsp. black pepper
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. water
½ cup chopped pecans
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cup chopped candied bacon (from above)
1 tsp. flaked sea salt
1. In a large zip-top bag combine bacon, dark brown sugar, molasses maple syrup and pepper. Coat the bacon with all the ingredients by squeezing the bag, working all the ingredients together.
2. Chill for 24 hours.
3. On a foil lined baking sheet lay bacon flat and bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes, until bacon is brown and crisp.
4. Transfer pan to a wire rack and allow to cool.
5. Once cooled chop bacon.
6. Line another baking sheet with a nonstick line and set aside.
Before cooking. When it comes out, it will look sort of burnt/dark dark brown.
7. For praline combine granulated sugar and 2 Tbsp water. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Add in chopped pecans and kosher salt. Stir continuously for 4-5 minutes (Mixture will be boiling) until it becomes a deep amber color. Stirring prevents the pecans from burning.
8. Remove from heat and immediately stir in butter and chopped bacon.
In my case, I hit a snag here. The mixture started to dry and clump. Once again, don’t be scared! I just added a little water and stirred it. Failure averted!
9. Once bacon it coated completely with caramel mixture spread evenly onto your lined pan and sprinkle with flaked sea salt.
10. Allow to cool and break into pieces.