Introduction: Candied Bacon & Bourbon Toffee Bark
Runner Up in the
I. Love. Bacon.
Candied bacon is amazing and amazingly easy to add to anything you make.
Step 1: Candied Bacon
To make your candied bacon, first put some brown sugar into a shallow dish and begin coating both sides of your bacon slices. Put each slice on a rack (you'll want to have your rack on top of a lined cookie sheet to save some clean up).
After all pieces are coated and on the rack, place the cookie sheet and rack into a cold oven and preheat to 350. Set your timer for 15 minutes depending on the thickness of your bacon. I use the Trader Joe's Black Forest Bacon so 15 minutes for the first side and then 10-15 additional minutes after flipping seems to work well.
I let the oven cool in between batches of candied bacon to reduce the chances of smoke.
Step 2: Toffee Prep
Before starting the toffee, you want to prep all the ingredients and have everything pre-measured out and ready to go.
Line the dish you intend to use with parchment or foil, grease well if using foil and do your best to smooth out the lines so the foil doesn't stick to your toffee later.
If adding nuts (I use pecans), chop them and your candied bacon up. You really can't go wrong with how much nuts or bacon, I kind of eyeball it but for the nuts 1/4 cup is good to start and having more chopped up doesn't hurt. As for the bacon, well, you can never have too much bacon.
1/2 cup of bourbon (I used Jim Bean---the maple flavored one is a great addition)
1 stick of butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup of sugar
(this recipe is easily increased)
Step 3: Toffee
In a large pot/pan, add the bourbon and butter. Cook over medium heat.
When the butter is mostly melted, add the sugar and salt. Don't stir, just let the ingredients come to a boil and watch the coloring.
Step 4: Toffee Part 2
You want the toffee to hit about 325 degrees on your thermometer, or turn a nice amber color--careful not to burn it. The colors will change really fast so you want to be diligent about keeping your eyes on it.
Once the toffee changes to the right golden amber, quickly remove it from heat and pour into your greased pan. You can also throw in some of your nuts at this point.
I, being impatient, then stick it in the freezer to harden for a few minutes.
Step 5: The Chocolate
While the toffee is in the freezer, I start my chocolate in the same pan I made the toffee (why make more dishes to clean later?).
You can also do this step easily in the microwave, but I did it on the stove for no real reason. I poured about 1/4-1/2 a cup of Ghiradelli bitter dark chocolate chips and melted them over low heat. The type of chocolate is purely preference. You can use milk, semi-sweet, dark, white, etc.
Remove toffee from fridge/freezer and pour your chocolate over the top. Once I have the chocolate smoothed over, I then put it back in the fridge or freezer to set the chocolate.
Step 6: Assembly
When the toffee is set, pull it from the freezer and lift the tinfoil out of the dish and onto a cutting board or new piece of foil. Flip the bark over so the toffee side is up.
I repeat the chocolate making step again, pouring the new batch over the exposed toffee. Cover the toffee again.
Now the order in which you add the rest of your bacon and pecans is totally up to you. I was focused on the fact my chocolate overcooked a tad and forgot to stir in the nuts and bacon. Instead I sprinkled the bacon and nuts on top of the chocolate and pressed them in.
Finally, put the toffee in the fridge or freezer to harder again.
Step 7: Enjoy!
Once your bark has set, remove from fridge and break into pieces. You can hit it with some heavy object or crack it against your sink, either way it should come apart easily. You can also do it by hand if you don't mind the chocolately mess.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3-4 weeks.
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