Introduction: Easy Triple Threat Bacon Brittle

Triple threat= bourbon+maple+bacon

I bake. It's what I do to relax and to satisfy any sugary cravings I might have. I also feel less guilty about eating sweets/desserts when I make them myself rather than buy them from a store. 99% of what I make I bring to school the next day to share with my co-workers and students. Food sparks conversation and bonding.

The first time I brought this brittle to work everyone looked at me funny, but all of their eyes popped out of their heads when they tasted this recipe. The sugar and bourbon (which isn't enough to get anyone buzzed) give you a nice little pick-me-up during that midmorning slump.

I'm not a big pork eater, but I think most people will agree that even if you don't like pork, you probably LOVE bacon. There is no substitute for real pork bacon. Regardless of what you make it from, bacon isn't a healthy food---we don't eat it because it's good for us. We eat bacon because it tastes AMAZING. So rather than trying to fool yourself into believing that slab of turkey (or tofu) bacon is just as good as the real thing, why not just eat the real thing? :-D

I've been thinking about making candied bacon or chocolate covered bacon for a while. Every year at the Big E there are vendors selling both and the bacon looks and smells amazing. I've never bought candied or chocolate covered bacon because I'm convinced it won't be as good as it smells. I'm even more afraid of wasting money on what will turn out to be some of the greasiest and mushy bacon treat I've ever had. I could be wrong, but I've been burned by too many maple bacon donuts.

***If you've enjoyed this Instructable, please consider voting for me in the Sweet Tooth contest. Thank You!!!!"

Step 1: Ingredients

Candied Bacon:

1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark, doesn't matter)

6-8 (or more) slices of your favorite bacon (I tried a dry rubbed maple bacon from Whole Foods and the holiday bacon from Trader Joe's---TJ's bacon had much more flavor and the slices were thicker).


**I've seen some recipes for candied bacon include cracked pepper, cheyenne pepper, maple syrup, and brushing the bourbon directly onto the bacon during cooking---kind of like basting a turkey---all seems like more work and higher chance of a smokey kitchen, which living in an apartment, is something I want to avoid.**


Brittle:

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup light corn syrup or 1/4 light corn syrup and 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 tbs unsalted butter (I used the Kerrygold)

2 tbs bourbon (I used Jim Beam, there are a couple of maple bourbons out there but not being a bourbon drinker, I don't know the difference and probably couldn't tell the difference in the brittle)

1 tsp baking soda (makes the brittle lighter)

1 tsp maple extract (vanilla works well too, I use maple to enhance the maply-flavor)

1/4-1/2 cup of toasted pecans**

sea salt (for sprinkling)**




**optional

Step 2: Candied Bacon

Candied bacon is sooooooooo much easier to make than it sounds. I looked at several recipes to compare before finally settling on what seemed like the easiest method for making it.

First I prepped my baking pan. I used my biggest cookie sheet and lined it with tin foil and parchment paper for easy clean up. Then I put a metal rack on top of the cookie sheet for the grease/melted sugar to fall into.

I took the longest and shallowest pan I had (which was a 9x13 glass pan) and spread brown sugar over the bottom. Then, using tongs (because I hate grease on my fingers) I lined the pan with slices of bacon. After patting each slice into the brown sugar, I flipped them over and repeated.

Once both sides of my bacon were covered with brown sugar, I gently placed them on the wire rack. Once the rack was full I put the cookie sheet into a cold oven and turned the oven on to 350. The oven doesn't need to be preheated. I cooked the bacon for 15 minutes on one side and then turned them over and cooked them for another 10-15 minutes. This may vary depending on the thickness of your bacon.

When your bacon is done, remove it from the oven and transfer the slices to a different wire rack to cool.

Once cool, the bacon will be a bit sticky and a little hard, so you'll likely want to use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut up the bacon into small pieces for the brittle.

To expedite things I did try raising the temperature in the oven to 400, but found it created a smoking in the oven, and thus my apartment, that I really didn't care for and didn't want to deal with airing out.

Step 3: Bacon Brittle Prep

The easiest and possibly most simple way to guarantee great brittle with little-to-no-stress is to have your ingredients pre-measured before you start and to have your pans lined.

I used one of my smaller cookie sheets, I believe it's 9x13, and lined it with tinfoil before placing a piece of parchment on top. You don't need to do the tinfoil, it's just a little extra clean-up help.

I measured out my ingredients, combining some (like the bacon pieces and pecans), to save me time once the sugar water mixture is ready for the final steps. It also takes some pressure off as you want to work quickly when working with boiling sugar.

Step 4: Bacon Brittle Part 1

For this part you need a pot. My first batch (first video) I used a larger pot than I needed because working with boiling sugar makes me a little nervous. For my second batch I used a smaller pot and things went much quicker.

***UPDATED 12/24/14*** If you are using a candy thermometer (and it's usually easier if you do), put your thermometer into the pot once it starts to boil. I had been putting the thermometer in before the pot was hot and I think that screwed up some of my batches as the reading was likely off.

With your pot on the stove, turn your burner onto medium heat and begin adding your water, sugar, and corn syrup (or corn & maple syrup mixture). Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the pot starts to boil. I suggest using a wooden spoon for the entire process, as with a plastic one you risk melting the spoon.

The first video was originally about 5 minutes long, with a little editing and speeding up the first 2 minutes I was able to get it down to under 3.

Step 5: Bacon Brittle Part 2

Once your pot is boiling you get to stand there and wait while the temperature on your thermometer works its way to 300. If you're using a smaller pot it will boil faster than in a larger one. You also might run into more trouble getting an accurate thermometer reading with a big pot.

Seriously, you have to stand there. It will feel like you are waiting forever but if you walk away you run the risk of over-cooking your brittle. From what I've noticed, it takes forever to get to 250, but once the thermometer hits 250 it shoots to 300 very fast.

Step 6: Bacon Brittle Part 3

With this last step you want to work quickly.

Once you've hit the magic number on your candy thermometer, remove it and the boiling sugar from the heat.

Quickly add your butter, baking soda, and then bourbon and maple extract. Stirring together quickly so the butter melts.

As soon as the brittle starts to "foam" add your bacon and pecans, again mix in and stir quickly.

Step 7: Last Step...

Once everything is mixed together, pour it out onto your pre-lined baking sheet and work quickly to spread it around. You want to spread the brittle thin. Sometimes a second pair of hands helps with this step.

The final thing you can do (you don't have to) is sprinkle to top of your brittle with sea salt.

Step 8: You've Got Brittle!

Let your brittle cool and when it's ready, you can either crack it into pieces by hand or use some sort of kitchen tool to break it up.

The darker brittle is a corn syrup/maple syrup mix. I used grade A pure Vermont Maple Syrup, because I was raised in Vermont :-D

Store in an air tight container. Should keep for up to a week, maybe longer if kept in the fridge. Put in a Mason jar or other type of container to make a great gift/stocking stuffer.

Comments

author
3rdcoastsurfer9000 made it! (author)2014-12-24

Tastes awesome! Actually candied bacon with roasted nuts is great for snacking while waiting for sugar to boil. My boiling sugar started to crystalize and clump just prior to 300F, so it never poured like brittle, but was really good nonetheless. I used all maple instead of half corn syrup...because I didn't have any. Looking forward to trying again.

author
Not_Tasha made it! (author)Not_Tasha2014-12-24

I just tried a couple batches with more maple syrup than corn syrup and they all kind of melted into like a caramely goo.

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JeffB7 made it! (author)2014-12-23

I made mine with candied Maple Bacon, to see if it adds even more maply goodness.

author
JeffB7 made it! (author)2014-12-23

Part of the reason that it takes so long to get to temperature is the water. During the heating process, it's not going to progress much past 100 centigrade until most of the water boils off. You could do this faster if you reduced the water a bit.

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Rexxy007 made it! (author)2014-12-21

Yum!

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t0xic_angel made it! (author)2014-12-18

Can you get away with Not using the bourbon (or use something non-alcoholic as a replacement?

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CheeseMcGee made it! (author)2014-12-17

I just made a batch and had a similar chewy result, and the humidity is low tonight. I noticed in tasting it that there was a heavy baking soda flavor. I checked other brittle recipes online (this was my first attempt) and all other recipes call for 1 Tsp, not 1 Tbs as yours is listed. Could that be adding to the chewiness? I will say that it tastes great otherwise, so I'll give it another crack (pun intended) this weekend.

author
ArizonaSRMC made it! (author)2014-12-17

Just finished my first batch!! tomorrow I will try different whisky, and for those not having a full stock of good sipping whisky and not wanting to buy a full big bottle... you can get a single shot at any liquor store! or on the flight home for the holidays! then you'll have almost 3 tbl so some to help you cook! Super awesome recipe!! My first ever vote! THANK YOU!!

bacon.jpg
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razmatazmania made it! (author)2014-12-16

oh my yummyness thank you for doing this... I cast my vote for you

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Not_Tasha made it! (author)Not_Tasha2014-12-17

THANK YOU!!!

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thundrepance made it! (author)2014-12-16

i bet i'll give all other sweets up when i taste this!

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mooster made it! (author)2014-12-16

Can't wait to try this! But I wanted to point out that you list baking soda in your ingredients, but in Step 6, you typed "baking powder". There's a difference, and I'm pretty sure you mean soda, but wanted to get clarification. It should be mentioned that this type of process works best on a clear, dry day. Higher humidity might be the reason that some people are getting a different result.

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thundrepance made it! (author)thundrepance2014-12-16

glad you mentioned humidity! high humidity has prevented my meringue from becoming meringue; it's often so humid in western n.y. that i gave up trying! >8^(

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Not_Tasha made it! (author)Not_Tasha2014-12-16

Yes, it was a typo. Fixed!

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nanaverm made it! (author)2014-12-16

Love your Instructable & the final product!

Does one have to sugarcoat the bacon, since it's going into sugar syrup? What if it was just cooked crisp and broken up?

For maple syrup, try Grade B (avail. at T. Joe's). It has a lot more flavor than Grade A. Also, if you toast the pecans first, they'll be more flavorful.

Now I need to stop drooling...

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Not_Tasha made it! (author)Not_Tasha2014-12-16

You don't have to, but then it wouldn't be candied bacon.

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mikeasaurus made it! (author)2014-12-16

mmm triple thread bourbon bacon!

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stuffhoppins made it! (author)2014-12-16

where do I find the recipe at?I don't see it.

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fixfireleo made it! (author)2014-12-16

gotta try this. a nearby donut shop has a plain cake donut with maple icing and real bacon crumbles, it looks weird but tastes great! try it sometime.

author
mark.harrell made it! (author)2014-12-14

Tastes great, but not sure what I did, it never hardened up like brittle. Instead it is very gummy and almost brittle, but gets stuck in your teeth, I am assuming I needed to go a little higher than 300. I will be trying again as it tastes great!

author
Not_Tasha made it! (author)Not_Tasha2014-12-15

The most recent batch I made I let go above 300 for a minute or so (I think it actually made it past 310) and ended up turning to a very solid caramel. My thermometer says hard crack (brittle) is 300-310, but I suspect that's an error. I would suggest trying it between 290-300 and making sure to let it cool for a good amount of time before cracking it.

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scannon8 made it! (author)2014-12-14

Wonderful, very good tasty treat, thanks for sharing :-)

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bizzycrafter made it! (author)2014-12-14

"Should keep for up to a week, maybe longer if kept in the fridge." That's RIDICULOUS!! I can guarantee it wouldn't last an HOUR in the fridge around here. What on earth are you thinking?!?!?!

(gonna try it though, just in case)

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longwinters made it! (author)2014-12-12

Hummmm Bacon, sorry I had to stop reading the instructions because I was getting so hungry, I will favorite it though so when I have more self control I can finish.
Oh poop my wife just saw me licking the computer screen...

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Not_Tasha made it! (author)2014-12-12

I found a bunch of the Maple nips but haven't tried them yet, next batch! :-)

Thanks!!!

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The SuperTenders made it! (author)2014-12-11

Genius!! Have you tried Jim Beam Maple? It would work well with this.

author
peppypickle made it! (author)2014-12-11

incredible job - and great inspiration for hommade gifts :)

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