Looking at the interesting (but quite pricy) trail mixes at the fancy dancy gourmet shops got me thinking about combining some of the fruit and nut mix to bacon brittle. This recipe is easy and can be put together in less than 15 minutes. Just add another 15 minutes cooling time and you've got a great snack with drinks..especially beer. And…what better way to use bacon--my all-time favorite food. These are salty, smoky, sweet, spicy, and nutty-- all in one bite!
Feel free to be creative using different fruits and nuts. And, the chocolate is totally optional..but oh--so--good. How about walnuts and cranberries, or almonds and dried cherries. If you don't like spicy , use cinnamon or Chinese five-spice powder in place of the chipotle.
Step 1: Gather the ingredients and equipment
1 teaspoon peanut (or canola) oil for the pan
1/2 # bacon (I used thick cut pepper bacon)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
And the equipment
parchment paper to cover baking sheet
medium sized skillet
spatula or spoon
Step 2: Prepare the pan
LIne a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with oil.
Step 3: Cook the bacon
Cook the bacon in your favorite method. I used the microwave by placing the bacon on 4 layers of paper towels and covering with another 4 layers of paper towels. Microwave for 5 minutes, flip the whole "sandwich" over and microwave another 2 minutes. The times may vary with the thickness of your bacon and the power of your microwave. It can also be fried in a pan or baked on baking sheet with a rack in the oven. Just be sure it is crispy. Too much moisture can soften the brittle quite quickly. Break into small pieces.
Step 4: Cook the syrup
Place the sugar and water in a medium sized skillet. Bring to a boil and stir just enough to melt the sugar. Do not stir too much or it may crystalize. Cook until amber. This will take about 4-5 minutes.
Step 5: Mix together
Turn off the heat and stir in the chipotle powder. Add the cashews and apricots and stir very quickly to make sure the syrup coats the ingredients. Transfer immediately to the parchment lined baking sheet. Spread quickly to an even thickness. It will set up quickly, so you've got to work fast at this point.
Step 6: Chocolate added
Sprinkle the chocolate over the top while the brittle is still hot. It will melt in only a few minutes.
Step 7: Cool and enjoy!
Cool the brittle completely and break into bite sized pieces.
Stored in an airtight container, it will keep for several days. However, it's quite addictive, so didn't last long at my house!