I am overly fond of bacon, so when I tasted candied bacon for the first time, I got pretty excited. Yet another use for one of my favourite foods! Candied bacon, with its dark, glossy sheen, makes a wonderful addition to a cheese board; it can also be used to garnish just about anything – salads, desserts and more. I like to put a few chopped pieces on top of silky smooth maple mousse for a lovely contrasting crunch.
1/4 cup light brown sugar
dash of cayenne and black pepper (optional)
½ pound (250 grams) thick-cut bacon (8 slices)
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut bacon slices into halves crosswise so you have 16 pieces. While this step is not essential, it will help the bacon cook faster and the sugar caramelize more quickly.
- Mix brown sugar, cayenne, and black pepper (if using) together in a medium bowl.
- Add bacon pieces and stir gently with a fork to coat bacon with sugar mixture.
- As you remove each piece of bacon from the bowl to lay it on the parchment paper, press it in the sugar mixture, flipping so both sides get a good coating.
- Make sure the bacon pieces are not overlapping as you lay them out.
- Sprinkle any remanding sugar mixture left in the bowl onto the top of the bacon pieces.
- Put the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and bake until crisp, checking regularly to be sure it’s not burning (about 20 – 30 minutes).
- Remove the pan from the oven and transfer bacon pieces to a piece of clean brown paper bag to drain and cool. Paper towel is not recommended for this step as it will stick to the hot sugar on the bacon.
- Can be crumbled or chopped into smaller pieces for use as a garnish, or eaten as-is.