Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The NAUGHTIEST Bacon You Could Imagine

The bacon craze endures. In fact, it shows little to no sign of slowing down. There is bacon in everything, on everything and flavoring everything, so bacon ending up in a sweet preparation should be no surprise at all. It's easy enough to bring the sweet and the savory together into one delicious bite- lay some bacon slices on a baking sheet, sprinkle with brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, jelly, whatever you like and pop in the oven for 15, 20 minutes. You'll have crispy crunchy sweet and savory slices of heaven in no time. Simple enough that your kids can do it (with some supervision using the oven and moving hot pans around) and you won't have too many people turning down a slice or four.

But just think about this for a moment- what if you up the ante a little? We have the savory, the salty, and we will have the sweet, but let's get this kicked up big time. How about savory, salty, sweet, creamy, nutty and boozy? Interested yet? I thought you might be.

So let's start out in style- boozy. You don't need a big bottle of hooch sitting around. All you really need is a cute airplane bottle. Ok, so I get it, if we're comparing per-ounce prices the airplane bottle is not the most cost efficient way to purchase alcohol, but it IS the best way to get the best whiskey you can find and it's all you need for this recipe! It's perfect! What in the world is the booze doing in this bacon treat? Let me tell you, dazzling your taste buds, that's what. Combined with butter and brown sugar and brought to a boil it transforms into a whiskey-infused candy coating that gets tossed with some finely chopped pecans for the most ridiculously naughty treat I have ever made-

Chocolate Covered Bacon with Maple Bourbon Pecan Brittle

Be still my heart, you might be saying. I had a group of taste testers for this recipe and this was hands down the BEST sweet treat ever to come out of this kitchen and sure to become a special occasion treat for many years to come. It's not hard to do, so let's start with the brittle.

2 tablespoons butter (NOT margarine)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 "airplane bottle" whiskey of choice*
1 cup pecan halves, finely chopped (chop after measuring)
2 lbs bacon (regular cut, not thick cut)
1 lb milk chocolate

*Use whatever whiskey you like- I chose Jim Beam Maple Bourbon. You can use any dark whiskey you like.

In a medium saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar and whiskey with a good pinch of salt. Heat over medium heat to melt the butter and sugar, then increase heat and boil for several minutes until it starts to turn syrupy. 

Stir in the pecans and continue to boil until thickened. 

Line a sheet pan with foil, butter it or use cooking spray, then pour the nut mixture out onto the sheet pan, spreading thinly. Allow to cool completely. You can make the brittle ahead of time it you like. 

Unless it's terribly humid it will hold just fine at room temperature. When ready to dip the bacon, buzz the brittle in a food processor until crumbled. Pour into shallow bowl or pie plate and set aside.

When it's time to cook the bacon you definitely want to take my advice here. Cooking bacon is not hard but if you chose to fry it, you won't have as successful a finished product. The only way I ever cook bacon is to bake it. 

Start by unwrapping 2 1-lb packages regular sliced bacon. Cut the entire hunk of bacon in half crosswise. Line rimmed baking sheets with heavy duty foil and arrange the half slices in the pans but don't overlap them- they will stick together. Pop the bacon into a 350 degree oven and bake 15-20 minutes until evenly crisp and browned. Remove and drain on paper towels to cool. Repeat until all bacon is cooked, dumping the fat as necessary. Cooking the bacon this way ensures even cooking and the bacon stays nice and flat, unlike the unruly curly mess you get from pan-frying.

Melt the chocolate. I used Wilton candy melts and melted in the microwave. You can use whatever brand of chocolate you prefer and melt in the microwave or in a double boiler.

Line a couple sheet pans with parchment paper. Dip each piece of bacon into the melted chocolate, shake slightly to remove the excess, covering half the slice of bacon on both sides. Then dip the bacon into the crushed brittle, turning over to cover both sides. Place on parchment lined sheets and chill until set.

This is probably one of the most decadent grown up treats I have ever made. The bacon is salty and savory and crispy, the chocolate is smooth and sweet and creamy and the pecan brittle is toasty and crunchy with a hint of whiskey. It's just so ridiculously good, and you need to make this for yourself!

No comments:

Post a Comment