Holiday Candied Bacon Brittle (VIDEO Recipe)
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This Candied Bacon Brittle is fully loaded with toasted nuts and candied bacon. I really want you to experience this unusual but CRAZY GOOD treat! This recipe is proof that bacon really can make everything better ;).
Tabasco sponsored this holiday dessert and their original red pepper sauce takes this bacon over the top. It really amplifies the flavor of bacon and balances the sweetness of the glaze. The spiciness is very subtle and lingers in your mouth.
My sister Anna gave me the idea for this recipe – I was thinking about “just” making candied bacon until she threw down the brittle + bacon idea. It’s seriously amazing! Thanks Anna!!!
This makes for a wonderful homemade gift because it lasts about a week at room temperature. I sent 2 batches to my sons’ school for the teachers to enjoy and apparently it was the talk of the entire school, which definitely made my day :).
Watch How to Make Candied Bacon Brittle:
Tips for perfect candied bacon:
- *Only use thick-cut bacon. Regular thinner-cut bacon will crisp much faster in the oven and will burn following these baking times. I’ve tested this theory ;).
- Pre-baking the bacon is a vital step. Bacon does not absorb the syrup so it doesn’t need to marinate in it and if you brush it on at the beginning, the sugar will get smoky in the oven which is no fun (I’ve tested this theory as well). I found the best balance to be 20 minutes in the oven before applying the glaze.
- A thicker cut bacon may require even more pre-baking unless it has more meat than fat (my 1 lb of bacon had 12 strips).
I’ve done countless tests of candied bacon and this is the only method I’ve found that actually candies the bacon without making your whole house smoky from brown sugar. I’m amazed at how many recipes out there don’t warn people about that! Follow these instructions (using thick-cut bacon) and you will have beautiful candied bacon without having to air out your house! 🙂
I think she takes after me! 🙂 My toddler loved the candied bacon!!
You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe. They range $7-$15 or so on Amazon (affiliate).
Holiday Candied Bacon Brittle
Candied Bacon Ingredients:
- 1 lb 11-12 strips THICK CUT bacon*
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp real maple syrup
- 2 tsp Tabasco Original Pepper Sauce
Nut Brittle Ingredients:
- 1 cup unsalted pecans, ** toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup unsalted cashews, ** toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp baking soda
What you'll need:
- Candy thermometer
How to Make Candied Bacon:
In a small bowl stir together: 1/3 cup brown sugar, 2 Tbsp maple syrup and 2 tsp Tabasco, and set aside.
Cover a rimmed backing sheet with foil and set a wire rack inside. Separate bacon strips and place them evenly over the rack/baking sheet. Bake at 400˚F for 20 minutes. Flip bacon over and brush top with 1/2 of syrup then bake 5 minutes, flip bacon over, brush top with remaining syrup and bake 5-7 minutes or until browned. Don't bake much beyond this because the sugar coating can start to get smoky.
Remove from oven, use tongs to shift them around slightly on the rack to prevent sticking and let cool on the rack until room temperature then pat dry both sides lightly with paper towels to remove excess oil then chop into 1/2” pieces.
PREP EVERYTHING Before Starting Candy:
You have to move fast when making candy because it hardens quickly, so have ingredients and tools ready to go: Line baking sheet with parchment and have 2 forks ready to pull brittle apart. Have a candy thermometer ready.
Before starting candy, toast nuts then coarsely chop. Once nuts and bacon are cooled to room temp, toss them together in a bowl.
How to Make Nut Brittle:
In a medium heavy saucepan, combine: 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup corn syrup and 8 Tbsp butter. Bring to a boil, and adjust temperature to keep a medium boil. Cook, stirring occasionally 10-12 minutes, stirring more frequently towards the end (time will vary based on the size of pan, so cook until brittle is a light beige and reaches 290˚F on a candy thermometer.
Once at 290˚F, turn off heat, remove candy thermometer and very quickly stir in 1 tsp baking soda. It will puff up. Baking soda makes brittle lighter and crunchier.
Quickly (fast as lightning!!) stir in nuts and candied bacon then immediately transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and work fast to spread brittle out with 2 forks then smooth out with a spatula. Cool until firm then break into pieces and serve or package up your bacon brittle as gifts!
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen
Because it’s hard to put into words just how good this tastes, you really have to put it into your mouth to see for yourself! I hope you’re as crazy about this as we are :). Big thank you to Tabasco for sponsoring this fantastic recipe.
Q: What is your favorite homemade treat to make at Christmas time?
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
My husband just made this for our family, and it is amazing! I am curious how much is considered a serving size and how many servings does it make. Thanks!
HI Pam, since this is essentially candy, the serving size is difficult to gauge. This is why we did not include a nutrition label on this one. It depends on how you package it and how small of pieces you break it up into.
Hi Natasha! How long would this be good for at room temperature and would it need to be stored in an air-tight container? (I’m thinking of making and giving as a gift, and it would most likely be wrapped in a cellophane-type wrapping. Would that work?
Hi Toni, I haven’t maxed out the time but I would say it can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature. 🙂 Room temperature (70˚F or so, with low humidity) is best.
My brittle did not harden. It stayed chewy. What did I do wrong?
Hi Pam, I would double-check your ingredients and make sure you followed all the steps listed.
Natasha…one of your followers said her son is allergic to nuts…could I use broken up pieces of pretzels instead of pecans in this, or would they “cook out” and get soft?
Hi Carol, I have not tested that to advise. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.
Hi. This recipe looks wonderful and I can’t wait to try it. I was just wondering about how best to store it and for how long. I thought of shipping some to a friend who loves bacon. Thanks!
Hi Noel, I haven’t maxed out the time but I would say it can be kept up to a week at room temperature. 🙂 Room temperature (70˚F or so, with low humidity) is best. I hope you love this candied bacon brittle!
YES! I’m glad you think so Michelle! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
I made this today, was absolutely amazing! Have to be honest I was a little scared of messing up the last part because it does set quickly but I did it and people LOVE it! Thank you Natasha you always add life to my menu planning, and as I said before Food Network needs you, you make it simple and fun! Happy Holidays
You’re welcome Jenni! I’m glad to hear the recipe is such a success! Thanks for sharing your encouraging comments! 🙂 Merry Christmas!
Natasha, this is listed under vegetarian….
Oh dear! Oops! Thanks for bringing that to my attention. :-O
Meghan Smith was kind enough to share this incredible recipe with me, and, oh my goodness, is this incredible! Many thanks for sharing the candied bacon recipe – that, on its own, is wonderful! Mixed in with the other ingredients – well, it’s just transformed into absolutely amazing perfection! Thank you, Natasha!
You’re welcome Barb! I’m happy to hear you love the recipe! Thanks for sharing your excellent review!
I’m making this for someone who doesn’t like pecans. Would walnuts hold up in this recipe as well? BTW, I love all your recipes!
How long is this baked at the end and at what temp?
Hi Kathy, there is no baking at the end. It sets on the parchment paper and as soon as it cools/hardens, it is ready to be enjoyed. Easy peasy! 🙂
Thanks for the recipe. I was wondering if you think it would be just as good if I left out the nuts or maybe replaced it with almonds? My son has nut allergies (besides almonds) and even though I would be making this for others, I don’t want to take the chance! Thanks 🙂
You can substitute the nuts with pretty much any kind of nut you want. I think this would taste great with almonds!
Ok, you had me at bacon! This does look fantastic!! Just wanted to stop by to wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas. 🙂
They are amazing! Thank you so much and Merry Christmas to you too! 🙂
I have a super thick favorite bacon, Farmer John’s brown sugar bacon and I think it would work great in this! Can’t wait to try it, mmm.
I hope you love it!! 🙂
Made it today for neighbors treat boxes, and… its pretty darn ridonkulous! I’ve had more of it than I probably should and think I’m having pork hot flashes! This is meant to be a good review 😆
lol, that is hilarious – hot flashes eh?
This looks absolutely over the top and delish!!
Thank you Sara!! 🙂 I have to admit, it sure is! 😉
My husband would love this. I entered the contest, but my computer skills leave a lot to be desired. Hope I did it right!!
Thanks Karen! As long as you followed the steps in the rafflecopter and clicked “enter” with every entry, you are good to go! 🙂
I think I’d be picking out all the yummy bits of bacon. Looks like dangerous stuff. Dangerously good!
Thanks Deen! That’s me! I go for the pieces that have the most bacon. Ha ha!!
Aww your little girl and her bacon! That’s adorable! 🙂
Thank you!! 🙂 It takes more time to photograph when she’s in the room but I love when I can sneak in some shots with her in them. 🙂
This looks CRAZY good!
Such an old fashioned American treat.
It IS amazing!!