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.