Candied bacon is very easy to make, and its sweet-salty-bacony flavor and toothsome crunch enhances everything from sweet potato casserole to Thanksgiving turkey stuffing to cream cheese dips/spreads, salads (who needs croutons or nuts??) and even cookies. The possibilities are limited only by the extent of your love of bacon and your imagination: The photo on the left shows pieces of caramelized bacon dipped in melted dark chocolate and sprinkled with red pepper (don't knock it until you've tasted it--and then I dare you to stop at one piece), and the one farther down shows a delightful hors d'oeuvre of crackers topped with brie, pear and candied bacon.
Here's how to make candied bacon:
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
2. Take 1 pound of uncooked sliced bacon and arrange the slices on the lined baking sheet. If you want uniformly-sized bacon pieces as shown in the photo, cut the raw bacon first before placing on the baking sheet.
3. Generously sprinkle the bacon with brown sugar--don't skimp! If you want a spicy snack, go ahead and also sprinkle some cracked black pepper or a little ground red pepper, to taste. Chili powder or ground chipotle can also add a nice touch, but don't use too much. If you're a glutton for fiery punishment, carefully sprinkle with ground habanero powder.
4. Bake at 350°F until the bacon is fully crispy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool to the touch.
5. Chop or crumble the candied bacon as desired, OR use the whole slices as you wish--here are two ideas: Coat in melted chocolate, place on wax paper and freeze to enjoy as a unique dessert; Lay slices of candied bacon on top of a just-cooked casserole as a sweet-savory topping (great with butternut squash or sweet potato casseroles).
6. Store any uneaten candied bacon (ha! As if you'll have any!) in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate.
PS: If you love bacon, you need to check out our Partner, BaconFreak: They have everything a bacon addict could ever want, from fabulous bacon (including nitrite free and flavored) to bacon jerky, bacon condiments, bacon pancakes, bacon coffee, bacon gifts & monthly clubs, and even bacon clothing & accessories for the true bacon freak!