Candied. Bacon. Yep, it is as awesome as it sounds. I brought this to Christmas Dinner this year and it was a smashing success. The vegetarians were appalled, but the rest of us ate it with wild and reckless abandon. This is not a dish to eat in large quantities, rather it is best enjoyed in small doses and savored for its decadent, luxurious frivolity. Yes it is excessive, but oh my is it good. My friend very quickly said it was one of the best things he’d ever eaten in his whole life and was overjoyed when I said he could take the remaining pieces home at the end of the night. Candied Bacon is not something to be taken lightly, no, no, it is quite serious. But make a batch for your next party and watch your loved one’s faces glow with delight.
1.5 Lbs Thick Cut Smoked Bacon (Benton’s or Wright’s recommended in you’re in the South)
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Paprika
2 Tsp Cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil, ensuring to wrap the foil around the edges (this will capture most of the Bacon grease and sugar and save you some mess).
2. Lay Bacon in a single layer on the foil lined baking sheets.
3. In a small bowl combine Brown Sugar, Maple Syrup, Paprika and Cinnamon.
4. With a spoon, coat top of Bacon with sugar mixture (see image below).
5. Place pans in preheated oven (if you have a good oven it is usually OK to layer on multiple racks, though cooking may take a bit longer) and bake until dark brownish red and crispy – about 20 to 25 minutes.
6. Line additional baking sheets or flat pans with aluminum foil. Remove bacon from the oven and, with a pair of tongs, quickly lift bacon off the hot sheet onto the fresh, cool sheet. The bacon will begin to stick as it cools, so it is important to move it to the clean sheet as soon as it comes out of the oven. Move the cooling bacon around occasionally to ensure it isn’t sticking to the pan or to each other. (Note: If any pieces aren’t crisp you may want to put them back in the oven for a few minutes.) Let the hot bacon grease cool, then fold up the edges of the foil, capturing as much grease and sugar inside as possible, and throw away.
7. Let the bacon cool for 30 minutes and serve. Pieces should be crisp and firm so they stand straight without bending. You can cook hours in advance for a party, but I recommend putting back in the oven to for about 5-10 minutes to re-crisp and render out some more fat if the bacon sits for longer than two hours. No matter when you eat it, be sure to do so with great joy! Enjoy!