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Bacon Brittle

Has anyone made this? It sounds really disturbing but I find myself thinking it might actually be good.

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  1. I am making it today, my dreams are coming true, BACON CANDY!!!!!! My porkaholic pals will go crazy! No hum drum fruit cake for Christmas this year. I'm gonna add some powdered chipotle. I'll report back.

    1 Reply
    1. re: missclaudy

      Yeah well there is a recipe for bacon baclava in this month's Food and Wine...and maybe another dessert or two with bacon as well...!

    2. I had some last year and it is everything that you imagine it to be.. It sounds disturbing but it really is wonderful......

      1. I'd really love to see a recipe if it's not too much trouble!

        1 Reply
        1. A local restaurant makes praline bacon that is apparently a love-it-or-are-disturbed-by-it sort of thing. I've not tried it.

          I got this off a cached wikipedia page, it apparently is no longer up because of the dubious provenance of the "recipe". I certainly can't vouch for it.

          Praline bacon is a cajun breakfast specialty made with bacon smothered in pralines and brown sugar.

          To make praline bacon, fry the bacon on one side, then smother both sides in a mixture of crushed pralines and brown sugar and return to the skillet to finish cooking.

          NPR reported Elizabeth's Restaurant in New Orleans as having originated praline bacon.

          7 Replies
          1. re: JGrey

            My first batch is cool. This candy is DA BOMB ! Such a whacky recipe, I was laughing the whole time I was making it. I sprinkled Aleppo pepper moderately into the mix because I need hot with sweet and salty.( I used roasted peanuts and am calling it Elvis's Brittle). I'd up the nuts to 3\4 cup and add a 1\4 teaspoon of salt to the above recipe. You want the bacon to be very crisp. I cooled the whole mess right on a silpat mat which worked like a charm.

            I cannot wait to give this to my pork adoring friends for the holidays. Gotta find tins with pigs on em'. Maybe there are Elvis tins somewhere.

            I have to go for a physical in an hour. My doc will sniff me (it's 3 pm)and think I cook and eat bacon all day long, hope I don't get busted !

            1. re: missclaudy

              Priceless. I'll have to make some for family.

              Thanks for your pointers and for being the guinea (ahem) pig.

              1. re: Louise

                I just ate a piece that is 3 hours old. I would add another 1\2 cup of bacon ,it just isn't quite bacony (is this a word?) enough for me. I may even substitute lard for the butter called for in the recipe. What the hell, we're already making bacon candy here for lord sake!

                1. re: missclaudy

                  Just made a new batch, I doubled the bacon, used 1\2 cup of chopped toasted pecans, 3\4 tsp. salt and a good sprinkle of Aleppo pepper. I can't stop eating it it is fab.The salt makes a HUGE difference. And it is SO good that I pulled a gold crown right off of a tooth while chewing in bacony delight. How do you tell your straight,kosher dentist that bacon brittle is the reason for this? Who cares, I just keep thinking about how much Elvis would love me for making this for him.

                2. re: Louise

                  Any time Louise, if it involves pork!

                3. re: missclaudy

                  I put in 3\4 tsp. salt in my last batch which was better still.

                  1. re: missclaudy

                    Just got me physical results ( I know you've all been on pins and needles waiting to hear.) Everything is normal and the doc wants me to continue eating in the healthy, low fat way I have adopted to become such a healthy specimen (low fat dairy,little red meat (she thinks).Shucks, while I was reading the results, I was eating bacon candy for breakfast,coffee with cream and last night had fatty pork for dinner. All I can say is that I must have really good genes.I owe it all to bacon.

                4. Well, I've got to try this...with the nuts, Aleppo pepper and a bit of salt. Because it's just too weird. But woudn't you want to store this in a tin in the fridge? I'm just saying...

                  1. That's funny, I made some today too! I used the buttercrunch recipe from joy of cooking christmas cookies for the base and added cooked bacon instead of nuts, also some crushed black pepper. No chocolate on top, though : )

                    Elizzie, cooked bacon can be kept at room tempearture for days on its own, so I won't be refrigerating the candy.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: babette feasts

                      Did the bacon stay flavorful in yours? My brittle is loosing it's bacon flavor (sob.)

                      1. re: missclaudy

                        I feel your pain, missclaudy. Any idea why the bacon flavor is deteriorating??!!

                        I'm very tempted to make this...very tempted...

                        1. re: Carb Lover

                          Don't you love Chowhound? Where else can you seriously discuss the topic of bacon flavor deteriorating in candy? I think as the bacon bits soften up,the flavor is spreading into the brittle and loosing intensity.I'm going to try using double smoked bacon next time.

                          1. re: missclaudy

                            Would pepper bacon be a misstep? I can't believe I am really thinking about making this. Sounds like something that would be up Homer Simpson's alley!

                        2. re: missclaudy

                          Actually, I packed it all up and shipped it to a meat-loving friend for a birthday present, so I can't report on flavor retention. I used about half a pound of raw bacon - maybe 3/4 cup after cooking? - for a small batch of brittle: 8 oz sugar, 3 oz butter, splash of corn syrup. In previous experiments with meat in dessert, I've found that it's usually better to not hold back, if you're going to make bacon brittle, go ahead and make it BACON.

                      2. oh my god this sounds absolutely delicious. I bet this would be good dipped in peanut butter.

                        bacon + peanut butter = yum

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: bitsubeats

                          Peanut butter and bacon = ELVIS !!!

                          1. re: missclaudy

                            Hmm, but how do you get the fried banana into the equation?

                          2. re: bitsubeats

                            PB is not just good with bacon. PB and pork is a classic combination. PB with pepperoni is surprisingly good.

                            Bacon PB cookies are great.

                            1. re: scott123

                              Darn you to heck for suggesting peanut butter and bacon cookies! Now I'll have to make some!

                              1. re: scott123

                                Sounds great. Talk you out of a recipe?

                            2. If you take a bit of bacon, sprinkle with brown sugar, wrap it around one of those baby corn cobs, and broil 'til crisp, it's very tasty.

                              1. I made some of this - with crushed pecans - a couple of months ago and it is so white-trashily sinfully good that I will have to make it again.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: jillp

                                  I white-trashily agree whole-heartedly! It was seriously good. Why don't we just eat this and Candy's ham spread and die happy?

                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    With some ginger shortbread for dessert!

                                    1. re: jillp

                                      Absolutely -- I think we've reached Chowhound nirvana here.

                                2. Too funny!! I think I'll make this for DH, he was misdiagnosed with diabetes and hi cholesterol a few months ago. I think he needs a treat like this.

                                  1. Would this work with brown sugar? I think the richer flavor would better compliment the bacon than plain old white sugar. But I'm not a candy maker. Can you sub one for the other? Just a thought.

                                    Crazy. This recipe is crazy. I just know I'm going to make it and not be able to stop eating it.

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: Pistou

                                      I had the same thought about brown sugar. I'm gonna try it, I'll report back.

                                      1. re: missclaudy

                                        Okay, I just made 2 batches, one with white sugar and one with brown. An enthusiastic 2 thumbs up to the brown sugar version-richer, deeper flavor to complement the bacon by far.

                                        Also, what's with the "do not use a spatula" direction? I used two silicone spatulas to great effect. Without them I'd have had a giant blob of hard candy. As it is, I just have a stomach ache.

                                        Here is the recipe as I've modified it (note to moderators: lots of modifications from the original!), incorporating all the great suggestions here:

                                        bacon brittle

                                        MAKES ABOUT 1 POUND

                                        1 cup brown sugar
                                        1/2 cup light corn syrup
                                        1/2 cup water
                                        1 tablespoon unsalted butter
                                        2 teaspoons vanilla extract
                                        1 teaspoon baking soda
                                        1⁄2-3⁄4 tsp. salt
                                        3/4 cup chopped pecans
                                        1 cup cooked bacon bits (about 12 ounces uncooked bacon)

                                        Grease or butter a large nonstick baking sheet (or use a silpat).

                                        In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a boil. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan, increase the heat to high, and cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 290 degrees. Immediately remove from the heat.

                                        Stir in the butter, vanilla, baking soda, salt pecans and bacon bits. Watch out, the mixture will foam. When the foam subsides, pour the hot mixture onto the prepared baking sheet as thinly as possible. Use a silicone spatula to spread.

                                        Cool at least 10 minutes before breaking into pieces. Store in a covered container.

                                        1. re: Pistou

                                          Great final revisions, can't wait to try with the brown sugar! There was a moviecalled "The Lost Weekend" in the 50's starring Ray Milland as a hopeless alcoholic, spending an entire week end alone in a room with many bottles of booze, getting very drunk and passing out alot. He was NO friend of Bill's. He'd come up for air, stumble over to the bottle and start over again. That's how I feel after my weekend with a ton of bacon brittle ( though I did manage to crawl to the store to buy more bacon AND I shared with friends.)

                                          1. re: Pistou

                                            I used your recipe as modified yesterday and it came out INCREDIBLE. I heated the mixture a little too hot, and I think it may be a little soft as a result, but the flavor is so bacony great!

                                            1. re: Pistou

                                              I'm going to make this today, thanks!

                                              1. re: JasmineG

                                                So I made this today (I have the cookbook that it comes from!), and now cannot stop eating it. I think maybe I didn't spread it thin enough, because it's not quite brittle, it's more stretchy, but it's still incredible. Does anyone have any advice on how to make it more brittle next time?

                                              2. re: Pistou

                                                Don't ignore the instruction about not using a spatula. I think over zealous spatula use was at least partially responsible for the failure of a batch of peanut bacon brittle. It encourages crystallization.

                                                I did have one successful batch of pecan bacon brittle.
                                                Here's a picture:

                                                And here are some other links to bacon-desserts:
                                                http://www.slashfood.com/2006/08/06/b... bacon ice cream
                                                http://www.holyshitake.com/archives/2... bacon baklava

                                                and http://flickr.com/photos/stuart_spiva... french toast with bacon ice cream
                                                and the famous http://www.telegraph.co.uk/core/Conte... bacon and eggs ice cream

                                                Here's the recipe I used. I wanted to try it without corn syrup. This may be another reason why my success ratio was only 50%. After I made it, I found out that the best brittle in the world (the pumpkin seed brittle at Moxie in Cleveland, OH) is made with a mixture of sugar and corn syrup so my worries over the quality of corn syrup seem to have been for nothing. I used a fresh vanilla pod and I think that might also have been a waste. I didn't really know how to handle it and I might have gotten better results with a quality extract.

                                                1 cup pecans, chopped
                                                1 cup bacon bits (about 1 lb raw bacon
                                                )2 2/3 cups sugar
                                                2/3 cups water
                                                2 tbl butter
                                                1 vanilla pod
                                                2 tsp baking soda

                                                1) Scrape the vanilla seeds from the pods. Steep the seeds and the pods in water. Remove the pods.

                                                2) Add the sugar. Cook covered on heat. Remove immediately once the temperature reaches 300.

                                                3) Mix in baking soda, butter, pecans and bacon.

                                                4) Spread thinly.

                                                5) Cool for at least ten minutes before breaking.

                                                1. re: stuart

                                                  This is definitely a case where extract will be the better vanilla to use. Vanilla beans are only worth it when vanilla is going to be the star flavor of the dish, such as panna cotta or creme brulee. You don't even have to worry about quality vanilla; there have been several blind tastings done, and once the vanilla gets cooked into something, the difference between the really good stuff and the cheap imitation vanilla extract from the grocery store is almost imperceptible.

                                                  That still doesn't stop me from getting the good stuff at Penzey's, though.

                                                2. re: Pistou

                                                  I'm late to this party...but I just tried it with brown sugar and it burned at about 255-260 degrees. I checked my candy thermometer and it's correctly calibrated. Are you using light brown or dark? I re-made it with white sugar but want that brown sugar boost!

                                                  1. re: Pistou

                                                    Made this today. It's freakin' awesome. I've been looking around for pork-based deserts, so this just made my day. Nice one!

                                              3. I hate nuts will this work without them?

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: jturtle

                                                  Yes. Actually, just go ahead and make cooked crumbled bacon your standard substitution in all recipes calling for nuts.

                                                2. Well, I was all set to try this (I am a fanatic porker- I'm receiving a six-month old Missouri country ham next week, mailed up from a smokehouse in Cape Girardeau for Christmas just as I have for the last fifteen or so years).

                                                  Then I read the post about the gold crown coming off. I have mostly gold crowns. One came off a month ago and I paid $101 to have it glued back on.

                                                  I'll just read about the bacon brittle, longingly.


                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: MikeLM

                                                    The dish jillp made would not, I think, break off your crown. Maybe she'll post her recipe.

                                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                                      Gosh, this is so complex, I think you need to go to culinary school to make it...

                                                      Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Take a jelly roll pan, line it with a Silpat or something to catch the fat and sugar drippings; you don't want it gluing onto the pan. Set a baking rack inside the pan.

                                                      Open up the bacon.

                                                      Dump the brown sugar into a dish.

                                                      Add chopped pecans (I always blanch and toast them first).

                                                      Pat bacon into the brown sugar and pecans.

                                                      Put sugar and pecan-encrusted bacon on baking rack. Cook until you just have to take them out and try them, about 20 minutes.

                                                      Die happy.

                                                      1. re: jillp

                                                        this is the best method. Also known as billionaire's bacon(when made without nuts). was a bar snack at the four seasons at one point.

                                                    2. re: MikeLM

                                                      Mike, what smokehouse is there in Cape that is so good? Thnx

                                                    3. I think I'm going to try this recipe using pistachio's for the nuts, add a pound of Bacon and use already baked bacon.
                                                      Really strange recipe, but I've cleaned out my freezers and have a slew of already cooked meat waiting to be used. I also thought of maybe 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white. Thanks for the idea, Melissa.

                                                      1. With outrageously delicious recipes and outrageously fun people, how can one not get addicted to chowhound?

                                                        I know that I MUST make this recipe! Just a couple of questions first, though. Should I use regular or thick-sliced bacon? Should I pick the bacon with more fat (my personal preference for breakfast) or with more meat streaks (which might survive better in the brittle)? And is there any way to make the brittle softer, say by adding more butter--so that it would be more like Butterfinger or those Indian brittles that aren't so hard on the expensive dental work? (I've used up all my dental insurance for the year, but would be unable to wait until 2007 to try this recipe.)

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: pilinut

                                                          My cap came off my tooth because I was chewing on a piece of pig candy that was warm and still soft (semi molten.) Once it hardens, you'll be fine. It doesn't get tooth challengly dangerously hard when it is cool ( a function of adding baking soda.) Sorry I scared you all, darlins ! Also I made it very thin which is easier on the old chompers. I mistakenly left out the pecans so reheated the sheet of brittle in a very hot oven and was able to press them in. I too love fatty bacon but think that crisp and meaty is the way to go. Any cut will do I'm sure.

                                                          Just listen to Elvis's Christmas record while you are making it and you will do no wrong. Let's all work and cook for PEACE next year, sis's and bros. Amen! ( it's the bacon , really, I'm ecstatic and hopeful for a change.)

                                                          1. re: missclaudy

                                                            Amen and Hallelujah, missclaudy! Thank you very much! I just made the bacon brittle more or less to your most recent specs: 3/4 cup each, chopped pecans and pieces of crisp bacon. Forgot to add the chili powder, though. And I used Lyle's Golden Syrup instead of corn syrup. Results: Wonderful bacon-y flavor in a morally reprehensible candy.

                                                            I managed to get 3/4 cup bacon pieces out of 2/3 lb Dittmer's bacon. (Hats off to Dittmer's. Bacon was sliced thicker than my hitherto favorite, Niman Ranch, but it shrank less, and took less time to cook in the microwave. It also had a more pronounced smokiness that made all the difference.)

                                                            The kinks I have to work out: making the brittle thinner and/or softer. I may be paranoid (just got another dental bill today the size of a small mortgage payment), but I'd like not to worry about chipping a tooth or pulling out crowns.

                                                            It's been raining all day here. Is it possible that the weather contributed to making the brittle kind of tough? Or was the Lyle's a bad subsitute for evil corn syrup? Or did I stir the caramel too much when I added the nuts and bacon? Has anyone tried making this with a honeycomb-type brittle?

                                                            1. re: pilinut

                                                              Can you believe how delish this is Pilinut? This is like start of a new a new religion (or cult). All of my friends are busy making BB today. HOUNDS, BUY BACON FUTURES !!!!!!

                                                              To spread the brittle thinner, stick the pan in a HOT oven after the initial spreading in the pan . i used 2 forks to pull it and stretch it. It will soften beautifully and you can make it very thin. I'm dreaming of more things to add. How about coarsely milled black pepper,
                                                              fleur de sel or Malden salt sprinkled on the surface as it is cooling, or, dare I suggest it, chocolate coating it. And I wholeheartedly agree , this candy is TOTALLY morally reprehensible, we should send some to the current government for Christmas!

                                                              1. re: missclaudy

                                                                Thanks for the stretching tip, missclaudy! As for additives, I am thinking little bits of candied orange or lemon peel, along with some kind of chili. Or, dare I say, thinly sliced, crisp-fried shallots?

                                                                As for sending some to the powers that be, it might not be necessary. I suspect that they meet regularly in a secret mountain bunker to enjoy the stuff, courtesy of some gifted taxi-dancer on K Street. It will be the subject of next year's big expose.

                                                        2. Hmmm, I remember posting about this last year and i think the only response I got was "What the hell is that?" haha. I knew it would catch on. How could it not?

                                                          1. I'm going to make it with brown sugar and guanciale (pork cheek, which has bacon flavor on sterioids). Instant diabetic coma.

                                                            1. I just read this entire thread and still can't believe it. You people are certifiable. And I can't wait to try it. (How have I lived without Chowhound?)

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. For an easier "fix" you might want to try

                                                                Pig Candy

                                                                1 lb thick sliced bacon
                                                                1/2 cup light brown sugar
                                                                1/2 t. Cayenne powder

                                                                Preheat oven to 400 F

                                                                Mix cayenne and brown sugar together in bowl.
                                                                Line a rimmed edge baking sheet with foil shiny side up. Dredge bacon in sugar/cayenne mixture and arrange on baking sheet in a single flat layer. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until brown. Remove from oven and use a pair of tongs to lift bacon from baking sheet, allowing all excess fat to drain from the bacon before you transfer it to a serving platter. That's if it makes it to the platter.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. When you make this, do you cook the bacon first then crumble or chop first then cook? And does it make a difference?

                                                                  And if I don't have a candy thermometer, do you have a rough estimate how I can tell that my sugar is at 290 degrees?

                                                                  Thanks in advance and I can't wait to make this!

                                                                  1. The NY Times waxed poetic last Wednesday about cane syrup www.steensyrup.com/ which is sugar cane flavor on steriods. I think we're approaching paradise.

                                                                    1. this is too wierd. I saw the baklava post first, which is now starting to make sense.

                                                                      My question is this - are you using smoked or unsmoked bacon?

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. If you read this whole topic, it sounds like people are extra hyper and hopped up on sugar... perhaps it's the bacon brittle?! ;-)

                                                                        1. Sounds outrageous! How would you eat or serve this? As is, as a curiousity? As a candy? As a garnish on another dish, like Salad?

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Fleur

                                                                            I haven't tried it, but my friend observed that it would be a great bar snack, with beer or whiskey or even wine...and ghbrooklyn says it used to be served as a bar snack at the 4 seasons, so there you go!

                                                                          2. I used a maple cured bacon and while it was good, next time I will use a peppery, salty bacon.

                                                                            1. OMG, I just made it yesterday. It is so blamed addictive! I think the next time around I'll up the bacon to closer to a full pound, add more pecans and toast them first, and add a heftier dose of cayenne than I did this time.

                                                                              The Spouse is now wondering if we can try this with pastrami.

                                                                              Bacon candy. Who'da thunk?

                                                                              1. I was just thinking, surely Paula Deen is going to make this on her show one day, and then ....

                                                                                1. I've made this before - and variations on it (serve it with bacon ice cream...) only difference is I'll use molasses or honey instead of the corn syrup. I like using tupelo honey best - for something you're not gonna eat often, might as well go the extra mile and use the good stuff. Adding a little spice to the honey-sugar-water at the beginning can give it a little something extra, too - little pinch of mace, little pinch of ancho powder, yow!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: sgordon

                                                                                    Does using honey affect the texture of the brittle in any way? Does corn syrup yield a brittle-r brittle than golden syrup. molasses, or honey?