Spicy Candied Bacon

If there was ever a way to “improve” bacon then this is the way to do it.

A slice of deliciously thick and salty bacon is one of the best parts of my weekends. It’s the perfect sidekick to my eggs or the delicious filler to one of my favorite sandwiches, the BLAT (aka a bacon-lettuce-avocado-tomato sandwich). If it’s even possible to improve upon that simply delicious slice of bacon, it would be to make it sweet and maybe even a little bit spicy. That’s what I’ve got going on in my oven now, a batch of spicy-sweet candied bacon slices that are simply divine.

There’s just something so magical about the combination of sweet and salty or sweet and spicy. That magic is truly captured here in the simplest of preparations for bacon. It strikes the right balance of sweet and savory in a way that is so absolutely delicious.

Baking bacon has become one of my not-so-new favorite ways to cook this beloved breakfast meat. I like the texture of the bacon when it’s cooked this way, but I’ll never judge how a good piece of bacon is cooked and served to me! I’ve wanted to try this recipe for a while and can’t figure out what took me so long! I’ve just rough chopped some nuts – totally a personal preference here on which nut you’d prefer to use. Personally, I love pecans. Walnuts are also an excellent choice.

So, a mixture of chopped pecans, brown sugar, and to it I’ll add some cayenne or cajun seasoning for that spicy heat. You can add as little or as much as you like. I think the sugar and nuts, and the fat of the bacon help to keep the heat at a palatable level but adjust according to your own tastes. This mixture is sprinkled over the bacon and into the oven it goes! 20 minutes later my kitchen is positively perfumed with the aroma of sweet bacon. If it’s ever possible to improve bacon, then it’s only improved by adding brown sugar and pecans. Yum!

Spicy Candied Bacon

Serves 4-6; 30 minutes

Ingredients
  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Line a jellyroll pan with aluminum foil. Place a cooling rack on the lined jellyroll pan.
  3. Evenly space the slices of bacon onto the rack.
  4. Mix the brown sugar, chopped nuts, and cayenne pepper in a bowl until well blended.
  5. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over top of the bacon slices.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes until edges of the bacon pieces are just crisped and the sugar has caramelized.
  7. Cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Southern Bite.