I first encountered candied bacon while working in pastry kitchen, and the combination of salty, smoky and sweet was alluring. Center-cut bacon is a bit leaner than other types of bacon, but any kind of smoked bacon will work in this recipe. Blanching the bacon in simple syrup enhances its texture, while threading the bacon onto wood skewers creates a sort of Candied Bacon “lollipop”. Depending on the size of your broiler pan, you may need to bake the bacon in two batches. You can also jerry-rig a good setup by placing a cooling rack in a rimmed baking sheet. This bacon is great in our Chocolate Chip Cookies with Candied Bacon, and leftover bacon will keep up to two weeks in an airtight container. This bacon candy also is tasty crumbled over vanilla bean, butter pecan or maple ice cream, and makes a great savory-sweet nibble with cocktails (especially bourbon-based sippers).
Combine granulated sugar and water in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Add bacon and cook 5 minutes or until bacon appears cooked around edges. Drain bacon on paper towels until cool enough to handle.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Thread each strip of bacon onto a wooden skewer. Combine brown sugar, mustard, and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge bacon in brown sugar mixture, shaking off excess. Place bacon on the rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes or until crisp, turning bacon halfway through cooking time. (Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your bacon.) Cool completely.
Makes 18 pieces
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes