There’s not a lot that will get me to turn on my oven in the middle of summer. But candied bacon is definitely something I will make an exception for!
While it’s not something we make all the time, I feel good about this “treat” food because of the ingredients we use. Start out with good quality, antibiotic free bacon, and sweeten it naturally with a touch of maple syrup and coconut sugar. The cashews aren’t entirely necessary, but they add another layer of crunch and make the candied bacon extra special.
A touch of cayenne pepper balances out the sweetness perfectly. But the amount of heat is up to you!
Once the bacon has cooled, I like to cut it into smaller pieces and take it along to barbecues or picnics. It’s a fun treat that everyone goes crazy over!
A few tips I’ve picked up for making the perfect candied bacon:
- I prefer to use thick bacon, but not TOO thick. I’ve found the sliced bacon from the Earth Fare meat counter is the perfect thickness.
- Don’t add too much maple syrup, or your bacon will not crisp up quite as well. A thin spread is all you need to give that great maple flavor.
- Make sure that you let your bacon cook long enough so it is nice and crispy. You want it to be a dark, caramelized color—but not burnt! Keep a close eye towards the end of cooking.
Candied Bacon with Cashews
Yields 6 pieces of bacon
- 6 pieces of bacon (thick cut but not TOO thick)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1.5 tablespoons coconut sugar
- A sprinkle of cayenne pepper
- 8-10 raw cashews, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack onto the baking sheet. Spread the 6 slices of bacon evenly over the wire rack.
- Cook bacon for 10 minutes and remove from the oven. Reduce heat to 350 degrees.
- Using a paper towel, blot the oil from the top of the bacon. Spread ½ of the maple syrup over each slice of bacon (you only need a small amount of maple syrup here). Next, sprinkle half of the coconut sugar over the bacon slices, as well as a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
- Return bacon to the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove bacon, flip, and blot the oil from the other side of the bacon. Add the remaining maple syrup, coconut sugar, and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the chopped cashews over the bacon slices.
- Return bacon to the oven and cook for an additional 12-15 minutes, until the bacon is well cooked but not burnt. (Keep an eye on the bacon after 10 minutes as it can go from done to overdone quickly.
- Remove the bacon from the oven and allow it to cool on the wire rack until it firms up. (You can move it around a bit while it’s still warm so that it doesn’t stick to the rack as it cools.) Candied bacon is best served on the day it is made.
Note: Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your bacon. Keep a careful eye towards the end of cooking so as not to burn.