Thursday, December 18, 2008

sticky sweet bacon

bacon, the great equalizer. almost everyone loves bacon, and nowadays people are finding unique and off-beat ways to incorporate it into places where you'd never expect it, like chocolate chip cookies and dark chocolate cake.

I hold with the innovators who have masterminded these new creations because i have always believed that bacon goes well with sweet flavors. as a child i would sop up the leftover syrup with my bacon after my pancakes and waffles were finished. now i make sure that i have an entire bowl of maple syrup or honey to dip it in (primarily because i don’t like my pancakes and waffles to be sodden with syrup any longer, so there is rarely any left over.)

this sweet bacon treatment will tickle your tastebuds, really, it’s that good. and it’s very simple to do, you just pop it in the oven and kind of forget about it. if you’ve never prepared bacon in the oven before, this may seem a little odd but i assure you, it’s very effective. i don’t give exact measurements below because you an use this technique on any amount of bacon…two slices, half a pound (as i did), or even 2 pounds at a time (though the cooking time will go up and you’ll need more pans!)

bacon – thick cut is better, smoked is ok, but not otherwise flavored
dark brown sugar
cayenne pepper

preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

lay the bacon slices flat on a foiled baking sheet (trust me and don’t skip this, you don’t want to have to scrape off caramelized brown sugar). sprinkle them with brown sugar, a very thin coating. then lightly sprinkle them with cayenne pepper. pop into the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and the sugar is caramelized. enjoy!

you can serve this with savory breakfast items (it went nicely with my baked egg custard with gruyere and chives from this month’s gourmet) or with sweeter options. if you like more spice go heavier on the cayenne, if you like more sweet go heavier on the brown's up to you!

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