This is different for me to post something like this. I mean, yes, it is sweet...but it's also spicy and it's bacon. I'm sure many folks are sick of the whole bacon craze going on but I never dabbled in it, so this was it. It looked easy enough and although I personally am not into bacon, or into spicy things, I have a friend who is, so I made it as a gift. And yes, it was indeed easy and kind of fun to make! I found this recipe as I was browsing Tastespotting. The photos posted on the particular blog on which I found the recipe, are fantastic! My photos give you an idea of what to expect but I didn't put too much thought into setting up a good shot.
Pig Candy....isn't that a funny name? It made me laugh. Pig Candy is really tasty and I can see why so many people like it. Some Pig Candy is made with just brown sugar, some with brown sugar and black pepper. Mine is made with brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Whoo! That cayenne pepper definitely adds a kick. My bacon took a lot longer to bake than the recipe calls for. I thought about removing it from the oven sooner but I was concerned it would not be crisp enough. I'm glad I left it in. It might have something to do with the fact that the bacon I used was thick cut. In fact, I even placed the whole pan under the broiler at the very end to get it extra crisp. It didn't get so crisp that it snapped but the edges were slightly crisp. My bacon never lost it's stickiness. Even when thoroughly cooled it was still slightly sticky. I put a very thick coating of brown sugar/cayenne pepper onto each strip of bacon. As it was baking, a lot of it dripped into the pan below. After it baked and the sugar became super crunchy & carmelized, it came off in chunks from each slice of bacon. There was still a bit of the mixture attached but most ended up in the pan. I'm not sure how to prevent that but it still had an awesome sweet/spicy flavor. After it cooled, I cut mine into small pieces and put them in a Mason jar with a lid on it and a nice big ribbon around it!
The instructions say to coat each slice with the sugar mixture until you can't see the bacon underneath. That used up a lot of the mixture! In fact, after I coated one side, I had to mix up some additional mix to coat the other side.
The Kitchy Kitchen
8 strips thin cut bacon
1 cup golden brown sugar
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Turn the oven on to 350 F. Meanwhile, blend the sugar and pepper together in a bowl. Taste it. If it’s too spicy, add more sugar, not spicy enough, add more cayenne. However, the spice does become a little more pronounced after being cooked, so be aware of that. Lay the bacon on a cooling rack placed over a baking pan lined with aluminum foil (these means minimal clean up!). Cover each slice of bacon with the brown sugar mixture. It should be an even layer, thick enough so that you cannot see the bacon through it (about 1/8 or ¼ of an inch). Place the bacon in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the sugar is completely browned, and the bacon has curls at the edges and appears mostly cooked. Remove the bacon from the oven and flip. Cover the bacon with the rest of the brown sugar mixture, and pop back in the oven for another 4-6 minutes, or until the bacon appears fully cooked, like crunchy, but not burnt. If the bacon seems underdone, just leave in the oven for a minute or two more.
Let the bacon cool on the rack for at least 15 minutes to let the sugar harden a bit before you start cutting the pieces. I find it’s easiest to use a pair of kitchen scissors and cut the pieces over the serving bowl.