Aaaand I'm back! I've spent the past week or so holed up in my room, going through about 12 trees-worth of Puffs tissues (with lotion, of course, which is why I still have a nose), a million gallons of tea (I think I've reduced our tea supply by half, which is saying something), 6 two-liters of diet 7-UP and about 3 liters of Trader Joe's knockoff Smart Water, four and a half seasons of Supernatural, and a complete project for my mother's birthday. The swine flu was not pleasant, and I'll probably have this cough until April, when the weather finally clears up, but I made it through alive! And what better way to celebrate than with some bacon?
I originally made this candied bacon back in August, when my brother brought me a pound of bacon after watching Paula Deen make candied bacon with maple syrup. I nixed the syrup in favor of brown sugar and ended up with an easy and delicious treat. The bacon by itself is pretty hardcore - sweet and salty, crunchy and chewy, and pretty much just amazing. But you really can't eat much of it, and I found myself left with a ton of the stuff. I ended up chopping it up and adding it to my chocolate chip cookie recipe (just replace the cherries with the chopped candied bacon) for just a hint of salt and smoke.
You could, of course, also serve it as a garnish to your bacon vodka.
Note: When baking my bacon, I lined my rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and then topped with parchment paper. This may seem excessive, but it helped contain the mess and was worth it when it came to clean up.
Candied Bacon, inspired by David Lebovitz
1 package thick-cut bacon
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil, then with parchment paper. Arrange bacon slices on parchment so that they are not touching. Sprinkle brown sugar on the top of each slice. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then flip the bacon over and sprinkle on a little more brown sugar. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the bacon is crispy and has a deep brown, lacquered look. Cool bacon on a parchment-lined cooling rack and try to keep your hands off it while it cools.