Maple Candied Bacon

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The smoky, salty taste of bacon is a great way to add great flavor to any meal! At breakfast-time, its heartiness and chewy-crisp texture is a comforting counterpoint to fluffy scrambled eggs, crunchy toast, and nutty coffee. Stack bacon on juicy, tangy tomatoes and fresh lettuce for the ultimate BLT. Sprinkle it over vegetable side dishes, stir it into a soup, or add it to beans for smoky depth. No matter how you use, bacon only makes everything better! So what could make bacon even better? Easy—make it a combination of sweet and salty. If you’ve ever dipped bacon in the syrup that oozed across the plate from your pancakes, you know how well these flavors complement each other. Bacon and maple yield the perfect marriage of sweet and savory.

candied bacon

Photo via The Clever Carrot

Maple Candied Bacon makes a divine cocktail party nibble or hostess gift. It’s playful and elegant, complementing a wide array of food and drinks. Arrange whole pieces in a parchment-lined jar like a meaty, crunchy bouquet. Crumble pieces onto deviled eggs or a salad with pecans and blue cheese for decadent appetizers. Break it apart using a glistening shard to garnish cupcakes, or chop and fold into cornbread batter—the only limit is your imagination! Wow your friends and family with this easy and delicious recipe (the hardest part will be avoiding eating all of the bacon as soon as it’s out of the oven). You need:

candied bacon bouquet

Photo via The Clever Carrot

1 lb. sliced bacon

2 tbsp. real maple syrup

¼ c. brown sugar

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

½ tsp. Kosher salt

¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Wrap a rimmed baking sheet with foil and top with a wire rack. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except bacon. Mix well. Add the bacon to the bowl and toss gently with your hands. Make sure that all of the slices are evenly coated (mixture may appear slightly dry). Arrange the bacon in a single layer on the wire rack. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 20 minutes. Rotate the rack and check for doneness; the bacon will have browned a little, but will probably need to bake for another 10-15 minutes. It should appear dark (not burnt) and crispy. (If you take it out too soon, the texture will be chewy.) Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes on the rack. Transfer to parchment paper. Break the bacon into pieces, or leave whole. Recipe via The Clever Carrot.