This weekend I decided to try to make an item I’d seen across instagram and pinterest, Bourbon Bacon Brittle. Now, I wouldn’t say I was a brittle expert, but I’ve probably made more batches of brittle for gifts than I’ve made any other food product (besides boxed mac and cheese!). I’d never put anything besides different kinds of nuts in the brittle though, so I wanted to give it a shot.
Let’s start with what I did and then I’ll tell you what I’m going to do next time.
Stage 1: Maple Bourbon Glaze
- 1/2 Cup Whiskey/Bourbon (I used Jack Daniels because I didn’t want to use the good stuff for the first attempt)
- 1 Cup of Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Maple Syrup
- Bring whiskey to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer
- Simmer for around 10-15 minutes to boil alcohol off
- Add brown sugar and syrup and mix
- Bring mixture to a boil stirring frequently
- Reduce to a simmer and test every 5-10 minutes for consistency
- Once it reaches a syrup like consistency, it is ready
- Leave it on very low heat to make it easier to brush on
Stage 2: BACON!
- All the bacon. 1 pound of it should use that amount of glaze (I used thick cut, but won’t next time)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Line a cookie sheet with foil
- Place baking rack on cookie sheet
- Spray pan and rack with cooking spray
- Put as much bacon on the rack as you can get
- Brush top of bacon with glaze from stage 1
- Bake for 13 minutes in middle/top of oven to keep from burning
- Take the tray out and flip bacon on the rack. Brush bacon with glaze again.
- Bake for additional 13 minutes
- Inspect bacon for done-ness. It will crisp up some after you take it out.
- (At this point I re-glazed and re-baked both sides for another 2 mins because the thick cut bacon wasn’t quite done. Plus, bonus, more bourbon glaze!)
- Remove from oven and let it cool (it will cool quicker on a different rack if you have a spare
Final Stage (3): Brittle!
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup almonds
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2-3 slices of bacon chopped up
- Candy Thermometer
- Get everything measured and prepared. Once the temp hits the sweet spot, you’ll be running around like crazy otherwise.
- Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray (or, if you’re like me, just use a silicone mat. That thing is truly magical!)
- Mix sugar & corn syrup in pot and cook over medium heat.
- Constantly stir mixture until it starts boiling then don’t touch it until it reaches 310 degrees.
- Once it reaches 310, stir in almonds and bacon and cook 2 more minutes.
- Mix vanilla, butter, salt, and baking soda in and stir quickly. (It will get all foamy due to the soda, but that is expected)
- Once mixed, spread quickly onto pan and let cool.
- Once completely cooled, break into pieces and store in a cool area (if you can manage to not eat the entire batch)
For Next Time:
Like I said above, I won’t get the thick cut bacon next time. It took longer to cook and the pieces were a bit chewy in the brittle. It was still delicious but I think having it be crunchy will make it even better.
I also put the bacon in the brittle with the almonds. I believe this basically wiped out a lot of my glaze that was on the bacon. Next time, I’ll wait until the very end (after the vanilla, butter and baking soda addition) so that the bacon retains as much glaze as possible.