You asked for it, so here it is— our Bourbon Maple Candied Bacon recipe!  You heard me right.  Bourbon + maple + bacon with just a little red pepper kick, all candied to a gorgeous perfection.  If slow, sweet southern drawls ever had a flavor, they would taste just like this.

This yummy sticky treat was by far our most requested eat at Huntingdon’s Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Academic Enrichment Center’s 5th annual Derby Day at the Dixie. (Where we did win best tailgate, by the way!  What?  Yes, we did!  To see pics from this year’s event, click the link at the end of the article.)  We had a steady stream of bow-ties, seer sucker, and feathered, flower-bedecked hats, seemingly all with the same thing on their mind… “We heard about your bacon.”

There are lots of candied bacon recipes on line, running the gambit from Emeril Lagasse to Clinton Kelly (both of whom I love), but this little recipe is straight from my kitchen and really isn’t all that hard to do.  But you don’t have to tell anyone else that.  Seriously.  Just keep that little tidbit to yourself.  And let your party guests think you are a culinary genius who works amazing bacony miracles that are otherwise nearly impossible to achieve.


Bourbon Maple Candied Bacon

Ingredients

  • 24 pieces thick sliced bacon (I use Wright’s Applewood Smoked Restaurant Style Thicker Sliced Bacon from Sam’s.)
  • ¼ C bourbon
  • ¼ C brown sugar
  • ¼ C maple syrup
  • 1-2 Tbsp crushed red pepper

 

Process

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arrange bacon on a broiler pan so that the pieces don’t touch or overlap. (A broiler pan helps the grease drain away while your ingredients cook into the bacon.  I have to use 2 pans for this much bacon.)

Brush healthy amounts of bourbon and maple syrup on the first side of each piece of bacon.

Generously sprinkle on and pat down brown sugar into each piece.  Don’t be shy; this is what will create your candied coating.

Turn bacon over and repeat this process on the other side of the bacon.

Lightly sprinkle the second side with red pepper flakes.  Be careful.  Just a few flakes can provide quite a quick, so adjust the amount to suit your and your guest’s tastes.

Combine any leftover bourbon, syrup, and brown sugar to baste the bacon with as it cooks.

Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, turning the bacon over after the first 10-15 minutes.  Baste the bacon with your bourbon/syrup mixture when you turn it over.

Remove the bacon from the oven when the candied coating becomes shiny and the bacon has turned a lovely reddish brown color.

Remove bacon from the broiler pan almost immediately and cool on a cooling rack.  Adjust the bacon after 5 minutes or so just to keep the candy coating from setting up and sticking to the rack.

ASD Tip:  I served this delectable bacon goodness in a mason jar, but threading it on a skewer while it is still warm (your candy coating will harden as it cools) is also a great way to serve this appetizer.  Since it can get somewhat sticky, your guests will appreciate having a skewer to hold as they nibble this bit of heaven.  Depending on your crowd and their appetites, you might also consider slicing your bacon in half, creating shorter pieces of bacon for your guests to munch.


Bourbon + maple + bacon with just a little red pepper kick, all candied to a gorgeous perfection. If slow, sweet southern drawls ever had a flavor, they would taste just like this.


2016 Derby Day at The Dixie (picture gallery) 

Want more bacon recipes?  Then you don’t want to miss these Elvis Ice Cream Sandwiches!
Check out this and other great Southern recipes on Meal Plan Monday!

Bourbon Maple Candied Bacon
Serves 12
Bourbon + maple + bacon with just a little red pepper kick, all candied to a gorgeous perfection.
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Prep Time
8 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
8 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 24 pieces thick sliced bacon
  2. ¼ C bourbon
  3. ¼ C brown sugar
  4. ¼ C maple syrup
  5. 1-2 Tbsp crushed red pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Arrange bacon on a broiler pan so that the pieces don’t touch or overlap.
  3. Brush healthy amounts of bourbon and maple syrup on the first side of each piece of bacon.
  4. Generously sprinkle on and pat down brown sugar into each piece.
  5. Turn bacon over and repeat this process on the other side.
  6. Lightly sprinkle the second side with red pepper flakes.
  7. Combine any leftover bourbon, syrup, and brown sugar to baste the bacon with as it cooks.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, turning the bacon over after the first 10-15 minutes and basting with your bourbon/syrup mixture.
  9. Remove the bacon from the oven when the candied coating becomes shiny and the bacon has turned a reddish brown color.
  10. Remove bacon from the broiler pan almost immediately and cool on a cooling rack.
  11. Adjust the bacon after 5 minutes or so until completely cooled to keep the candy coating from setting up and sticking to the rack.
Notes
  1. Thick sliced bacon works best! Depending on your guests, slicing the bacon in half right across the middle might make better appetizer-sized servings.
a southern discourse https://southerndiscourse.com/

 

 

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