Caramelized Bacon with Pecans and Cayenne

By Christina Collins

An indulgent delight

When Ina Garten’s cookbook Foolproof was released, of course I had to have it! I did what I always do with her cookbooks- I read it from cover to cover over a glass of wine (or two!) and marked every recipe I wanted to try.

My first recipe was a simple choice – Ina’s Caramelized Bacon appetizer with Pecans and Cayenne. How could I not?! I have since made it several times and let me tell you…This appetizer doesn’t stand a chance of a single leftover piece!

This salty, sweet and spicy recipe is one that every cook should have it in their recipe arsenal for when you really want to ‘WOW’ your crowd! I made a few small changes to Ina’s recipe; I cut down on the salt, bumped up the cayenne and added a step to make it easier to execute the recipe.

Along the way I came up with a few tips to make these easier to make and wrote them into the recipe steps below.

The Recipe

Ina's caramelized bacon

Spicy Caramelized Bacon with Pecans

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped or whole pecans
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 lb good quality, thick sliced bacon

Instructions
 

  • Preheat over to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place a baking rack on top of that. 
  • Combine the sugar and pecans in a food processor and process until the pecans are finely ground. Add the salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and pulse to combine. Add the maple syrup and pulse again to moisten the crumbs.
    Ina's caramelized bacon
  • Cut each bacon slice in half. Use the back of a spoon to spread the pecan mixture evenly onto the bacon slices. You will use all the mixture. Place the bacon onto the backing rack without them touching. (I used a small spatula to assist with this move.)
    Ina's caramelized bacon
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until the topping is very browned, but not burnt. (If its under baked the bacon will not crisp as it cools.) While it is hot, transfer the bacon to cool on paper towels.
    Caramelized Bacon with Pecans and Cayenne
  • Serve at room temperature. 

Notes

These can be made early in the day and stored out at room temperature.

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