Ina’s Caramelized Bacon with Pecans and Cayenne | Feast and Merriment

Ina’s Caramelized Bacon with Pecans and Cayenne

An indulgent delight


hen 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 treat is salty, sweet and spicy and sure to please! Everyone should have it in their recipe arsenal for when you really want to ‘WOW’ your guests! 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.

The Recipe


Spicy Caramelized Bacon with Pecans


  • 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


  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Place a baking rack on top of an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.)

  4. 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.

  5. Serve at room temperature. 

Recipe Notes

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

Showing 2 comments
  • Peg

    Do you think this could be made 24 hours ahead?

    • Christina Collins

      I do love a make ahead meal of any kind and Ina Garten suggests that these can be made up to one day in advance and stored at room temperature. And if Ina says… then it must be true!

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