I was standing in line at Meijer flipping through the Food Network magazine and I come across an article on candied bacon. I love how when Food Network runs an article on a specific food they always have a bunch of different variations to choose from, it’s never just one recipe. The Pumpkin Spice Candied Bacon is the one that caught my eye. It looked delicious, and I’m such a big fan of the combination of spices that make up this whole ‘pumpkin spice’ that I can eat pumpkin spiced food year round. I’ll cook plain bacon as a side dish on Sunday morning and my family loves it, so I really thought they’d go crazy for bacon cooked in brown sugar cooked in pumpkin spice.
I’ll be the first one to tell you that I’m not buying into this whole bacon craze. Don’t get me wrong, I like to cook with bacon, but I like to use it as more of a minor ingredient that’s added to a dish to add a little bit of smoky bacon flavor. I don’t normally eat just plain bacon though because it just doesn’t appeal to me. It seems like in the past few years this entire country has gone ‘hog wild’ with bacon.
Normally when I cook bacon on Sunday morning I’ll cook three or four pieces, just enough for my darling wife and my two children. But this was going to be special, and I wanted to get in on the bacon action this morning so I cooked eight strips of bacon. I’ve talked about this before, but my preferred method for cooking bacon is in the oven. This way I can forget about it for ten to fifteen minutes while I’m preparing everything else. Besides that it’s not as messy and it looks prettier. Yes, I want my food to look pretty.
I start by lining a baking sheet with aluminum foil to catch the bacon grease. It’s going to be especially messy today mixed with brown sugar. I put my largest cooling rack on top of the foil to hold the bacon. This way it won’t be lying in a puddle of grease. Finally I lay the bacon on the cooling rack and now I can just set it aside until I’m ready to put it in the oven.
Before I cook the bacon today I’m going to make my brown sugar mixture to brush on top. I mix 1/3 cup of brown sugar with my own pumpkin spice mixture. It consists of 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon mixed with a ¼ teaspoon each of ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. Then I mixed it with a couple teaspoons of water and put it in the microwave for about thirty seconds. After it was done cooking in the microwave I stirred it to make sure it’s mixed well and then spread it over the top of the bacon. I put it into a cold oven, set the temperature to 400F and checked it in twelve minutes. I have put bacon in a preheated oven (and just cooked it less) if I was already baking something, but I usually put it in a cold oven. Then I check it in 12 minutes; maybe cook it for another 3-5 minutes. My wife likes her bacon wiggly.
Adapted from Food Network