Bacon peanut brittle – A new holiday favorite!

December 10, 2009

We made this at our annual cookie bake on Sunday – YUM!

Check out the porky deliciousness….

Bacon Peanut Brittle
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon pure ground ancho chili*, or to taste
Pinch of ground Cayenne pepper
1 cup whole salted, roasted peanuts
2 cups cooked, crumbled Applewood bacon, fully rendered and drained well
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda

Butter a baking sheet with about ½ tablespoon of the butter and set aside (I used a silpat, no butter – slw).

Place sugar and corn syrup in a large, heavy 4 or 5 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stir the sugar and corn syrup until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbly and is pale golden brown.

Add the ground chile and cayenne and cook for 2-3 minutes longer or until the sugar mixture has reached the hard-crack stage, about 300ºF if you are using a candy thermometer.

Take off the heat and working very quickly, stir in the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of butter and then beat in the baking soda. Add the peanuts and bacon and mix well. Immediately pour onto the prepared baking sheet—it should even itself out, but if it doesn’t, smooth with a spatula and let cool.

Break into pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Makes about 1 lb

Recipe Tip:* The ground ancho chile peppers make a big difference in this recipe so don’t leave them out. If you can’t find them ground in your local store, buy whole dried ancho chiles; they are available every where—I’ve even seen them at convenience stores! I actually prefer grinding them myself and never buy the chile already ground.

My own cooking notes – Winter 2009: Very nice flavors! Found ancho chile flakes in World Spice Merchants @ the Pike Market, and ground them in a spice grinder. Could stand to increase the spiciness factor – will use more cayenne next time. Would use slightly fewer peanuts and slightly more bacon (which is probably the amount in the recipe–I quadrupled the recipe (two batches) and 3.5 lbs of bacon didn’t quite give 2 cups per batch). RE: Technique: When heating the sugar and corn syrup, it expands considerably – use a pan that is deep enough for the mixture to double temporarily in volume. Also, having everything pre-measured and silpats at the ready is helpful, since once the candy gets to temperature, you have to move really quickly.

Adapted from Al Dente

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