Ina’s Caramelized Bacon with Pecans and Cayenne

Ina Garten’s most recent cookbook ‘Foolproof’ was recently released and 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. The recipe I had to try first was a simple choice – the bacon appetizer. How could I not?! I have since made it twice and let me tell you…This appetizer doesn’t stand a chance of a single leftover piece! Everyone should have this recipe in their back pocket 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.

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped or whole pecans
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 pound good quality, thick sliced applewood smoked bacon

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

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.

Cut each bacon slice in half. Lay out a few slices of bacon at a time on a cutting board and use the back of a spoon to spread the pecan mixture evenly onto the bacon. 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.)

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

I hope you enjoy making Ina’s recipe with my tips built in! Let me know how it goes!