The other day while having a conversation about food with friends, I said something that was a total revelation, something I’ve never thought of before: “Bacon is the only reason why I’m not a vegetarian.”
You see, I have no problem cooking meats for my family, but I haven’t eaten beef in seventeen years. I don’t eat veal either. And chicken? Well, I have chicken maybe once a week. But bacon…I LOVE bacon.
I like it alone. I like with my sandwiches. I like it in my salads. Let’s just say I like it with pretty much anything. When it comes to my sweets, bacon is present there, too. I even add bits of it to my waffle batter.
There’s something rad about bacon. Its salty richness is a fine complement to sweet treats like frostings, cookies, brittles, etc. A little bacon in salads brings out the flavors of the greens.
Imagine a BLT without the bacon. It would be a sad lettuce-and-tomato-something hiding its despair behind two slices of bread with a scratch of mayo.
I can’t say it enough. Bacon is a beautiful thing. It doesn’t matter whether it is smoked or plain. You can call it pancetta or tocino or just bacon, but there’s no doubt that bacon is a complete showoff. And I’m one of its biggest fans.
- 1 cup bacon, cooked very crisp and crumbled. Rendered fat reserved
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup water
- You’ll also need a 13” X 18” rimmed baking sheet and a candy thermometer.
Pour bacon fat in a glass measuring cup. Add melted butter. You should have about 1 1/2 cup total. Set aside.
Grease your baking sheet.
In a medium-sized, heavy bottomed saucepan mix the bacon fat mixture with sugar, vanilla, salt and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the pan and cook for about 18 minutes or until thermometer reaches 300°F/150°C. Don’t forget to stir constantly.
Remove from heat and add the bacon. Pour mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. (please be very careful)Spread mixture evenly and allow it to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container for up to one week. Use parchment paper between the layers.
Recipe from The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook by Liz Gutman and Jen King