RECIPE | Spicy Nutty Maple Bacon Bourbon Brittle

Say that five times fast.

holidays 2013spicy maple bacon bourbon brittle

RECIPE | Spicy Maple Bacon Bourbon Brittle with Pecans

My sister made this recipe one Christmas and we couldn’t get enough of it — it’s not too sweet and has just enough heat to accentuate and balance the flavors and give it a little extra something. The best is that this recipe can be easily customized any way you want – just make sure to use really high quality maple syrup. I’m including the original base recipe given to me by my sis along with my notes/modifications in italics.

Yield: 1 large baking sheet
For the sugars below, use at least a cup (up to 2) of the dark maple syrup, and then it honestly doesn’t matter regarding the rest.

3 cups total of any sugars:
– dark maple syrup – the more gooey, the better
– light grade A maple syrup
– granulated sugar, light corn syrup (not high fructose), etc.
We used 1 ½ cups of organic grade A dark amber maple syrup and 1 ½ cups of cane sugar. We also made a batch with 1 ½ coconut sugar instead of cane sugar and the consistency was a bit strange/crumbly, even though it tasted really good. It’s also possible we just messed up that batch since it was our first.
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground cayenne (optional)
Used ⅛ tsp of some really strong exotic cayenne powder that Sly bought from a spice store — it was a good amount to give just the tiniest hint of heat as an after taste.
1/2 lb pecan pieces, toasted
We used 1 cup of toasted pecans, chopped
1/2 cup water
Substituted ¼ c of water and ¼ c of bourbon — good stuff, the kind you would drink.
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed (or if you use salted butter, omit the salt above)
2 tsp baking soda
Also added 2 strips of crispy-cooked nitrate free bacon, finely chopped/crumbled

(Prep your pecans, bacon, etc beforehand so that you can focus on making the brittle)
1.  Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
2.  In a medium to med-large pot on the stove top, add sugars, salt, butter, cayenne, and water (and booze if using it). Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved (if using granulated in your mix) and the butter is melted.
3.  Add in pecan (and bacon if using) pieces and mix until combined. Place a candy thermometer into the mix and turn the heat up to medium-high. Continually stir (gently – no need for rigor) until the mix reaches 300 degrees fahrenheit.
4.  Remove the pot from heat and quickly stir in baking soda, ensuring it’s evenly incorporated and immediately pour mixture onto baking sheet Spread out with a heat-proof spatula/knife/back of a large spoon. (PS: you don’t have a lot of time to do this before it starts to get hard to spread) Allow to cool about 30 minutes. Break into shards and store in an airtight container.


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