A side of bacon will always improve a meal, but nothing jazzes up brunch faster than candied bacon. Candied bacon is sweet, salty, sticky, and crispy all at once—doesn't that just make your stomach grumble? When a crumbly mixture of brown sugar and black pepper is sprinkled over bacon and tossed in the oven, it oozes into a melt-in-your-mouth coating that offsets bacon’s saltiness in the most tastebud-pleasing way.

If your finished batch of candied bacon actually makes it off the tray, use it as you would bacon in any breakfast—sandwich it, quiche it, accompany pancakes or eggs with it. However, the best way to harness the flavor power of candied bacon is to crumble it over sweets. Banana bread, scones, doughnuts (and just about anything else you might find in a bakery display) come to new life when paired with candied bacon. Bring a tray to brunch this weekend and prepare to be greeted as a hero.

Candied Bacon

  • Yields: 10 slices of bacon
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack coated with cooking spray inside prepared baking sheet. Arrange bacon slices in a single layer on rack, leaving a little space between slices. Sprinkle evenly with 6 tablespoons of the brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes.

  2. Remove baking sheet from oven, and carefully turn bacon slices. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 6 tablespoons brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Return to oven, and bake until crisp and just beginning to darken, 18 to 22 minutes. (Don’t be afraid to push the time. Even if the bacon slices burn a little bit on the tips, the sugary, fatty goodness will counteract any bitterness.)

  3. Transfer bacon slices to a sheet of parchment paper. Let stand until firm, 10 to 15 minutes.