When sweet and spicy bacon is missing from your life, happiness is missing from your life. And if all it takes is brown sugar, spice, and an oven to make you fulfilled, don’t you think you owe it to yourself to make that happen?
Sweet and spicy bacon. Yes, it’s a thing. And it’s crispy, crunchy, salty, spicy, sweet, smoky, and spectacular. It’s essentially sweet and spicy bacon made from store-bought bacon slathered with brown sugar and cayenne to impart a sweet heat. The resulting candied bacon is a must in front of the football game with a cold beer but equally astounding when crumbled atop ice cream. It’s often called man candy or millionaire’s bacon. Deemed “highly addictive” by our recipe testers, it’s all but impossible to stop at just a single piece. Millionaire or not, consider yourself warned.–Angela Zoobkoff
Sweet and Spicy Bacon
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 45 M
- Serves 4 to 6
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) lightly salted butter, cut into small chunks, plus more for the baking rack
- 1 cup (213 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound (454 grams) thick-cut bacon
- 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on the baking sheet. Slick the wire rack with butter.
- 2. In a small bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, and cayenne, using a fork to mash it all together until thoroughly blended and smooth.
- 3. Arrange the bacon slices on top of the wire rack in a single layer so the slices don’t overlap. Divide the butter sugar mixture evenly among the slices of bacon. Spread the mixture evenly over the slices, trying to evenly cover as much of the bacon as possible. Bake on the center rack of the oven until the bacon is crisp around the edges and the sugar mixture is caramelized and bubbly, 20 to 40 minutes. You want to remove it from the oven a little before it’s as crunchy as you like since the bacon will crisp as it cools.
- 4. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the bacon cool slightly and then transfer the strips to a plate. Resist the temptation to snich some and set aside until completely cool, about 20 minutes. Let guests help themselves but don’t forget to set some aside to crumble over salads and ice cream or to slip into sandwiches or alongside pancakes. The sweet and spicy bacon is best demolished the day it’s made.