Bacon Pecan Brittle



No, not for dinner – but you don’t really want to hear about how I ate chateaubriand all over again, do you? (That’s beef tenderloin with béarnaise sauce – like hollandaise, made with egg yolk and clarified butter. Oh yes. I’m a bit ashamed of myself for how much of it I ate. On everything. Turns out it’s pretty damn yummy on bread, too. And vegetables. And fingers. I gave my dessert to Mike, but downed a few chocolate truffles and fancy martinis.

It snowed all day today – thick, slow, quiet snow so ideal for the holidays that I fully expected to see a bunch of JPL elves on the roof outside my session dumping bagsful of fluff over the edge. (You know The Snowman by Raymond Briggs? Like that.) We snuck out for an hour in the afternoon and made snowmen and threw rocks through the thin ice at the edge of the lake. I don’t want to go home tomorrow. How could it have been seven days already?

But the food. My sessions this year have been on the subject of sweet gifts from the kitchen: my Grandma’s Peanut Brittle, sugar plums, chocolate bark, candied pecans and chocolate mint cookies made with After Eights. Setting up after lunch W came into my room and helped himself to bowls and ingredients and started doing his own impromptu chocolate dinosaur cake demo. It was pretty damn cute if I do say so myself. I mean, look at him! What makes it even more funny is that he’s never actually seen me do this.

The inspiration for the bacon brittle came at breakfast, when faced with chafing dishes overflowing with the stuff. I piled some on my plate and brought it to my session, chopped it and stirred it into peanut brittle along with the nuts. (Mixed salted nuts – delicious, but I think if I planned it I’d stick to pecans.) It was almost as big a hit as W.

Bacon Pecan Brittle

The recipe for my grandma’s peanut brittle is written by hand on an old recipe card I still have; it turns out to make a great basic recipe whether you want to make a nut brittle with peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds or mixed nuts. Or bacon.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup or honey
pinch salt
3/4 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups toasted pecans or other nuts
a few slices of bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled or chopped

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved do not stir, but swirl the pan occasionally until the mixture reaches 325°F on a candy thermometer.

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda – the mixture will foam up in the pan. Stir in the bacon and nuts. Immediately pour onto a rimmed baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray and spread out fairly thin with a spatula or the back of a spoon that has been sprayed as well.

Cool completely and break into chunks. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Serves about 10.

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November 12 2009 01:08 am | sweet stuff

23 Responses to “Bacon Pecan Brittle”

  1. Marisa on 12 Nov 2009 at 3:24 am #

    This looks outstanding! I think I’d easily scarf down the entire batch if I had to make it.

  2. Jen C on 12 Nov 2009 at 6:03 am #

    Your snow picture looks amazing!!! We’ve only had 1 dump this year and I’m ready for more snow! That, combined with your week, sounds amazing! I think I’m actually hating you again…. haaaa Enjoy and safe trip home!

  3. Kate on 12 Nov 2009 at 6:51 am #

    Holy cats! Bacon in brittle? It’s a good thing you all snuck out for a bit of snowy exertion, I’d be packing on the pounds with a Christmas in November followed by Christmas in December 😉
    Jen C is right. The summer lounge chairs being blanketed with “thick, slow, quiet snow” with those lovely, stately pines and the lake is a juxtaposition of the seasons. Wonderful photo!

  4. Jade @ No Longer 25 on 12 Nov 2009 at 7:27 am #

    This recipe looks really good, I may have to try it soon. No snow here yet unfortunatly – I love the snow and I’m hoping for some good snowfalls this year.

    This recipe reminds me of a recipe from Joy the Baker for peanutbutter and Bacon cookies which I will try soon.

  5. Lesli Christianson-Kellow on 12 Nov 2009 at 7:39 am #

    It’s good to think outside of the recipe box! I’ll have to try this!

  6. Linda on 12 Nov 2009 at 7:41 am #

    Julie – would it be possible for you to share the candied pecan recipe???

  7. Kimm on 12 Nov 2009 at 9:32 am #

    Julie! Bacon! It does make just about everything that much better. May have to steal this for neighbourhood gift-giving. You are an inspiration!

  8. Cheryl Arkison on 12 Nov 2009 at 10:38 am #

    Oh, I love that kid of yours!
    Sad for you that your time is over. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I will be trying that ASAP. After the caramel apples with bacon I know that will be good.

  9. Erica B. on 12 Nov 2009 at 11:25 am #

    lol Love W’s cooking demo – too cute! I have to make this brittle, probably for T’s stocking present. I saw a Chef At Home episode recently where he used a thermometer from the hardware store – the kind that you point and it reads the temp. I think I need to find one – looks very cool…that and the kids have broken my glass candy thermometer.

  10. Anonymous on 12 Nov 2009 at 5:34 pm #


  11. Cory Lievers on 12 Nov 2009 at 9:20 pm #

    OMG! This looks great. 😀

  12. Frenchie on 13 Nov 2009 at 6:58 pm #

    This is unbelievable, it sounds like a perfect decadent treat. Although this is the type of thing I want all the time, I think I may just make it for Christmas day or some other special occasion. It seems like the type of food that would warrant that type of respect.

  13. Connie on 13 Nov 2009 at 9:11 pm #

    Wow – the first paragraph sounds so much like myself. And the bacon nut brittle sounds so yummy! I think I’ll have to make that for family gifts for the upcoming holiday season! How soooo totally different – you rock!

  14. Amy (Sing For Your Supper) on 15 Nov 2009 at 1:36 pm #

    Oh wow. This looks to die for!! I’m having a family Christmas party this year and I’m thinking this brittle would make a lovely little snack!! Thank you for sharing your grandmother’s recipe!

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