Just when you thought the buttery crunch of Peanut Brittle couldn’t get better, it does. Just add bacon! 😉
Last week I received an email from Sur La Table with their latest class offerings. My attention was immediately caught, “Everything’s Better with Bacon”, how could one not agree!? Without a second thought, I signed up for the class. I was shocked to find there wasn’t a bigger turnout with a menu of Maple-Bacon Spiced Nuts, Seared Pork Tenderloin with Guinness-Bacon Jam, Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette and…. drum roll please… Bacon Peanut Brittle! Although shocked, I welcomed the smaller class size as it gave the class a more intimate, one-on-one feel and it meant more food for me! YAY!
I attended a friend of mines first “Pop-Up” event last night in Oakland where he served up the best BBQ I’ve ever had – 26 hour smoked brisket, pulled pork and lemongrass chicken. And lets not forget the Cambodian corn. Oh my!!! Amazing. Absolutely amazing. If you’re not familiar with what a “Pop-Up” is, it’s a new trend where chefs without a kitchen utilize an underused restaurant or bars kitchen and basically take it over and make it theirs for the evening. What a great way for aspiring chefs to get their name publicized and to give all of us foodies a chance to try their culinary masterpieces. The event was spectacular! The turnout was incredible with 264 plates served! As a little congratulatory treat on his big evening, I made Lux and the friends who accompanied me, some Bacon Peanut Brittle. I even busted out a zip-loc bag full at the bar to share with a few other friends in the crowd. Yeah, I brought snacks to the bar. I was buzzed, what did I care! 😉 If you ever have the opportunity to attend a BBQ@Lux event, I suggest you do so. With a quickness. You wont be disappointed!!
Bacon Peanut Brittle
(courtesy Sur La Table)
Yield: 6 servings
5 strips bacon, cut into thin strips
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 cup salted peanuts
3/4 tablespoon butter, unsalted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
In a large skillet, over moderate-high heat, cook the bacon until brown and crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain well and place bacon on an absorbent paper. NOTE: when making this at home, I baked the bacon. I didn’t have the time to supervise the bacon while it snapped, crackled and popped in the skillet and I didn’t want to smell like bacon. To bake, place bacon on a foil and parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Some place the bacon on a rack atop a foil and parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Although it may be a bit overboard, the foil helps with clean-up! 🙂 Place sheet pan of bacon in a cold oven, turn oven on to 400 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes, give or take to reach your desired doneness. Cool and drain bacon on paper towels, then chop.
Prepare a baking sheet with a silpat mat. NOTE: I used a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. I love the idea of silpats, but I don’t have any. Keep it easy on yourself and make do with what you have! I didn’t experience any “stick” issues with the parchment.
In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water, and cook over medium heat to a thread stage, 230 degrees. Add the peanuts and cook further to 301 degrees. This is known as hard-crack stage, and can be tested by placing a small amount of sugar mixture into a bowl of cold water. When the mixture becomes hard and brittle, the sugar mixture is ready.
Once the candy is at the hard-crack stage, remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, vanilla, baking soda, and bacon.
Pour the candy onto the prepared pan, and using two large forks, pull the peanut brittle out to a large rectangle, spreading the candy to about 1/4-inch thick. Once it’s cool, break the candy into pieces, and place in an airtight container at room temperature.