Sunday, October 12, 2008

Makin' Bacon

Remember the old dog food commercial where the dog ran through the house chanting in a gruff voice "bacon! bacon! bacon!" I can't remember the product, but I think of the ad every time I make brown sugar bacon for my kids. They are bacon fiends and this is their favorite preparation. I know it's not health food, but for every few weeks, it's nice to see them truly excited about food.

This recipe is all over the internet, sometimes called Candied Bacon, or Sugared Bacon, and it's really very simple: just thick cut bacon, sprinkled with sugar and baked in the oven. I've tried many brands of bacon, but I've always had success with Oscar Mayer Hearty Thick Cut Bacon.

Brown Sugar Bacon

1. Prepare the pan: take a sheet pan and cover it with foil. Do not skip this step -- the grease and sugar from this dish are a bear to clean from a naked pan. If you have a cooling rack that can go in the oven, put this over the foil. It will help keep the bacon from frying in the grease, again helping with the cleanup.

2. Preheat oven to 350. Lay out 1/2 the package of bacon strips on the cooling rack grid. This is enough for my family, but if you have two pans and cooling racks, and a large enough oven you can cook the entire pound at once.

3. Sprinkle brown sugar (dark brown is better, but light brown will work) lightly over each slice, perhaps a 1/2 teaspoon on each slice. If you want to kick it up, you can put a sprinkle of cayenne pepper over the sugar.

4. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. I use convection, so your time may vary.

5. Drain bacon on paper towels, being careful not to let the sugar side touch the towels or you'll have paper-coated bacon slices.

6. Don't worry about calling the kids to the table. The smell of bacon will waft through the air and draw them to you.

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