When Karly and I were choosing the ingredients we wanted to work with for the Cook-Off, bacon was on both of our lists. I understand people who don't want to eat a lot of pork, but they can't mean bacon, right? There's just nothing like the smell of coffee and bacon in the morning, and there are countless ways to incorporate it into a meal! Even dessert!
    We know that chefs, professional and novice alike, have ventured out to make a dessert with bacon. For myself, I thought of two treats and just couldn't bring myself to narrow it down. I made a brittle and a bark! These are super easy and quick to make. Only about 30 minutes for the brittle, and 15 for the bark. 
   This recipe for Cashew Bacon Brittle is actually something I thought up on my own. But when I did a Google search for a possible recipe, quite a few popped up, so I obviously was not the only one to imagine such a sweet and salty treat. Try it! You'll like it!

NOTE: I guess I didn't follow the directions to heat the sugar high enough or long enough, because the color was light, and it kind of foamed up, but that didn't affect the flavor and the overall impression of this delectable snack! I will definitely make this again!

---Jenny


CASHEW BACON BRITTLE (from www.Chow.com)

2/3 cup raw cashews (about 4 ounces)
8 ounces bacon
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. While the oven is heating, place cashews on a baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until deep brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly on a cutting board, then coarsely chop; set aside.
  2. When the oven is ready, place bacon on a baking sheet and roast until deep brown and well done, about 15 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate to cool; reserve 1 tablespoon of the rendered bacon fat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat the paper with a thin layer of the reserved fat, and place the baking sheet on a cooling rack. Crumble bacon into bite-sized pieces; set aside.
  3. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat and stir until sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally (do not stir), until mixture is deep amber and registers 350°F on a candy thermometer, about 10 to 15 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from heat.
  4. Carefully add cashews, bacon, and salt to the caramel and stir to combine. Immediately pour mixture onto the center of the prepared baking sheet. Let sit at room temperature until hardened, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely, then break into shards.

 


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