Bacon & Brown Sugar: Sweet & Savory Holiday Appetizer Ideas
Thinking about what special treats you’re going to prepare for the holidays? We’d like to mention that it's the most wonderful time of the year...because it's time for extra bacon! The holidays give us all an opportunity to indulge in wonderfully rich snacks and sides, so we selected three easy and decadent treats for you to whip up. Best of all, these tasty bites are super simple and they all happen to involved two things: Bacon & Brown Sugar, which we think you’ll agree make mighty fine partners after you try these recipe ideas!
Sweet, salty, and crunchy, candied bacon is a perennial favorite that only requires two ingredients: bacon and brown sugar. Preheat the oven 375°F. Start with Nolechek's Hickory Smoked Honey Cured Bacon.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line baking sheets with foil and place an oven-safe wire rack on top of foil. Add bacon, sprinkle with brown sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes until brown sugar is melted and bacon is crispy and golden-brown.
Heat Lovers Version: We dare you to mix a little cayenne or crushed red pepper with the brown sugar for a little kick in your candied bacon!
Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
Speaking of snack traditions, it's not officially the holiday season until someone serves up some bacon-wrapped water chestnuts. Be sure to use Wisconsin's best bacon (that’s ours)! Slice your bacon strips into thirds. Wrap a strip around each water chestnut and secure with a toothpick. Place bacon in an ungreased baking pan and bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Then place the bundles on paper towels to dry. While the bacon is cooking, combine ketchup and brown sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Then, dip the chestnuts in the mixture; place in a lightly greased baking dish, glaze with remaining sauce and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
Figs Stuffed with Chevre & Wrapped with Bacon
For an even richer treat, try bacon-wrapped figs stuffed with chevre. Fry up some Nolechek's Hickory Smoked Honey Cured Bacon – but don't fry it too much! It shouldn't be crisp; you want the bacon slices to be bendable for the next step. Drain the bacon on a paper towel. Hollow out a fig and fill with creamy chevre cheese. Cut your bacon slices in half, rub one side of each with a bit of brown sugar, wrap one half-strip around each fig with the sugary side out, and secure the bacon with a toothpick. Broil until the bacon is brown and crisp. Serve warm.
Pro Tip: Soak the toothpicks the night before making any recipes that require them and the picks won’t burn as much during baking. Ta-da!
We hope you pick one of our suggestions and try it out at this year’s family gathering. Enjoy this magical season and all the food, family, and fun that comes along with it.
- Nolechek’s Meats