Chili Rub Bacon Peanut Brittle Recipe Deserves a Place in the Book of Sins
There is a special place in hell for people like me. People who mix meat with their desert or specifically bacon in my their candy. I had favorited a pine nut and bacon brittle recipe. Approx cost to make = $12 for 3 cups. My fellow food loving co-worker pointed out that the redhead in the East Village of New York City serves bacon peanut brittle ($6 and change for 1 bag on site). I ventured to buy and try a bag. Its not so brittle-ish, but more like candied nuts with a salty smokey flavor. Where is the bacon? I couldn't find any bacon! I vowed never to make an eater ask that question. My recipe is a 4 to 1, peanuts to bacon with a heat from spice to remind you where you may be headed.
Depraved Chili Rubbed Bacon Peanut Brittle
1 Pasilla (aka ancho) chili or (you could also use a large mulatto)
2 Arbol chilies
1 New Mexico chili
(if you don't have access to these chilies substitute 2 tablespoons of store bought chili powder)
1/8 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp, scant, allspice
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
15-20 cranks from the pepper mill
1/2 lb bacon
1/4 cup demura sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
large pinch of salt
2 cups peanuts, lightly salted or unsalted
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 lb candied bacon, chopped
1/2 tsp reserved bacon grease
1 tsp of baking powder
To make the chili rub: Remove stems from peppers and tear into pieces. Place all of the ingredients in a coffee grinder and grind until medium powder forms.
For bacon: Lay bacon out on a flat surface and sprinkle with the chili rub. Flip and sprinkle the other side. You will probably have extra chili rub. Don't mess it up by using your fingers to sprinkle the powder while handling raw bacon. Use a utensil!
Heat a 10-12 inch skillet to medium and cook bacon in batches of 4 slices until the edges are brown, and still flexible. Place the bacon on paper towels. Drain the oil from the skillet between batches. After all of the bacon is cooked wipe down the skillet to remove all particles that would otherwise burn. Place all of the bacon back in the skillet over low heat. Sprinkle with the demura sugar. Be prepared to watch over the bacon. It won't look like anything is happening until, bang, that sugar melts. The immediate next steps are smoking and then burning. Flip the bacon occasionally to coat with the sugar. Small foamy bubbles will form just before it is hot enough to caramelize. The bacon will become very dark and shiny, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the skillet before it smokes. Cool on a cookie sheet until firm enough to chop, about 10 minutes. Its magically evil candy bacon.
Putting it together with Peanut Brittle: Grease a large rimmed cookie sheet with a generous amount of bacon grease. You could use butter, but I didn't want butter involved in this mess. In a large 2 qt stockpot with thick walls heat the corn syrup, sugar, and salt over medium high heat. You are going to stick by this pot too, stirring often. If you have a candy thermometer, heat the syrup to 290 degrees, the end of the soft crack stage. If you don't have a thermometer you can use the cold water testing method. Meaning this: when the syrup is placed in a glass of cold water it will form a threads that bend before cracking. It takes a while, so have a good record playing! Turn off the heat. Add the peanuts, cayenne pepper, candied bacon, reserved bacon grease, and baking powder. Mix quickly. The powder will make the brittle foam, neat. Spread on to the greased cookie sheet. Allow to cool for 30-45 minutes. Chop into pieces.
This is one heavy treat. It would be splendid paired with other sweets. On top of ice cream, or a wedge dressing up some chocolate mousse. How about flirting with the crumble on top of an apple pie? You must be responsible with this brittle. You must tell everyone it has bacon in it. Partly to brag, and partly as a dietary warning.