A favorite re-run…one of my first blog posts. Interesting to see how my style has changed since last October…..
Obviously, I do a lot of cooking. With the first signs of Fall hitting last week, that interest turns to baking and candy making, gearing up for all of the parties, feasts, gift giving. Snacks for Halloween parties, Fall Banquets, and treats for Santa Clause. You get the picture.
I don’t know about you, but in my house, Santa has become more finicky over the years. He has apparently developed a more sophisticated palette, and we must try harder to please him. The ubiquitous fudge and brownies don’t cut it with the big man, as he would prefer a t-bone, slab bacon, or a plate of nachos. And although he does enjoy a tall glass of cold milk, he is quite fond of an ice cold brew. Don’t ask me how I know as much about his tastes as I do my own husband’s, but I do.
So this year, I am thinking outside the candy box. What things does Santa, and other red blooded, red coated men types like to eat. And drink. Well, in the south, bacon makes everything better. And so does beer. In Texas in particular, jalapenos are pretty standard. What sort of snack to make with beer, bacon, and jalapenos?
Peanut Brittle of course.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. But don’t. I know it sounds weird. I know you think I’m off my rocker. A few sandwiches short of a pic-nic. Three french fries short of a happy meal. Maybe the cheese has slid off my cracker. I was skeptical myself, but I used to feel the same way about duck, until I had some that was prepared properly.
This recipe may change your life. It will definitely change the way you feel about candy with bacon in it.
Beer, Bacon, and Jalapeno Peanut Brittle
1 pound thick cut, black pepper crusted bacon (use high quality)
1 C Honey Brown Lager
1 3/4 C light corn syrup
2 fresh jalapenos, stem end removed
4 C granulated sugar
½ t salt
2 T reserved bacon drippings
2 T baking soda
2 t. vanilla
2 cups spicy Spanish style peanuts
Have all of your ingredients pre-measured and ready to use. Spray two cookie sheets or large sheets of aluminum foil with non stick spray, or have some Silpat mats ready.
Fry the bacon until crispy. Drain on paper towels, and crumble. Reserve 2 T of drippings.
Thoroughly puree the jalapenos.
In a heavy bottomed stockpot (or best, a copper candy kettle), of a least 4 quart capacity, bring the sugar, corn syrup, salt, jalapenos and beer to a boil over medium high heat. Cover and let boil for 2 minutes to wash down the sides of the pot. Remove lid and insert candy thermometer. Continue to boil, stirring frequently until mixture reaches 275 degrees. Add peanuts and stir well. Continue to boil until mixture reaches 300 degrees. Remove from heat, and stir in bacon and reserved drippings. Then stir in vanilla and baking soda. The mixture will foam up. Quickly pour the mixture out over the two prepared pans/sheets. If you want the brittle to be thin, then you must pull it from the edges, working around the entire mass, until it is the thickness that you want. This is not necessary, and I don’t do it…. YOU WILL NEED TO USE HEAVY RUBBER GLOVES for this, lest you burn your digits. Allow to cool completely. Break into pieces, and store in airtight container for a