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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Salted.Bacon.Caramels.

This is inspired by Burning Pasta.  I've seen several recipes for caramels and wanted mine to be somewhere in between uber chewy and hard candies.  I did a little research and developed my own formula.  Every cook in the South knows that all good things begin with a can of sweetened condensed milk.  So it is with these caramels. 

First, cook eight to ten slices of bacon hotel style on a rack over a baking sheet in a 410 degree oven, turning once until crispy.  You need the bacon well done for this.  You want the bacon to be on the thinner side, not thick cut and you want it without extra pepper or maple.  This is a time when you want the straightforward bacon flavor.  I used Farmland and it was just right.  The bacon will take around twenty minutes and you need to have it ready when the candy is ready to receive it so make it completely first.  When it's done, drain on paper toweling and crumble into bits.  Anywhere between 7-10 slices is just right.  (I cooked nine and ate two...what can I say).


In a large, deep, heavy non-reactive saucepan, heat the following over medium heat stirring often until the mixture reaches 245 degrees on the candy thermometer you have clamped to the inside of your pot (which cannot touch the bottom).

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. light Karo syrup
4 T. butter
1/4 c. heavy cream


As the candy heats up, you need to be stirring it almost constantly.  When it has reached temp, remove it from heat and stir it for a minute until it stops bubbling.  Stir in 1-2 t. vanilla and the crumbled bacon.  Pour it into a WELL BUTTERED 8 x 8 glass dish.


After five minutes, sprinkle the surface liberally with the coarse sea salt of your choosing.  I had this Hawaiian stuff on hand, so that's what I used.


It takes a few hours to cool.  When it has cooled completely, cut it into 64 squares and wrap in waxed paper.  I started cutting and decided they needed to be bigger, so I shifted to a 48 pieces plan..then back to the 64 piece plan.  Do not do this.  They are rich and this recipe makes 64.  They will probably keep about a week unrefrigerated.  The most time consuming part is cutting up the waxed paper.  If you put all the wrapped candy in a gallon ziploc bag, every time you open the bag, the aroma hits you like a religious experience.  Unless, of course, you are vegetarian.  Then, I just don't know what to say to you.


Yeah, baby.  Get yer bacon on.

Notes: if you are in quilt club, yes I will be bringing a batch to the party and again to the retreat.

24 comments:

  1. Dude! Dude! DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE!!!!

    I heart you and yer bacon, but you already knew that, didn't you? Fortunately for me and my family and friends, my Christmas baking frenzy hasn't begun yet, so I can add these to the list. Or, I can make them and keep them all for myself.

    You've just given me ANOTHER reason to be feverishly counting the days until QC retreat!!!

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  2. How am I supposed to get any work done today with thoughts of baaaaaaacon and caramel swimming through my brain? Think anyone would notice if I dashed home at noon to make a batch?

    By the way, baking 9 slices and eating 7 shows amazing restraint. I would have to bake 14 slices in order to have 7 for the recipe (because I'm all about symmetry, you know). :)

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  3. Hey -- thanks for the shout-out!

    I love the idea of sweetened condensed milk in these; I imagine having that dulce de leche flavor in there really hits the spot.

    Great stuff. I'll be sure to try your adaptation soon.

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  4. Sweet Mother of Everything Edible!!!!!!!! Bacon AND caramel?!?!?! Together? Seriously... I love you, I mean, I really, really love you!

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  5. Found your blog through Nancy Leson's All You Can Eat. Wow! Happiness is salted bacon caramel. I am going to try making this. Thanks!

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  6. Bacon! Yum. Love the giveaway.
    jaszyperski@hotmail.com

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  7. I'm totally going to make this! Thanks for the awesome recipe. :)

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  8. I was just perusing my cookbooks trying to decide whether to make real fudge or cheater marshmallow fluff fudge tomorrow, then I remembered your bacon salted caramels. Who needs fudge? Wait, I do. I think I'd better make both.

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  9. was referenced to recipe from a friend in facebook. Wow...I gotta try these! Alas my vegan boyfriend won't have any. Durn!

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  10. Oh man. I need to make this. These will be my christmas presents. I just hope enough of them make them to christmas to actually become presents! Thanks for the recipe!

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  11. These sound fantastic! One question -- does it hurt the dairy to be heated up so hot? Often when I see caramel recipes like this they caramelize the sugar first and then add the cream as a last stage, stirring just long enough to make sure the lumps of caramelized sugar are all dissolved into the cream. They really do sound awesome, though!

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  12. These look amazing! Do you think they'd keep well and a little longer than a week if stored in the fridge?

    Thanks!

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  13. I have another question for ya...have you ever tried to freeze 'em? These sound dangerously awesome... I wonder how many Weight Watchers points? LOL

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  14. Hi, found your blog through Seattletimes.com! I am going to make these carmels tomorrow! YEAH!

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  15. Lordy, lordy, I find I have most of the ingredients already for the bacon caramels including pre-cut waxed tissue and Hawaiian rock salt, would you believe? Oops, guess I used the heavy cream for coffee when I ran out of half n half. Guess a trip to Trader Joe's is in order.

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  16. Wow - that's all I can say - wow! I'm struck speechless by bacon and salt and caramel - yum!

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  17. Found you through Sycomore Stirrings in the nick of time!!! I can't wait to explore your blog some more, but for now I'm all about the Salted Bacon Caramel! YUM!!!!

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  18. I made a batch of the caramels with Costco bacon bits. They were okay but the bacon was a bit more chewy than crisp. I took them to a bake sale at work to raise mone for the Kommen Walk and when I came back an hour later, they were all gone. Apparently, they weren't too chewy. Now I need to make some more. Think I'll fry the bacon some to see if I can't make it crisper.

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  19. Perfect present for my boyfriend on our one year anniversary!

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