Yup. It’s exactly what it sounds like – bacon toffee. And it’s just as glorious and grotesque as you might expect.
And I mean that in the most loving way. This stuff is ah-ma-zing IF you love bacon enough to want it in toffee form. Which, as I discovered when attempting to pawn the leftovers off on my colleagues, not everybody is into. I am. And so are the friends I made it for as an anniversary present.
The key to the wonderful bacony goodness that is this toffee is that the toffee itself is made with bacon grease (and butter). Then you fold pieces of crisp bacon into it before spreading it in the pan. Such a two-pronged attack ensures wonderful bacon flavor that doesn’t get lost under the caramel/toffee and chocolate flavors. It also ensures that you feel a wee bit disgusted with yourself after eating much of it (hence why I was handing it out on campus – I needed to stop eating it).
The recipe comes from the ever-magical Ample Hills Creamery cookbook, which, at this point, is the one cookbook I would save from a burning building. Everything I’ve made from it is gold. If you need a gift for a friend who bakes, this is the cookbook to buy. It’s so good. They made this toffee to go in maple ice cream (which I’m sure is also amazing), but I haven’t tried it yet. The toffee alone will certainly be making another appearance around the holidays.
Bacon Toffee (from Ample Hills Creamery)
- 1 lb of good quality bacon
- 1/4 cup reserved bacon grease
- 14 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 6-8 ounces semisweet chocolate (either chips or chopped pieces)
Line a baking sheet with either a Silpat mat, or butter a baking sheet and then line it with parchment paper.
Cook the bacon until nice and crispy (in whatever manner you prefer). Let it cool and then break into pieces. You don’t want them to be bacon bit sized pieces, but more like dime-sized – enough to really come through when you bite into the toffee.
Reserve 1/4 cup bacon grease. Combine the grease with butter, sugar, brown sugar, salt, and water in a medium saucepan. Clip a candy thermometer to the pan and set it over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring until just combined. Then, stop stirring, and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 305°F (150°C). Be very careful – the toffee will bubble as it boils and will burn real bad if it gets on you.
As soon as it hits 305°F (150°C), remove it from the heat (oven mitts wouldn’t be a bad idea here), remove the thermometer, and add the vanilla. The cool vanilla might make the toffee spatter, so watch out. Add the baking soda and stir vigorously to combine. Then fold the bacon pieces into the toffee and pour/spread it evenly onto the baking sheet.
Before it cools, sprinkle the chocolate across the top. Wait a minute or two, then use a spatula to spread the now melted chocolate across the top of the toffee.
Let the toffee cool completely, then refrigerate for 1 hour, then chop/break into pieces.