Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wine Spectator Loves My Candied Bacon Lollipops for New Years Eve! Perfect with Sparkling Wine!

Sparkling Wine and Candied Bacon for New Year's Eve

Ring in 2012 with salty-sweet snacks on a stick and 15 recommended sparklers
Laurie Woolever
Posted: December 23, 2011
Another year is coming to a close, and soon we'll celebrate the arrival of 2012 with friends, family, sparkling wine and tasty party foods. For those hosting a party large or small, a buffet of flavor-packed, bite-size morsels will keep your guests satisfied while cutting down on your time in the kitchen. When we asked her for a crowd-pleasing New Year's Eve appetizer, Tamara Reynolds, caterer, co-author of Forking Fantastic: Put the Party Back in Dinner Party (Gotham 2009) and a regular on the Cooking Channel's Unique Eats, shared her recipe for Candied Bacon Lollipops.
"This will be the easiest, most worshipped canapé you'll ever make," said Reynolds. "People flip their lids for bacon in general, but when you candy it with brown sugar and then pop it on a skewer, watch out. And, the viscosity and salty-sweet balance of the bacon makes it a perfect match for a fuller-bodied sparkler, or one with spicy, citrus or tropical fruit notes." To that end, we've put together a list of 15 recently rated sparkling wines, below. Cheers to a happy and healthy 2012!
Photograph by Meg Cotner
Expect these tasty and aromatic bacon lollipops to disappear quickly from your New Year's Eve buffet.


Candied Bacon Lollipops

• 2 1/2 pounds slab bacon
• 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
• Silicone baking mat (optional but recommended)
• 20 to 25 wooden skewers
• Large decorative glass jar or other container for serving1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Using a very sharp knife, remove and discard any skin on the bacon, taking care not to remove fat or meat.
3. Cut the bacon into 1-inch cubes, bearing in mind that pieces should be large enough to skewer, but small enough to be consumed in a single bite.
4. Combine the bacon and sugar in a large bowl and toss gently to coat the surface of the bacon with the sugar (there will be excess sugar).
5. If using a silicone baking mat, place it on a baking sheet, then distribute the bacon pieces and excess sugar evenly on the mat. Otherwise, distribute the bacon pieces directly on the baking sheet. The brown sugar will melt in with the bacon fat that breaks down.
6. Place the baking sheet in the oven and check after 10 minutes. The bacon should be cooking, and the sugar melted and caramelizing with the bacon fat. If it looks too spread out, or like it is burning at the edges, use a spatula to move the bacon pieces and excess sugar to the middle of the pan. Cook until done, about 3 to 6 minutes more.
7. Remove from the oven and let cool five minutes before serving. This is very important: Hot sugar will burn your guests' mouths. Thread the bacon pieces onto the skewers, arrange in the jar, and serve. Serves 10 to 15 as a canapé.