Those who surreptitiously drizzle a little extra maple syrup off to the side of their pancakes understand the maple-bacon love affair. This recipe is a dangerous combination of those sweet, salty and crunchy elements that render it completely addictive. It’s so easy to make that after trying it, you may never want plain-old bacon again. To vary the recipe, you can use honey in place of the maple syrup. You can also experiment with different kinds of peppers (such as white or Sichuan) or chile powders (such as cayenne or chipotle).
Maple-Glazed Bacon with Cracked Black Pepper
- 12 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon
- 2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1. Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C). Spread the bacon out in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.
2. Bake until the bacon is barely crisp and browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully drain off and discard the fat from the baking sheet.
3. Brush 1 Tbs. of the maple syrup over the bacon strips and sprinkle with half of the pepper. Return to the oven and bake until glazed and shiny, about 2 1/2 minutes. Remove from the oven and, using tongs, flip the bacon slices over. Brush the other sides with the remaining 1 Tbs. syrup and sprinkle with the remaining pepper. Bake again until glazed and shiny, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the bacon to a serving platter. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes (the bacon will firm up and become extra-crispy). Serve warm. Serves 6.
Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, by Rick Rodgers