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This bourbon bacon brittle is made with candied bacon, toasted pecans and bourbon. It’s the crunchiest, most delicious brittle you will ever have.

This bourbon bacon brittle is made with candied bacon, toasted pecans and bourbon. It's the crunchiest, most delicious brittle you will ever have.I love love love candied bacon. By itself, in cookies, wrapped around dates, you name it. And then I took it one step further and added bourbon.

It seemed like a good idea (adding bourbon to anything is probably a good idea). So basically, my life is complete.

But, wait! That’s not all. Ya know what I topped it with? Sea salt. Because you can’t have a sweet and savory brittle without a little salt on top (in my world, you can’t have anything without a little salt on top).

This bourbon bacon brittle is made with candied bacon, toasted pecans and bourbon. It's the crunchiest, most delicious brittle you will ever have.Everyone that knows my father knows that his drink of choice is bourbon. Makers Mark to be exact. On the rocks. Once when Chelsea came over, she thought that his glass of bourbon sitting on the counter was coke and chugged it.

I cried laughing it was so funny. From that day forward, there was not one glass that I didn’t sniff before I took a swig. Even water. Could be anything…vodka, tequila, gin.

Even if it’s 10 a.m. I don’t risk it.

This bourbon bacon brittle is made with candied bacon, toasted pecans and bourbon. It's the crunchiest, most delicious brittle you will ever have.

You may be thinking this candied bacon sounds complicated, but I promise, it’s not! Just throw some bourbon and brown sugar on them, pop them in the oven and wha-la!

The slightly tricky part of this recipe is the actual brittle. The timing of when you pull it off the heat and the amount of time you have to get it spread out makes it challenging. But that’s what makes it fun!

And like 100 times more rewarding when it works.

This bourbon bacon brittle is made with candied bacon, toasted pecans and bourbon. It's the crunchiest, most delicious brittle you will ever have.This recipe is made for sharing. Wrap it up during the holidays and give it as a gift, set it out at parties, share with your friends.

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3.74 from 564 votes

Bourbon Bacon Brittle

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Sweet, salty and crunchy, this Bourbon Bacon Brittle is a delicious snack or amazing added to recipes like ice cream and popcorn.

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Servings: 24 pieces

Ingredients

Candied Bacon

  • 8-12 strips thick cut bacon (Note 1)
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar

Brittle

  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil or a sipat mat.
  • Lay bacon strips on the prepared baking pan. Brush bacon with bourbon and sprinkle with brown sugar on both sides.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until it starts to caramelize and becomes crispy. It will be closer to 15 minutes if your bacon is thinner and closer to 20 minutes if it's thick cut. Cook time will vary depending on how you like your bacon.
  • Allow it to cool slightly and chop the bacon with a knife into small bite size pieces.
  • Spread the pecans on the same baking sheet and lightly toast them in the oven at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes.
  • Clean the same baking sheet or get a new one and line it with a silpat mat or parchment paper.
  • Make sure you have all the rest of your ingredients measured and ready to pour in the brittle when it gets to the candy stage. You can mix the bourbon, bacon and pecans together to make it easier.
  • In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to boil.
  • Continue cooking without stirring, until it reaches 290°F using a candy thermometer. I recommend using one, but if you don't have one, boil until it turns a golden amber color. Once it reaches this temp add the bourbon, bacon and pecans. With heat still on medium, continue to heat and mix, until the mixture reaches 300°F.
  • Immediately remove it from the heat and stir in butter, vanilla, and baking soda until the butter melts and the mixture is combined.
  • Pour mixture onto the prepared baking sheet as quickly and thinly as possible. Use a wooden spoon to spread it into a thin layer.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt right away and cool for at least 20 minutes. Once it set, break into pieces and enjoy!
  • Can be stored in an air tight container for up to a week.
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Notes

Note 1. Bacon. The original recipe called for 12 strips of bacon, but after comments and retesting, you could use less bacon if there's too much or save it for another recipe like pecan shortbread cookies. If you use thick cut bacon it will take longer to cook and become crispy. 

Note: This recipe was tested again and updated so the mixture reaches 310°F.

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Recipe Rating




63 Comments

  1. Dad the mad cook says:

    Am going to be taking a Crack at this recipe over the weekend but am thinking of replacing the light corn syrup with maple syrup. Would anyone have any thoughts on this? and how it may alter the recipe and how it should be adjusted to compensate?

  2. Leah Lowe says:

    4 stars
    I just made this one. I noticed it started to get dark before it hit 310, sp I pulled it from the heat and continued with the recipe. Since the candy remained hot, some of my bacon burned. It cracked just fine after 25 minutes of rest on the silpat mat. A couple pieces in the middle are a little chewy, but that’s on me for not getting it quite thin enough. Overall pretty darn tasty.

  3. Stephanie says:

    2 stars
    The flavor is there but it isn’t brittle. I have made lots of brittle over the years but this is chewy. Doesn’t break up like brittle. I don’t know what happened but this is a disappointment 🙁 It’s going in the trash…

  4. D. Segovia says:

    1 star
    The way this recipe is written caused me to toss nearly $30 in ingredients and my favorite saucepan into the trash! I have since consulted with accomplished brittle makers and every single one of them say the bourbon should NEVER be added at such a high temperature – 290 degrees! It turned everything black and burnt the entire disaster – all six smoke alarms went off in my house. Note: I had removed the pan from the heat before adding the pecans, bacon and bourbon as I was already worried. This recipe should be removed and rewritten correctly before others lose costly groceries. More than half of us here have cited the same results, so it’s clearly the recipe that’s at fault.

  5. Janice C. Gilmore says:

    This stuff is awesome. Its a sweet and savory brittle, excellent.

  6. Mickie says:

    5 stars
    Just made this! We love it and cannot wait for everyone to try it at Christmas. I seen where people were worried about temp when adding the bacon mix. What I did is wait for it to hit 300 then added it mixed it well. I know that when adding the bacon mix it is gonna drop the temp and if you wait to get to 300 again it will burn. I keep it cooking until I am happy with the colour (while stirring occasionally) then cut the heat added the vanilla and butter until melted then the baking soda last then pouring it on to the tray. After I pour it I never spread brittle with anything. Instead I will slowly and carefully tip the pan to let it spread without knocking out the air.

    My only question is does this need to be refrigerated?

  7. A Bean says:

    No stars. Mine burnt at 280 and I was supposed to go up to 310? Don’t think so. I read most of the reviews and so only spread my cooked bacon and nuts on sheet and poured over them. But, it was too late, the toffee was burnt and also did not harden to crunchy. I really think if you are considering this recipe, don’t. I wish I would have listened.

  8. L.a. says:

    1 star
    Tried to make twice. First time I did not have a candy thermometer so did by looks. Awful. Tasted like burnt bacon. My second attempt was with a candy thermometer. Looks nothing like your picture. Came out black. Very disappointed.

  9. Gail says:

    My first attempt was a fail…. more like taffy on the verge of being burnt.
    Not sure I am willing to make another attempt. I also read many of the different comments and suggestions, which I tried. I really am not sure what went wrong.

  10. Connie says:

    4 stars
    I cooked the bacon according to directions. I cooked longer than directions stated, & still had to microwave to obtain crunch. Also, the pecans burned after 4 min. so I didn’t roast my pecans. Next time I will change those 2 steps. Turned out ok in the end.

  11. Lisa says:

    2 stars
    It burns at 310. I wouldnt go higher than 290. What a mess!

  12. Diane says:

    Fail. It was impossible to get to 310 degrees after adding pecans and bacon without burning! I would not make again. Way too much work for a impossible recipe!

  13. Roxann says:

    1 star
    Turned out aweful. It was a harder gooey mess. It stuck so bad to my teeth I thought it was going to pull them out when I got it unstuck. Horrible recipe and would not recommend it again. I used a candy termometer and teps were exact and still no luck

  14. Bobbi says:

    Voila! The word does not start with a W.

  15. Christina G. says:

    1 star
    Everything burned before getting to soft crack stage. What a waste.

  16. Patti says:

    5 stars
    I haven’t made this recipe yet. I make a cinnamon cashew brittle and always lay the cashews on the pan and then pour the brittle over them. I will do the same with this recipe and then stretch it out using heat proof gloves and my hands. It sounds delicious!!

  17. Dawn says:

    What kind of bourbon is used for brittle

  18. Mary Burton says:

    I made this and when I put the bacon, pecans and bourbon in the candy mixture my bacon burned. It didn’t turn out well. It was really dark and tasted a bit burnt I don’t think I will make it again.

  19. Monica says:

    4 stars
    I made this and it came out perfect. I used a heavy porcelain coated cast iron pot, a good candy thermometer. I didn’t add the bacon and pecan pieces until the temp reached 300*F. As soon as it reached 310*F I turned the heat down to med to keep it warm while I mixed in the bourbon, vanilla and butter. I turned the heat off then quickly stirred in the baking soda and spread it onto my prepared pan. I do agree that it is too much bacon and will cut back in the future.

  20. Liz says:

    No stars! Horrible recipe! Like others, I follows the recipe to a T! First of all, pecans burn not toast at 400 degrees! And yes I pulled my pot from the heat seconds after adding the bacon and pecans because they started to burn! You should be ashamed, Molly! Thanks for wasting my expensive ingredients!

    1. Darcy Nunn says:

      5 stars
      Did you have your burner on medium heat? Did you keep stirring? Mine turned out exactly right. The bacon looks burned, but it’s not. I also used a non-stick pan. Not sure if that’s the key. Great recipe!

  21. Jeanne says:

    1 star
    Temp dropped when bacon/pecans were added. Then it all burned way before reaching 280 again let alone 310, def not good die too s wanted all these ingredients

  22. Lowell says:

    1 star
    All I can say is following the directions was a total disaster. I had to pull it from the pan before it came close to 310. I now have a burnt mass of bacon and pecans.
    I feel this recipe should be pulled off the internet so others don’t waste their ingredients and time.

  23. Kathy says:

    I love this candy and my family does too!!

  24. Joe C. says:

    Made it. Came out perfect. Thanks for the quick recipe!

    1. Joe C. says:

      5 stars
      I meant to 5 star it the first time, but hey, thanks again!

  25. JoAnne says:

    What size baking sheet do you recommend?

    1. Dawn says:

      I have the same question. The size of the baking sheet is important for the thickness of the brittle.

    2. Julie S. says:

      4 stars
      We followed the recipe…and also listened to the reviews. We agree on adding half the bacon, it made more sense. The bacon took longer than 15 minutes in our oven, the nuts burned…so we had to remake. I would cut the roasting time in half when we make again.
      We have a gas stove and candy thermometer. We stopped cooking mixture at 300. It turned out more like toffee but didn’t burn. Will try 310 degrees next time, perhaps that will make it brittle. To be continued….

      But the brittle toffee was delish! So… we consider this a success!

  26. Gail says:

    Also a dash of cayenne is delightful

  27. Baconfesso says:

    Hi Molly, I’m trying to reproduce your bacon brittle recipe, but I’m having a problem with the bacon point, for the sauce to reach 310º the bacon burns, do you have any tips for the bacon not to be overcooked?

  28. John says:

    While I haven’t made this version I have made TONS of brittle and my own version of bacon brittle. Here are some suggestions:
    1. Cut out at least 1/3 of the bacon. Too much bacon makes the brittle chewy and it won’t set quite right.
    2. You can toast your pecans before using them but remember that the sooner you put them in the brittle, the more “done” they will get. You MUST stir after adding or the nuts will burn.
    3. I put the nuts, vanilla, bourbon in when the temp of my sugar mixture gets to 255 F. The mixture will them cool down about 10 degrees. Keep stirring until the sugar mixture reaches 285 F and remove it from the heat source.
    4. After removing from the heat, mix in “extras” and baking soda. Mix WELL. I usually use 2 tsp for a recipe of this size.
    5. Pour quickly and smooth with silicone spatula. You can quickly add other “extras” here, sprinkling over the top. Just determine which can handle the heat and which ones can’t.
    Hope these notes help. Good luck!

    1. Baconfesso says:

      Thanks!

    2. nancy says:

      Made this today using edits found in comments: 6 pieces thick bacon. Used thermometer to get to 255, then added liquids (butter, bourbon, vanilla AND a dash of cayenne). Got it up to 285 and removed…added chopped bacon and pecans and 2 Teaspoons of baking soda! immediately poured onto parchment lined small (prob 1/4 sheet) pan. Hardened perfectly.

      1. Caron says:

        Thank you! I’m getting ready to make this today and was double checking my ingredients and started to get scared off reading the comments. I’m going to do what you said and pray a lot as I’ve been really excited to make this for several of the hard-to-find-gifts-for men on my list!

    3. Erica says:

      5 stars
      Thank you! 1st time making brittle and many of these reviews had me scared to try until yours. Did what you said and its perfect!

  29. Jill says:

    Is there a way to increase the bourbon taste? We love the bacon flavor but we were missing out on the promised bourbon flavor. I even added a couple of additional tsp when I added the butter.

  30. Zach says:

    1 star
    As many have said, this is a quick way to waste your ingredients. I’ve now got sticky toffee with burnt pecans by following this recipe. It sounds nice, and it appears to have worked for a few people, but not me, and many others…

    1. Michele says:

      3 stars
      This is my first time making this. Didn’t pay attention to the temperature just the color, a golden amber. The flavor turned out so good!!! But so sticky I’m afraid it will pull a tooth out.

  31. Jenifer says:

    Is there a good substitute for nuts?

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      You could do some sort of seed, like pumpkin!

  32. Jessica says:

    Can you refrigerate for a longer shelf life?

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Hey Jessica! I don’t recommend storing it in the fridge. The moisture from the fridge will cause the brittle to soften. If you wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in an air tight container it should last at room temp for up to 2 months!

  33. Amy says:

    Mine did not set up. Ooey gooey mess!

  34. Kaye says:

    I hope I don’t offend as I haven’t made this recipe yet but I have made a TON of various types of brittles in my life. In all I’ve ever made, once the mixture comes to temperature, you take it off the heat, quickly mix in the remaining ingredients, and pour it on your cooling pan. Also, 1 tsp isn’t nearly enough baking soda for a good “foamy” brittle.

    All that said, the recipe sounds DELICIOUS and I plan to make it in the near future, using the method I’ve always used for brittles.

  35. Melissa StPierre says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! I made so many batches for family & friends for Christmas and they loved it! I did use only 6 slices of candied bacon for each batch, which I thought was a good amount. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Thanks, Melissa!!! So glad you liked it!

  36. Frankie says:

    2 stars
    If I were to make this recipe again I would:
    not even think of cooking the brittle above medium low ( on my range 4 out of 10); add the bacon, pecans, flavoring and baking soda when the brittle reached 300 (hard crack); and up the baking soda to one tablespoon – I prefer honeycomb type brittle – this one was too hard for my preference. Cooking the bacon in the brittle reduced it to unappealing black bits, even at the lower the directed temperature.

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      Thanks for your feedback! That’s the great thing about cooking, you can get creative and if you know how to do it you can swap things out for your taste! I personally love this the way it is!

    2. Gail says:

      I ageee with Frankie, I make 20 lbs toffee every year for xmas(most requested). You need to havee everything ready to go & pull at 290. 1t baking soda is more than enough if made correctly. I’ll be making it!

  37. Christie says:

    1 star
    Same thing happened to me. Burnt immediately. What a waste. DO NOT MAKE THIS RECIPE

    1. Susan Finnell says:

      I wouldn’t say not to make it. I think it has a good flavor. Just needs to tweak a little. I always think it takes a few tries to perfect a recipe.

  38. Tracy Gossett says:

    Mine burnt also after putting in the bacon and pecans. Not sure how to avoid that. A lot of money and work in the trash

  39. Jacque says:

    1 star
    Mine was a disaster! After adding the bacon, bourbon and pecans, the sugar started to burn before the temperature hit 300, much less 310. Temperatures were just too high. Wouldn’t spread at all. What a waste of good bacon.

    1. Valerie says:

      1 star
      Exactly the same for me. Keeping it at high heat is an error, I believe. Plus, I think once you add the bacon and nuts you need to be stirring. The recipe doesn’t say to. Mine went dark immediately and isn’t gift-worthy.

  40. Susan Finnell says:

    3 stars
    A little too much bacon in my opinion and I am a huge bacon fan. I even used part thick and part regular sliced bacon and only 10 slices. I think because of the amount of bacon its made this a bit on the chewy side because of the bacon to candy ratio. I would recommend regular sliced bacon and no more than 6 slices.

    I will try this again without so much bacon

    1. Bill says:

      5 stars
      Me too

      1. CINDY says:

        2 stars
        Recipe fail on my end. The flavor was great. I did reduce the amount of bacon I added because it appeared to be too much based on the ratio of pecans. The flavor is great, however mine did not cool as a brittle, it is a rubber mat. It is very chewy like caramel. What did I do wrong?

        1. Sean says:

          The sugar may not have reached the 290 mark or the humidity in your kitchen may have been too highly. I make caramels and brittles often and these seem to be my culprits.

    2. Molly Thompson says:

      Thanks, Susan!

  41. Michele Munger says:

    3 stars
    I have not made this yet, I would like to be able to see your comments from readers that have made this.

    1. Molly Thompson says:

      It’s really good! I can’t figure out how to get all of the comments to show, but I promise it’s worth it!

    2. Margaret says:

      1 star
      In step 9 you say “You can mix the vanilla and bourbon and the bacon and pecans together to make it easier.” But in step 12 you say “Quickly stir in butter, vanilla, and baking soda.” So maybe fix that so people know when to actually add the vanilla. I think my bacon must’ve been too thick (I bought store brand “thick bacon” so I assumed it would work) because it took way longer than 13-15 minutes to caramelize and the ends started turning black and never actually got crispy. I also only Chopped up 6 pieces of bacon because it seemed excessive when I looked at the pecan:bacon ratio.
      When I finally got to 290° and added my other ingredients, it definitely burned quickly, especially the bacon pieces. I do not know if this will be edible, I’m still waiting for it to cool, but it’s not looking promising. Sorry, I won’t be using this recipe again or any others if they are this confusing and inaccurate.