My family is a family of bacon lovers.
I kept seeing recipes for bacon brittle and candied bacon and other bacon-themed goodies and I really wanted to try them. My husband and I both lost lots of weight and he has put bacon on the “do not buy” list. I try to eat sensibly, but I love bacon and I’m willing to skip other things so that I may have bacon. – Lately, I haven’t been skipping enough things, but that is another story.
While looking at lovely things on the internet, I saw a recipe for bacon roses. As we were nearing Valentines Day I decided that I now had my excuse to make some bacon-y goodness.
First I decided that if one could make candied bacon and bacon roses why not combine the 2? And I did.
Here’s where I got my inspiration for the Bacon Roses.
Candied Bacon Roses
- brown sugar
- baby leaf lettuce
- mini muffin pan
- toothpicks, lots and lots of toothpicks
- Wax paper
- empty metal can (for bacon fat)
- Dry your bacon on a paper towel. I used slightly more than 2 – 1 pound backs of bacon for my roses.
- Coat the individual strips with brown sugar. I took a big Rubbermaid container and threw a bunch of brown sugar in the bottom. I didn’t measure. – Helpful hint, the coating shouldn’t be overly thick as much of it will kind of “melt” off during the cooking. Also, my bacon was rather fatty. I couldn’t find any leaner bacon than this. Leaner bacon would have made nicer roses.
- Use the fatty edge as the top of the rose. Roll up the strip, roll each “layer” slightly lower on the outside of the rose so that the center is the highest part. Remember however, not to allow the rose to get too tall as it becomes hard to balance it upright during cooking. A tall thin rose will not stand up nicely.
- Insert toothpicks near the bottom of the rose to a) hold the rose together and b) create a stand for the rose so it doesn’t sit in the bottom of the muffin tin. As I made so many roses, I used two muffin pans. The mini muffin pan was great because I could use only 2 toothpicks and nicely balance the roses. For the second muffin pan, a regular size pan, I needed 3 and made a sort of tripod to balance the roses. It was a little awkward and toothpick placement was very important.
- Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove roses to a paper towel or cooling rack and, working quickly, pour the hot bacon fat/brown sugar mixture to an empty coffee can or other suitable metal waste container. If you let this get hard, it is very difficult to remove. And you certainly don’t want to pour this down your kitchen drain as it WILL clog.
- Lie a large piece of wax paper on a flat surface.
- Take a washed piece of baby leaf lettuce and impale it upon a skewer so that the point of the skewer is on the “inside” of the lettuce (the lettuce leaf curves toward the tip of the skewer).
- Add the rose to the top of the skewer and lay the rose on the wax paper at the top of a corner.
- Repeat step 8 and continue placing completed roses to make a bouquet – I only added lettuce to a third of the skewers.
- Neatly wrap the wax paper around the roses and tie with the ribbon.
After talking about my roses to a friend, I am convinced that had I poured the bacon fat/brown sugar into a prepared cookie sheet that it would have made a delicious and heart-stoppingly deadly brittle. I guarantee I could have sold that.
Next, I made a batch of Bacon Almond Brittle. You can follow the recipe here. Mine didn’t turn out the best because I cut all the fat off of the bacon first. As my bacon was very fatty, this left me with relatively little bacon in the brittle. It is still very tasty, but not very bacon-y. Good bacon is the key to both of these dishes (and really, any bacon dish). All the bacon I found was extremely fatty and I went looking at 3 different stores.
Last, I made some bacon-wrapped scallops. I don’t have pictures for the brittle or scallops. Mostly because I’m being lazy.
The recipe for the scallops is from a very old cookbook I have. Actually, these scallops are part of the first meal I ever cooked for my husband back when we first started dating. The entire meal consisted of Bacon-wrapped Bay Scallops, Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad, some entree (that neither one of us can recall), and Boston Cream Pie.
For Valentine’s Day, I made the scallops and the Boston Cream Pie. The recipe is:
- 2 pounds of bay scallops (I used one pound of wild-caught sea scallops)
- 1 pound of bacon cut in half width-wise
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/4 cup vermouth (I used a semi-sweet white wine – I keep a jug for cooking)
- Wrap each scallop with a 1/2 strip of bacon
- Mix the seasonings with the vermouth
- Marinate the scallops in the vermouth/seasonings mixture for at least a 1/2 hour
- Drain the scallops and place on broiler pan
- Broil 4″ from heat source for 10 minutes
- Turn the scallops and broil for an additional 5-7 minutes
My husband told me that instead of making candied bacon roses for the kids, I should just kill them outright. But he didn’t complain at all about the bacon-wrapped scallops. He was very happy about the scallops. He has been bugging me to make them since the last time, 20 years ago. I think the scallops are good, but although I love bacon, I prefer the scallops without the bacon.
Hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day! My was bacon-licious