Had a very long and intense weekend with the bloggers workshop on Saturday and Bacon Takedown on Sunday. Although I did not win the Takedown, I had a great time, especially with the Bacon Bloody Mary’s (thank you Lucky 13 Mixology!! ).
As promised, here is the recipe for my Bacon Pecan Toffee with Candied Bacon. Candy can be very temperamental and I prefer especially with these recipes to use a scale for more accurate results. An accurate candy thermometer is not necessary but highly recommended.
2 lb Fresh Salted Butter
2.4 lb Granulated Cane Sugar
0.4 lb Baker’s Special sugar **see note for substitution**
4 oz chopped candied bacon*** see recipe below***
12 oz cooked and crumbled bacon****see note below****
1 lb Whole pecans, lightly toasted
0.8 oz Salt
0.3 oz Lecithin*see note below*
6.4 oz Warm water
12 oz Ghirardelli 60% dark chocolate chips (can use milk, dark, whatever you like but these are my go to chocolate chips)
12 oz butterscotch chips
Place butter in a heavy pan. Bring to boiling point and add the warm water. Again bring to the boiling point and stir in the granulated cane sugar. Wash down sides with water and a pastry brush. Bring to a good stiff boil and add the lecithin. (*The lecithin is optional but helps ensure butter and sugar do not separate during cooking process.* ) Cook to 250°F. Add the roasted pecans. Cook to 280° -290°F and then lower the temperature on the stove. Cook to 300°-306°F. Take the pan off the stove and add the salt, crumbled bacon (not the candied bacon, that goes on top) and Baker’s special sugar(** I used equal weight of regular sugar and pulsed it in the spice grinder 7-8 times. The purpose is to seed the sugar in the candy to produce a fine grain to your toffee, so you want the consistency to be somewhere between granulated and powdered sugar.**) Mix well and pour onto a buttered cooling slab or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper that has brushed with butter or if you are feeling really naughty, use the bacon fat left from cooking off bacon. Quickly spread batch. Top warm toffee with a sprinkling of both chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. When chocolate is melted, use a skewer to draw a marbled pattern with the butterscotch. Top with crumbled candied bacon. Store in refrigerator for at least a couple of days but preferably for a week for toffee to achieve maximum grain and butter flavor. The easiest way to break up the toffee is to turn it toffee (as opposed to chocolate) side up, cover with a lint free cloth, and hit with a hammer. Store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
*** Candied Bacon-
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the strips of bacon flat and not overlapping. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar over the bacon. Place in oven and then turn oven on to 325 degrees F. You want the bacon to cook low and slow to render out as much of the fat as possible. Cook for 15-20 minutes, to your desired doneness.
****I used candied bacon in the toffee for the first batch but found it to be grainy and chewy. I much prefer to use the candied bacon on top and regular bacon inside the toffee. You can cook off large batches on sheet trays similar to the candied bacon method but without the brown sugar and do not cook on the same tray. The candied bacon is much more sensitive to burning.