Rich, chocolate covered butter toffee with a hint of smoky bacon.
Welcome to Day 3 of Christmas Week. This annual event was started in 2012, and is hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic. This year we have over 35 bloggers sharing festive sweet recipes for the event, for which we all chipped in to give away $800 in Amazon Gift Cards. Keep scrolling after the recipe to enter!
I have a hard time making plain butter toffee. Not because the recipe itself is hard. In fact, butter toffee is one of the easiest candy recipes around to make–right next to chocolate truffles. I mean seriously, the recipe takes all of 30 minutes from start to delicious finish. My difficulty in making toffee is due to the fact that I lose my flippin’ mind in the presence of butter toffee. When faced with a fresh batch of toffee, I’ll eat an entire pound within a manner of days. I wish I were lying about that fact. My willpower is tenuous at best around sweets, but it’s completely non-existent when it comes to toffee. I’m pretty sure that at least half of the miles that I run each year can be considered atonement for my toffee addiction. The other half is to compensate for all of the pies.
So naturally during the holiday season when I should be upping my mileage commensurate with the increased amount of butter in my refrigerator, I instead decided to play around with my go-to toffee recipe to make it even better. And more addictive. By adding bacon.
You heard me. BACON.
Now, I’ll be honest. I love bacon probably more than I should, but my bacon must be incredibly crisp or all is not right in my world. So when I see all these crazy desserts on Pinterest with chunks of bacon mixed in and sprinkled on top, some of them sound a little…odd. As in, the texture would be so off that I’m not sure that even a bacon-loving sweets fiend like myself could get beyond it.
That said, I did try chocolate covered bacon in Las Vegas once, and I really, really liked it. It was that memory that inspired me to experiment with infusing bacon into butter toffee. I tried stirring crisp bacon bits into the hot sugar before spreading it into the pan, which resulted in a chewy, crown-breaking candy with a flavor that was really overwhelmed by the smoky meat. Sticking to the standard recipe and sprinkling bacon on top was tasty, but the bacon got a little soft after a few hours. No bueno.
Finally, I substituted warm bacon drippings for a portion of the butter in the recipe, and it was so very good. I’ve got to say that Bacon Butter Toffee has taken my toffee obsession to new heights. At first bite, the crisp, buttery sweet snap gives way to a hint of smokey, bacon-y flavor to candy that doesn’t overwhelm the flavor profile of the candy, and keeps the crunchy integrity of the toffee in tact. I recommend making a batch of Bacon Butter Toffee and blissfully munching on a few pieces. Then, package it up as quickly as possible to give it away to every bacon and toffee loving friend that crosses your path. It’s the only way to avoid eating the whole batch.
- 1⅓ C. unsalted butter
- ⅔ C. reserved bacon drippings, strained of all bits of meat (from about 1 lb. of cooked bacon)
- 2 C. granulated sugar
- 3 Tbs. water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4 C. milk chocolate chips (or 5 C. chocolate candy melts)
- 1 tsp. shortening
- 1 tsp. bacon flavored salt, optional
- Line two half-sheet baking pans with silicone baking mats (or parchment paper); set aside. Have an off-set spatula ready to spread the hot toffee when the time comes.
- Set a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the butter, bacon drippings, sugar, water, and salt to the pot. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot so that the bottom ¼-inch of the thermometer is submerged.
- Heat ingredients to boiling over medium heat; stirring constantly. The mixture will bubble and swell, to over double in size, in the pot as it cooks. Continue cooking while stirring until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F. (While this is a lot of stirring over a hot pot, the process is usually complete in around 10 minutes.)
- Turn off the heat. You will have to work fast at this point, so having a “helper” to either pour or spread the toffee is a good idea.
- Quickly pour the hot toffee onto the prepared baking sheets, trying to divide it evenly between the two pans.
- Immediately spread the hot toffee thinly across the silicone mat (or parchment) with the off-set spatula. (The toffee will set very quickly.) Allow the toffee to completely cool.
- While waiting for the toffee to cool, place the chocolate chips and shortening in a medium-sized microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30 second increments on full power, stirring well in between bursts, until melted and smooth. (This will be enough to coat both sides of each sheet of toffee.) Let the chocolate stand until cool but still fluid. Immediately prior to using, whisk the chocolate again.
- Once the toffee is cool, use a paper towel to blot any excess butter that may have seeped to the surface.
- Pour about ¼ of the melted chocolate over each sheet of toffee; using half of the total melted chocolate. Use an off-set spatula to smooth the melted chocolate to the edges of the toffee to coat. Allow the chocolate to set.
- Once chocolate is set, carefully pick up toffee and flip it over. Coat the other side with the remaining chocolate. (If it breaks, it’s not a big deal—just fill in the cracks with more chocolate.) Immediately sprinkle bacon salt over the melted chocolate on the second side, if desired. Allow to set.
- Once set, break the toffee into pieces. Store toffee at room temperature, in a large zip-top bag or other air-tight container.
Dark Chocolate Turtle Cups from Try Anything Once Culinary
Holiday Marshmallow Oreo Santa’s Hats from Desserts Required
Cranberry Gin Fizz from Poet in the Pantry
Peppermint Mocha Fudge from The Redhead Baker
Petit Pains au Chocolat aux Amandes (Petite Chocolate Almond Croissants) from Pineapple and Coconut
Salted Cashew Caramels from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Hazelnut Crescents from Amee’s Savory Dish
Bacon Butter Toffee from Comfortably Domestic
Grandma’s Scottish Shortbread from Farm Fresh Feasts
OREO Snowball Cookies from Flour On My Face
Holiday Triple Chocolate Bark from Mother Would Know
Classic Chocolate Crinkles from Daily Appetite
Orange Cardamom Slice and Bake Cookies from Savory Experiments
Homemade Maple Candy from Cooking In Stilettos
Cranberry Cherry Spice Cake Trifle from Food Babbles
Chocolate Walnut Cranberry Pie from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
No Bake Peppermint Oreo Cheesecake from Big Bear’s Wife
Cream Puffs with Cranberry Orange Sauce from Everyday Southwest
Mini No Bake Eggnog Cheesecake from From Gate to Plate
Chewy Sugar Cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Pignolata-Italian Honey Balls from Savoring Italy
Caramel Chocolate Cups with Peppermint Chips from Dixie Chik Cooks
Maple Gingerbread Marshmallows from The Tomato Tart