Well, it’s official…I’m on a bacon kick. Every trip I’ve made to the grocery store in the past month I’ve picked up a package of bacon. Hickory smoked. Maple. Turkey. Applewood. You name it. Not so shockingly, they’ve each been eaten (give or take a few slices). I tend to go through phases where I love cooking or baking with a certain food or spice. For the months of May, June and at the least the beginning of July, it’s bacon. So you’re welcome in advance for the recipes with bacon because let’s be honest, bacon is everyone’s best friend (with the exception of someone keeping kosher, naturally).
Just a quick note re the weather. Caramels and heat don’t go well together. I fully realize that may be stating the obvious. Perhaps I should have reminded myself of that before I ran out to the store to buy goat milk (yes, you heard me right) and yet another package of bacon. So what do I decide to do on a refreshingly 95 degree day? Make bacon sea salt caramels. Genius idea, poor timing with the lack of an AC unit in my third floor apartment kitchen though. The heat didn’t stop me, although the caramels did have to spend a little quality time in the refrigerator before they could be wrapped. With that said, if you have central air or a kitchen that keeps cool in the summer months, don’t hesitate. If you don’t have AC…consider yourself forewarned of the gooey mess that may ensue. So without further adieu, I bring to you bacon sea salt caramels!
bacon sea salt caramels
makes 35 candies
useful gadgets: candy thermometer, mini food processor
1 cup goat milk
¼ cup butter
1 tsp sea salt
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
5 slices bacon, cooked and finely chopped
wax paper for wrapping
Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper so that it drapes over the sides. Coat the parchment paper and uncovered portion of the baking dish with non-stick spray.
Cook the bacon to your liking, whether that be extra crispy or on the chewy side. I put the slices of bacon on a paper towel lined plate with a paper towel on top and cooked it in 1 minute intervals until it was cooked just the way I like. Chewy. Either finely chop it or throw it in a mini food processor to really get the job done.
In a small saucepan, bring the goat milk, butter and sea salt to a boil. Once it has just begun to boil, remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside.
In a medium or large saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water and allow it to reach a boil. Once the mixture turns a light golden color, carefully add the goat milk mixture that you set aside, little by little, so it doesn’t boil over. Insert a candy thermometer and allow the caramel to boil until the thermometer reaches 248°F, which will take about 10-15 minutes. If it gets much warmer, the caramels will be harder as opposed to having a soft, chewy consistency.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately stir in the bacon. Pour the caramel into the 8-inch square baking dish lined with parchment paper. Either allow to sit out overnight if it’s moderately cool in your kitchen or refrigerate for a few hours.
When the caramel is firm enough to slice, spray a sharp knife with non-stick spray and cut in rectangular pieces, about 1½-inch long. Now I would have included some photos here of the slicing process, but my hands were just too damn sticky to touch my camera, or really anything but the caramels for that matter. You’ll just have to make them to see for yourself. Sticky fingers galore. Cut wax paper into squares and wrap the caramels, sealing them tight by twisting the ends.