Bacon Almond Brittle with Vanilla Beans.
Um, major confession.
I made brittle and feel like this thrusts me into grandma territory. Like I moved straight on from being a mom into grandma mode.
It’s probably because while neither of my grandmas ever MADE any sort of brittle, the only type of brittle I ever stumbled upon was in Mother Lovett’s cabinet under her bar where she hid things like gum drops, peanut butter cups and two-year-old snickers bars along with a whole hoard of salt water taffy that we couldn’t touch. Salt water taffy with an approximate age of four to six years.
Oh and this wasn’t the same cabinet that hid the fritos, pretzels and bags of “party mix” – which they still totally sell by the way and which I sometimes pick up in the store for nostalgia purposes. It’s full of pretzels, dorito-like chips, some sort of cheeto hybrid thing and something else horrific (maybe bagel chips) that I always picked over and left for everyone else. Even the bag was the epitome of delicious tackiness with it’s balloons and streamers and bright colors adorning the package.
FYI: just take a guess at what I’m going to need to “run to the store” for at around 3:37PM today.
So while brittle wasn’t something we made during our marathon holiday baking sessions – those were reserved for fudge, chocolate chip cookies, thumbprints and peanut butter blossoms – I definitely remember the occasional package that I saw sitting in the cabinet.
And I was TOTALLY grossed out by it. Like, really. It never had any appeal. Probably due to the lack of chocolate or gummy bears or both.
Let me TELL you about this recipe inspiration. Back when I was doing the book tour, I was in New York City in September and somebody handed me this bacon and bourbon cookbook. Yes. A cookbook all about bacon and bourbon. First thought: why the HECK did I not think about this or write this. Second thought: why did I not even KNOW about it until now? I sat there and was just dying over it for at least a half an hour, which was mid-interview so that was professional and all. I wanted to make EVERYTHING inside the book and it was complete torture considering I still had a little over three months to go before I could down the cocktails.
Then I got home and made about fourteen recipes inspired by recipes from the book. My cookbooks are still packed away from the moving this past fall, but this book is propped up right in my kitchen. Like just to be my daily inspiration.
The original recipe was for bacon peanut brittle, but I was all over these smoked almonds from Trader Joes and determined that I HAD to use them. You can use smoked almonds (keep in mind that the bacon is already smoky) or regular raw or roasted almonds – it’s all up to you.
Just know. The freaking smoked almonds? All coarsely chopped and then combined in hot, bubbly sugar with tons of crispy bacon and vanilla beans? Oh mylanta. It’s utter heaven.
So yes, it took bacon – shocking – to get me to make, and heck, eat, BRITTLE.
But now. I’m in love with it. I think this might be one of my favorite new holiday gifts and will make a killer addition to our cookie trays. I have to make more since I clearly consumed every last bit (wouldn’t you?) from this recipe a few weeks ago. But it’s pretty darn simple and I am not complaining. I’m accepting my new granny role with open
Bacon Almond Brittle
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups raw almonds, coarsely chopped
- 8 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Grease a baking sheet with softened butter generously.
- Add the sugar, corn syrup, water and salt to a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to bubble, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the almonds and bring the sugar to a simmer/bubble, cooking until it is golden brown, about 3 more minutes. Stir in the bacon, vanilla bean paste and baking soda.
- Quickly spread the mixture on the baking sheet until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. Let cool completely, about an hour. Break into pieces/shards and serve or package for gifts! This can be made a few days ahead of time for gifting.
Did you make this recipe?
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I appreciate you so much!
I mean… the crunch.
50 Comments on “Bacon Almond Brittle with Vanilla Beans.”
If this is what being a grandma tastes like, where do I sign up!? I love peanut brittle, but have never tried almond brittle.
And then you added bacon. I kind of want to marry this crunchy deliciousness! Pinned!
WHAT! A cookbook for bacon and bourbon? How did I not know this either? That’s amazing. I adore this recipe. I really don’t know a recipe or food anymore where bacon doesn’t seem to fit perfectly. This looks incredible.
I have the same polka dot napkin! I couldn’t stop myself from swooning over the metallic dots! :)
Love the burnt spoon ,it matches my set!
Everyone is getting this for Xmas! Do you need to store it in the fridge? Or would it get soft and un-britle-y?
This looks amazing and I’m going to call it my Christmas health food. i mean it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and it even has protein! This is on my to make list this weekend!
I’m so glad you mentioned the old candy stashes. It brings back so many memories of taking countless pieces, noticing they tasted kinda funny, but eating them anyway… every time we visited! This brittle look great and I know just the family member to make a tin of it for. Thanks!
If making brittle makes you a grandma — bring on the granny panties and own it — this brittle ROCKS!!
This is one unique brittle. It sounds incredible though and I’m totally in love!
When you said “run to the store” my immediate thougtht was oh its baby time! I reread it and realized it was for snack mix. Hahaha.
I love brittle…since basically it’s candied nuts, right? With bacon? Just brilliant!….and I just realized I’m writing this with my mouth watering…salty sweet gets me every time…and you added smokiness too…ahhh!
How long do you think this brittle will keep because of the bacon? I guess if its cooked, its fine?
If you haven’t made this yet, I promise this won’t last long enough to even worry. I’ve made it 4 times since seeing this recipe and it’s soooo good!
ummm YUMMM! Need to make this ASAP.
I had a bag of those smoked almonds from TJ’s once…ONCE! I can’t buy them again or they won’t last a day. The fact that you threw them in brittle is throwing me for a loop because I seriously want to drive to TJ’s right now and buy the smoked almonds just to make this!
Homemade brittle can be so amazing! And leave it to you to doctor it up with bacon :) And love cookbook scores like that – when the magical cookbook for YOU just appears. Love those!
I love your story! This brittle looks absolutely delicious. Pinned!
Holy WOW you have outdone yourself with this one!!
I’m not into brittle myself either, but I can get into this!
OH MY!! That looks decadent!! I love any kind of brittle, but this takes the cake!! Will definitely be making this!
Preeety sure things don’t get any better than this… smoked almonds + bacon + brittle?! Genius! I love the roastiness of smoked almonds as well – utter heaven!
These look so darn good. I should try them for this season
Help! Mine did not get hard. It kind of felt like caramel. What did I do wrong?
This happened for me too! wondering what went wrong
hi guys!! i’m thinking that your mixture just needed to cook a bit longer? the directions come right from the book and while they worked for me, i do have a gas stovetop so maybe might heat was slightly higher. i was actually surprised the recipe didn’t call for a candy thermometer. but when mine goes on the baking sheet, it almost IMMEDIATELY hardens. i hope this helps!!
Mine also did not harden, but the flavor was so good that i am trying again. Fingers crossed!
I have gas stove as well and the first time it didn’t harden and it was more a toffee than a brittle which was fine because I liked the texture. However, I’ve since cooked it 3 more times and each time it got better. The last time I actually pulled out the candy thermometer and since I didn’t want it to the crackle stage but more to the hard ball (toffee) stage and it was the best batch yet…so I cooked it to between 220-225.
Love the burnt spoon ,it matches my set!
This sounds fantastic, and would be a great homemade gift for people with peanut allergies (like my brother…who is IMPOSSIBLE to shop for, so thank you!)!
You had me at “Bacon brittle”!!
My grandmother made toffee every year at Christmas. I didn’t even like it but it was a must. Yours looks a lot better than hers.
Love this sweet and salty combo!
Jess, how much bourbon would you add? I know you can’t have any right now, but how much would you add, and when?
My Dad loves brittle! He would totally dig this especially with the addition of bacon.
These look insanely delicious! I’ll take one box, please. Or a few more.
This is on my list for holiday baking! Yum! Question – I was at Trader Joe’s yesterday and they had smoked almonds that also had mesquite seasoning on them. Is that what you used? I have raw almonds already so I can just use those but I’d love to try the smoky version!
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Looks so good!! Love this recipe and I tried it last night. Amazing results! Your blog is so beautiful!! Love, a serious foodie in Hong Kong…
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I have made this twice now, and both times it did not harden. The second time, I even used a candy thermometer! It is tacky and chewy at room temperature. I have found that if I store it in the freezer, it sets up and can be cracked into pieces. I will just keep it frozen. Sigh. I wanted to make this more, but it is turning out to be not worth it. :( The flavors really are amazing though.
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The flavors in this are outstanding! I had the same experience, though, mine has remained pretty tacky. I’ll have to try this again with a candy thermometer.
Hmmm, I actually think that the issue is my heat wasn’t high enough. I read a Bon Appetit article that said once you stir together your water, corn syrup and and sugar, to let the mixture come to a boil WITHOUT stirring. I don’t think mine ever properly browned.
Jessica I’m not sure if I should love or hate you…I’ve made this 4 times now trying to perfect the texture…it didn’t harden the first time but I was okay with that because I loved the taste and the liked the chewier texture. But the last time I made it I used the thermometer and cooked it to hard ball stage and it was the best batch yet. I took it to work and everyone couldn’t believe how good it was. This is a keeper for sure.
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My daughter gonna love this for sure. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
We made this last night and it was incredible. Thanks so much for sharing!
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