Pig Candy

in Appetizers, Snacks

Pig Candy // www.acozykitchen.com

Two years ago today I went on my first date with my now boyfriend, Joshua. Up until that point I had dated all the wrong people; most of them were nice and fine but all were wrong for me. I arrived at the restaurant early and he arrived 15 minutes late, which makes me laugh when I think about it because it’s very telling of who we are.

He picked a (now closed but his amazing wine store lives on!) wine bar called Lou’s. It was a pretty ideal first date spot; it was dimly lit and quiet, but full of people, especially for a Monday night, and they served interesting, hard-to-find-wines with really good snacks. We ordered our respective wines – him a barnyard-y Gamay and I ordered a Malbec. There was a charcuterie plate, a burrata salad with roasted grapes and an order of pig candy.

Pig Candy // www.acozykitchen.com

As we ate, we talked about all sorts of things; happy things, funny things, random things and sad things, too. Josh asked me what my hardest challenge in life was thus far. I answered, and then he answered; and then I remember us just staring at each other, absorbing the other’s answer.

Some would say sad stuff is a terrible thing to talk about on a first date, but that’s where we were in our lives. Josh had just experienced the loss of his mom and I think when you’re really sad it’s hard not to mention it. I’m glad we talked about such things. And plus, I’ve never been good at adhering to dating do’s and don’t’s.

Pig Candy // www.acozykitchen.com

The next day I flew to my parent’s house to work on my book and I remember wondering what would happen. I was, for the first time in a long time, excited about getting to know someone, to dive deeper into their life and perspective on the everyday.

We went on a few more dates but a relationship wasn’t something Josh could take on at the time. I was pretty heartbroken and I wasn’t sure why. I didn’t even know him that well! But something just clicked; something with him just felt right. So, I left him alone, but couldn’t forget about him. We ended up running into each other almost eight months later; he was in a better place and so was I. And we’ve been pretty inseparable ever since.

We haven’t been together for a full two years, but the day we sat down for the first time and talked for five hours is a day I love to remember. So, of course, since I’m a romantic, I’m celebrating with Pig Candy.

Pig Candy // www.acozykitchen.com

Pig Candy

Print this recipe!

1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/4 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
10 slices of bacon (about 1 1/4 pound of thick-cut bacon)
1/4 cup pure Grade A maple syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, ground cayenne and Ancho chile powder.

2. Line a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment. Place a baking or cooling rack atop the lined baking sheet and lay the bacon side-by-side.

3. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture onto the bacon, pressing it into the bacon to be sure it adheres.

4. Bake for 8 minutes, or until very lightly brown. Take the bacon out of the oven and brush the top side of the bacon with maple syrup. Return to the oven to bake for an additional 2-3 minutes. After the 3 minute mark, flip the bacon over, and sprinkle the bacon with the remaining brown sugar mixture. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Brush the top side with maple syrup and bake for an additional 2-3 minutes.

5. Allow the bacon to reach room temperature, until it’s cool enough to handle and then transfer the bacon to a sheet of parchment or a plate. Place the bacon in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

*I tweaked this recipe I made two years ago because I can never follow a recipe completely, not even my own recipe. It’s a recipe revisited. I like this version better, honestly, it’s a bit more streamlined and I love the addition of Ancho chile powder, but the other one works splendidly. I’m just a brat. Even with myself.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Siri-Malén January 17, 2014 at 1:22 am

How much brown sugar did you use?

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Adrianna Adarme January 17, 2014 at 9:19 am

1/4 cup–it’s in there now. Sorry about that!

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Chloe January 17, 2014 at 2:02 am

I love the idea of this recipe, and it was a beautiful post too! Me and my boyfriend tried Chocolate Bacon last summer, and that’s something I want to have a go at making soon.

http://www.ninegrandstudent.wordpress.com

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Toby @ brag & butter January 17, 2014 at 3:12 am

Can you hear angels sing? I can. I love a sticky piggy. Just two weeks ago I spent a weekend in Denmark w/ Hubby, just submerging ourselves in bacon (which they eat straight up and in piles). I loved it. I also love how you cannot follow a recipe – same here. Not even the first time I try a new one I get from a friend or book – it HAS to be tailored to fit.

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Marie @ Little Kitchie January 17, 2014 at 3:55 am

Love this sweet post! And, of course, the pig candy. My mom always makes this for parties and it’s the first thing to go!

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Margarita January 17, 2014 at 5:49 am

Oh… What a sweet post… You made my heart smile today and reminded me of my first meeting with my now husband.

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Monica January 17, 2014 at 6:03 am

What a lovely post. All the best to you and your boyfriend!

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cheri January 17, 2014 at 6:45 am

What a wonderful story, so romantic. Love the way you write.

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Darla January 17, 2014 at 7:51 am

This will be a perfect addition to the halftime munchies on Sunday- 1/2 cup brown sugar?

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Adrianna Adarme January 17, 2014 at 9:19 am

1/4 cup! It’s in there now. Thanks for catching it.

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Sophie January 17, 2014 at 8:07 am

I want to eat this. I loved reading your story. My now-husband and I met 10 years ago, were bffs for six months, dated for six months, and then he dumped me. He wouldn’t talk to me for over two years. But, he finally came around :) Sometimes the timing just isn’t right. I’m glad your timing came quickly! xo

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dishing up the dirt January 17, 2014 at 8:13 am

I can smell your kitchen from here! Yum!

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Gini January 17, 2014 at 8:36 am

I love your story. So very glad serendipity brought you together again! Happy date-a-versary. <3

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Quyen January 17, 2014 at 9:14 am

Yummy! I loved Lou’s too and miss it so!

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sandra January 17, 2014 at 9:29 am

when I read pig candy I was sure this would be a post about those lucky marzipan pigs they give out in Germany… I like your pig candy better.

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Kayla January 17, 2014 at 9:39 am

Ohhhh I love this. a. because I’m nosy b. I love bacon.

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Adrianna Adarme January 17, 2014 at 9:41 am

Aren’t we all?! :)

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Sharon January 17, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Ding ding ding!

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mimi January 17, 2014 at 9:48 am

i always remember meeting special guys right before i was taking a trip, or moving. funny how that works.
lovely story, here’s to many more years together.
great recipe!!!

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Emily@ TotesDelishy January 17, 2014 at 10:54 am

I love this, I love your honesty and I know I will love pig candy!

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Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe January 17, 2014 at 11:02 am

I love hearing stories like this. Chemistry is so important, but so is timing. I’m glad the timing worked out for you two!

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Stacey January 17, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Beautiful post. He seems like he makes you super happy! I’m internet-stranger happy for you :)

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Lauren January 17, 2014 at 1:36 pm

I loved your story, it’s (very) relatable and heartfelt. Enjoy the pig candy and your two year!

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Taylor @ greens & chocolate January 17, 2014 at 2:56 pm

I absolutely love this post – we all have our love stories and I’m so glad you shared yours :) Also I’m thankful that you shared this recipe for Pig Candy. So making it for my bacon loving husband.

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Rachel January 17, 2014 at 5:53 pm

I have seen a number of recipes recently for this sweet bacon idea but I must say this sounds the most delicious and has inspired me to try it – love the idea of using ancho chilli powder. I just love the name Pig Candy – will get some of our great local bacon tomorrow at the Farmers’ Market and try this soon.

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Hilary January 17, 2014 at 8:14 pm

What a beautiful post! As much as I love food, cooking, preparing, tasting etc. the way you share your life through a recipe is so vibrant, I read the posts here regularly probably more for the story you draw than for the actual recipe. I agree with the above, my heart is smiling(: + <3
I feel like I just had Valentine's!
*le sigh*
:)

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Rachel January 17, 2014 at 10:25 pm

I loved your story! So sweet!

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michelle January 18, 2014 at 6:19 am

There is nothing I dont love about bacon and this just brings it to a whole new level! thank you, shall try this soon!!

i loved the story by the way. Happy days!

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Iris R. January 18, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Yesterday was the anniversary of my first date with my boyfriend too! Funny coincidence. Maybe I should make him a late anniversary gift of pig candy. He’d like that. Happy for you and your bf.

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Emily @ Life on Food January 19, 2014 at 3:49 am

I love stories like this!! And this bacon, sign me right up!! I am getting a kick out of the pig candy title too.

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