Pecans

Maple Praline Bacon

Maple Praline Bacon

Okay you guys.

I’ve done something. Changed something. Opened some sort of magic box, some secret portal to a new world. And now that I’ve glimpsed the other side, I rather doubt I’ll be the same again.

It all started with an innocent breakfast suggestion. On my recent winter escape to Oregon, all we wanted was a place to eat one misty Wednesday morning in Portland. Instead, we ordered a plate of food that, rather than fading from my memory as most meals do, has haunted my daydreams ever since.

It was praline bacon. And within moments of eating it, I knew that I wanted to, nay, that I must!  try to recreate it at home. This weekend I finally had the time, the health, and the daylight. It took four failed attempts, but I finally found the balance I was looking for. And the best part? It’s so absurdly, ridiculously easy.

Bacon and friends

Obviously, we start with bacon. Then we have pecans, maple syrup, brown sugar, a little salt, and some cayenne pepper.

THAT IS ALL, PEOPLE.

Ready to bake!

Instead of pan-frying the bacon, I baked mine. It helps the bacon stay flat (necessary for topping with sugary pecans later) and the excess fat drains into the pan below. I may actually start making all of my bacon this way.

While the bacon cooks, chop up some pecans. I’ve seen some versions where the pecans are food-processed into oblivion, but I prefer a larger cut. Smaller than a rough chop but bigger than a fine chop, does that make sense? About the size of a tooth? (Is that gross?)

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Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cream & Sugared Pecans

I haven’t baked much since I spent four days in early October creating two massive cakes for Sierra’s wedding. So it might seem rather surprising that the first time I pull out my cake pans after such a project, it’s to reprise the very recipes I used for the largest tier of the wedding cake. I, however, am not surprised, as I have been wanting to share this recipe in a normal, human-sized dessert that you can make for you and your family instead of a full wedding guest list.

Before autumn wanes completely, I urge you to make this cake. This cake is rich, moist, and full of pumpkin flavor. This maple cream is studded with these sugared pecans (easily my favorite discovery of the season) and compliments the spicy cake perfectly. And for layer cake, this is pretty easy! No icing to smooth, no crumbs to worry about, no delicate folding dry ingredients into the batter, no piping. You can totally do this.

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Sugar ‘n’ Spiced Pecans

To kick off my favorite season here at 30 Pounds of Apples, I have something for you. I was trying to wait. I thought these would be good to share right when you are planning treats for Halloween parties. Maybe around Thanksgiving? Or do I dare wait until the holiday season?

But they’re too good. I simply couldn’t wait to share this secret with you, because it will change your world. At least, it will change your world if you have pecans on hand and a deep or even moderate love of those tasty nuts that cost $10 a cone at any given festival or county fair. I’m here to report that you may never buy those again. Why?

Because you can make them yourself! And they are dangerously, frighteningly easy.

I must confess, I had never considered making these little gems myself until I started pulling together recipes for this little wedding cake project I’m working on. I sort of expected them to be a challenge. After all, the first few recipes I ran across involved oil and frying and a precise level of humidity. Yikes. It seemed like a difficult process. But this particular recipe involves none of those pesky hurdles.

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