These delicious Brown Sugar Bourbon Candied Bacon Skewers are the perfect appetizer to feed a crowd. Thick-cut bacon is slathered with a brown sugar bourbon glaze and baked until crispy and caramelized for a sweet and savory appetizer.
Is there anything better than bacon on a stick? Add a little bourbon, brown sugar, and maple syrup, and it transforms into sweet and savory perfection. These Brown Sugar Bourbon Candied Bacon Skewers only have five ingredients and will keep everyone coming back for more. Weaving the bacon strips onto skewers makes for a beautiful presentation. Additionally, it creates an easy way to enjoy these bacon lollipops at any event.
Thick-cut Applewood smoked bacon works best for bacon skewers. Thick bacon strips hold their shape nicely, and they need to cook long enough for the sugars in the bourbon maple glaze to caramelize. Save this bacon on a stick recipe for your next brunch with family and friends! If you like this recipe, you'll also love this Bourbon Bacon Jam Crostini Recipe.
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- Bacon - I like to use thick-cut applewood smoked bacon for bourbon candied bacon. If using thinner cut bacon, reduce the cooking time and monitor the bacon while cooking to ensure it does not burn.
- Bourbon - Bourbon and bacon are two ingredients that pair very well together. Use any brand of bourbon you prefer. I used Bulleit Bourbon for these candied bacon skewers, and it worked wonderfully.
- Brown Sugar - Light or dark brown sugar may be used for candied bacon skewers.
- Maple Syrup - When choosing a maple syrup brand, select a brand that states "Grade A" dark maple syrup. A better quality maple syrup will almost always yield a better flavor.
- Ketchup - Ketchup has natural sugars that caramelize and adds a delicious savory layer to the bacon glaze.
How to Make Candied Bacon Skewers
The Brown Sugar Bourbon Glaze
- First, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, bourbon, and ketchup in a small saucepan and bring to a low simmer.
- Let it reduce for about 30 minutes, occasionally whisking. You will end up with a deliciously thick, sweet, and savory glaze for bacon that's downright irresistible.
- Note: The bacon glaze will smell heavily of bourbon once done. Not to worry, once the oven's heat caramelizes the brown sugar glaze, the bourbon taste is minimal.
Assembling The Bacon Skewers
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and set a wire baking rack on top.
- Thread one bacon strip onto each skewer. Spread the folds of the bacon skewers apart, so they are not too close or touching in any one area. Lay them flat, in a single on the wire rack.
- Note: If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak your wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before baking, so they do not burn in the oven. Once the skewers have soaked, pat them dry with a paper towel.
Baking the Candied Bacon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set the oven rack to the middle position. Using a silicone pastry brush, brush the brown sugar bourbon glaze on the top side of each bacon skewer and bake for ten minutes.
- Next, remove the bourbon candied bacon from the oven and carefully turn each bacon skewer over. Slather the brown sugar glaze onto the other side of each skewer and bake another ten minutes.
- Every ten minutes, continue to turn the skewers over, baste with more glaze and return to the oven. After about 35-40 minutes, they should be golden brown, and the sugars will have caramelized.
- Remove from the oven, and allow the candied bacon skewers to rest for 5 minutes on the wire rack. Finally, remove and display on a platter or stand the skewers upright in a glass filled with rice.
Making In Advance
The brown sugar bourbon glaze can be made in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. Additionally, thread the bacon onto the skewers, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to two days in advance. These make-ahead candied bacon skewers are such a treat, and I hope you and your family love them as much as I do.
- Line your baking sheet with tin foil for a quick and easy clean-up.
- Use a wire rack to hold the bacon skewers. It is best to have the candied bacon sit up above the sheet pan on a wire rack. As a result, the excess grease and brown sugar bourbon glaze drip to the bottom of the pan while it cooks. These are my favorite wire baking racks used for baking and cooling.
- The cook time will vary depending on the thickness of your bacon strips. I first tried this recipe with my oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, the sugar burned before the fat in the bacon had a chance to render. Next, I baked them at 350 degrees, and they came out crispy and perfect.
- Set the oven rack to the middle position for best results.
- After the bourbon candied bacon skewers have cooled for five minutes, stick the handle into a water glass filled with rice. The rice will hold the skewers upright as they continue to cool. If candied bacon is allowed to cool completely on a wire rack, the sugar will stick to the metal and become difficult to remove.
- Add spices like smoked paprika, chili powder, or cayenne pepper for spicy candied bacon.
- Add herbs such as rosemary or thyme for fresh flavor in this sweet bacon recipe.
- Use only brown sugar. Make these bacon lollipops with just brown sugar if you do not have the other ingredients listed.
- Make chocolate-covered candied bacon. Once the maple bacon skewers have thoroughly cooled, dip the top half in melted chocolate for an extra indulgent treat.
- Use the sweet maple bourbon glaze for ham.
Serve the skewers in a glass filled with rice to hold the skewers upright.
Use the candied bacon as a garnish in a bloody mary.
Chop the bourbon candied bacon and use it to top a salad.
Use the bacon as a topping on a baked potato.
Chop up small pieces and add to chocolate chip cookie dough for bourbon bacon chocolate chip cookies.
Like other meats, refrigerate the bourbon candied bacon in an airtight container even after cooked.
Store the brown sugar bourbon bacon refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
The brown sugar bourbon glaze can be made up to 2 days in advance if kept refrigerated in an airtight container. Additionally, if making the candied bacon skewers in advance, thread the bacon onto the skewers and store refrigerated and covered with plastic wrap for up to 3 days before baking.
More Related Recipes
Maple Bourbon Candied Bacon Skewers
- 1 Large Rimmed Sheet Pan
- Heavy Duty Tin Foil
- ⅓ cup Bourbon
- ½ cup Maple Syrup
- ¼ cup Brown Sugar
- ¼ cup Ketchup
- 1 pound Bacon
- Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.
- Combine bourbon, brown sugar, maple syrup and ketchup in a small sauce pot over medium low heat.
- Let come to a simmer and continue cooking whisking occasionally for 30 minutes until it has reduced to a thick glaze. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. The glaze will thicken more as it cools.
- Set your oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a large baking sheet with foil and top with an oven safe wire rack.
- Drain the wooden skewers and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Thread each piece of bacon onto the skewers weaving them in and out and spreading them apart on the skewer so that no pieces are too ruffled together where they overlap and then lay them on the wire rack.
- Brush the top side of the bacon with the glaze and bake for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, remove from the oven, carefully flip each skewer over to the other side, brush with the glaze and return to the oven for 10 more minutes.
- Repeat flipping the skewers, brushing with glaze and returning to the oven until they have baked for 30 minutes.
- Continue baking until glaze starts to caramelize and bacon is crispy. About 5 more minutes. Check frequently to make sure bacon does not burn.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Place skewers handle side down in a water glass to stand them upright and enjoy! (Tip: If you fill the glass with dry rice they stand up much easier)