Outrageously Addictive Caramelized Bacon

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Recipe – Barefoot Contessa Foolproof

Makes 15-20 hors d’oeuvres
 

½ cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup chopped pecans
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
½ lb. thick-sliced smoked bacon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with foil and place a wire baking rack over the top. 
Combine the brown sugar and pecans in a food processor bowl and process until pecans are finely ground.  Add the salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes and pulse just until combined.  Add the maple syrup and pulse again to moisten the crumbs. 
Cut bacon strips in half crosswise and line up across the baking rack, making sure pieces don’t touch each other.  Using a small spoon or your fingers, evenly spread the prepared pecan mixture over the top of each piece of bacon, using all the mixture .  Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, on center rack of oven, until the topping is very browned, but not burnt.  (If bacon is underbaked, it won’t be crispy as it cools.)
While bacon is still hot, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside to cool.  Serve at room temperature. 

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