What’s better than bacon? Candied bacon with rich, earthy flavors of coffee, sweet maple syrup, caramelized sugar and spicy black pepper.

This recipe is dangerously easy to make, with only a few ingredients: bacon, freshly roasted coffee (I like using a full-bodied, dark roast such as the Sumatra Aceh), sugar, maple syrup and a touch of black pepper. Word of advice? Make this in small batches – or at least have friends over to share the results with. Otherwise before you know it, you’ll have consumed a shameful amount of bacon all by yourself. (Yup, I’m speaking from personal experience.)

Coffee-Maple Candied Bacon
Slightly adapted from Chomp and Thrive

12 oz. sliced, uncooked bacon (preferably thick-cut)
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp finely ground coffee (such as our Sumatra Aceh)
1 tbsp maple syrup
Black pepper (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Lay the bacon slices out on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, coffee and maple syrup.

3. Spread the coffee and sugar mixture on the slices of bacon, flipping to coat both sides.

4. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the sugars caramelize and the bacon gets crisp. Sprinkle on a bit of black pepper to taste. Allow the bacon to cool for a few minutes and then enjoy!

P.S. This week’s code word is “bacon.” Visit us at farmers’ markets in St. Charles, Batavia, Aurora, Sugar Grove or Elgin from August 15-21. The first 20 people at each of those markets to stop by and repeat the code word get a drink on us!