Spicy Habanero Candied Bacon

Raise your hand if you’d love spicy food as a holiday gift? What about spicy habanero candied bacon? Yes and thank you!! This is the perfect gift for bacon and spicy food lovers – chewy, crunchy, lip numbing, sweet and salty treat all in one. It’s just too easy and delicious not to make!

candied spicy bacon

Hello all, it’s been a while since I’ve written here and I’m bringing spicy bacon as a peace offering! Forgiven? OK, great! ūüėČ For those wondering, I’ve been on a long hiatus from Hot Lollies and lately I’ve been wanting to write again. Truth be told, I was just overwhelmed with everything from my day job, my lollipops business, writing, and dealing with my Dads’ illness and later his passing. Another reason was I was dealing with the side effects of food blogging; getting fat!

There I was, making all these great meals, frig filled to the brim and cooking just to keep up with blogging. I love cooking but I don’t always want to stop and shoot it. Often times I’d forget to take photos and just eat! Needless to say, I wasn’t enjoying the process so I walked away for a couple of years and now happy to be back after gaining a bit of sanity. I’ve missed sharing and writing about my passion here so hopefully you’ll love this recipe! Let me know what you think!

tray of bacon

Bacon Cut

I used a thick cut of bacon for a meatier, more chewy bite. I’ve made this recipe before with regular bacon and it shriveled up quite a bit so cut is a better option. This thick-cut bacon also retains its shape and tastes much better. I found mine at my local Sam’s Club but you can check your local grocer or check out this un-cured bacon. Sprinkle a bit of spiced sugar if you’d like a spicier treat.

bacon on rack

Cooking Process

Keep an eye on the bacon while it’s cooking. My oven is an older model so I usually have to cook things a bit longer than most recipes call for. Make sure the bacon is nice and caramelized before removing from oven and that the edges curl up. Bacon is super fatty so either cook on rack to collect drippings on a pan and line pan with parchment paper for easy clean up. I failed to use the rack during cooking and had a greasier result but next time I’ll cook on the rack.

Additional Tips

Another important tip if you don’t have habanero sugar is to just make your own spicy sugar. I already had some on hand but making your own allows you to control the level of heat. I love using Volcanic Dust products for pure, ground up chile powders. Try this habanero powder and if you’re feeling a little devilish try this one, it’s pretty amazing. Mix in 1-2 tsp of chile powder and add a bit more of dark brown sugar.

After removing the bacon from oven and cooling on the rack, wrap it up in parchment paper, tie a cute bow and viola, your gift is ready!

candied bacon

wrapped bacon

Spicy Habanero Candied Bacon
Author: 
Recipe type: snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Spicy, crunchy, chewy bacon snacks
Ingredients
  • 1lb thick-cut bacon
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp habanero sugar
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix both sugars, maple syrup, molasses and cayenne pepper in a bowl
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, add a rack on top
  3. Brush both sides of each slice of bacon with sugar mixture or rub in with your fingers
  4. Lay sugared bacon flat in rows on rack and sprinkle with cracked black pepper
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it while cooking making sure bacon gets a good caramel color
  6. When finished baking, remove from oven and let bacon cool on rack

 

Sweet Ghost Pepper Popcorn

Are you a chilehead? Do you crave sweet and¬†spicy products? If so you must try All Spice Cafe’s Sweet Ghost Pepper Popcorn for a crunchy, sweet candied popcorn with a spicy, long lasting heat that’s true to the bhut jolokia (ghost) pepper used to make it. It might make you tear up or cough a little but when has that ever stopped you before? Shoot, it’s why I keep searching for spicy products! It’s no good if it doesn’t burn, right?

ghost-popcorn

It’s great for snacking on the go, or to keep at your desk at work for when you want a quick pick-me-up. It’ll certainly give you a nice jolt of adrenaline and help you snap out of that afternoon snooze.

ghost-popcorn2

This company is based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico and also makes hot sauces, spices and other sweets. Check out the All Spice Cafe site for their award winning products and locations on where to find.

Have a spicy product you just love? Let me know about it in the comments. Thanks!

 

Fuel Up Before the Big Game with these Healthy Snacks

I don’t know about you but I often forget to cook for myself on days I’m prepping dishes for a big event. Do you do that? I usually get up, have my coffee, breakfast maybe, and then just go into overdrive trying to get everything done. With the Super Bowl next week, I’m sure most will spend the week planning, shopping, prepping and cooking to some degree depending on whether you’re hosting or just attending the big game. So do your body good and grab a few healthy, on the go snacks to fuel up before the big game. The goal is to live healthfully no? Having nutritional bars, yogurt, nuts and fruits will usually do because they’re quick and easy so I was very excited when the makers of one of my favorite nutrition bars, KIND, sent me a few samples to try. I was even more thrilled to learn that KIND has a couple of spiced up products like their Dark Chocolate Chili Almond, Cashew & Ginger Spice, and Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan bars.
credit: KIND Snacks
These Nuts & Spices bars aren’t overly spicy but the heat in the Dark Chocolate Chili Almond bar is very pleasing. It’s a warm heat that comes from cascabel, ancho and habanero chiles and builds over time for a satisfying sweet, salty, nutty flavors with a kick. Another great thing about the ingredients is they’re all items you recognize, no funky preservatives or fillers, just natural goodness. I usually have a bar with water but this time tried something a little different for a well rounded meal. Just chop up a bar and sprinkle over yogurt and fresh blackberries or any fruit you like!

chopped-bar

yogurt-berries-crunch

The Healthy Grains Clusters is another great product from KIND and there are so many ways to enjoy it. You can add a pinch of cayenne pepper to a cup of clusters and mix it in with your pancakes or muffins batter, or oatmeal to get in extra nutrition and give you energy for hours.
credit: KIND Snacks
I love these products for their variety of flavors, their crunchy and chewy textures and because I know I’m putting something healthy in my body.The¬†new Healthy Grains Bars, Clusters and KIND Plus bars include super foods like quinoa, amaranth, chia seeds and a variety of healthy fruits and nuts. Here are just a few things to note about KIND products:
  • All Natural
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • High Fiber & Protein
  • Low Sugar & Sodium
  • Gluten Free

It’s a no brainer for healthy snacking, just fuel up before things get crazy busy.

Note: This post was in no way a paid or sponsored review. I only share with you products I consume and enjoy.

 

What I’m Snacking On Right Now

All this cyber shopping gives me the munchies so I like having a snack around for those late night impulse buys. This past weekend was a huge shopping weekend in the US but I like shopping in the comfort of my couch, so much easier with drink in hand and snacks! Also, there was no way I was going out on Black Friday…well actually I did…I went out and got doggie treats for Diego, and hard cider and these Haldiram’s Bombay Mix treats for me! It’s what I’m snacking on right now.¬† These crunchy, mildly spicy snacks are great and hit the spot when you just want something spicy to munch on.¬†You can find them at any Indian grocery store, your supermarket’s Asian food section or Amazon. There are different varieties of this popular Indian snack but I love the complex flavors of the Bombay Mix with crispy noodles, dried lentils, nuts and peas. Oh and the semi-dry sweetness of the Sam Adams Hard Cider I picked up was the perfect combo: salty, savory, spicy and sweet! Not bad for a few dollars too.

Indian-snacks

Light and Crispy Spicy Tortilla Pizzas

As you know I picked up a few fatalii peppers recently and here is what I made, light and crispy spicy tortilla pizzas! Ok, no real cooking involved but it’s a great way to enjoy these powerful peppers and they are¬† super quick and easy to make. I find that the best way to get a good sense for how to cook with a chile pepper you never tried is to enjoy it raw. This way you’ll know more or less what foods to pair it with in the future. A few slivers of the fatalii chile peppers on these pizzas is enough to make your mouth burn but also not so much to mask the other flavors. However, let’s keep it real, these chile peppers will definitely make your nose run and your mouth will burn for a good 30 minutes or so but isn’t that what we spicy food lovers seek? The thrill and the anticipation always makes my mouth water even if there is some regret afterwards but no, not regrets this time…

tomato-feta-pizza

I love making these tortilla pizzas, they’re super easy and perfect for when you only want to snack or have a light lunch. It’s also a great way to enjoy these wonderfully spicy chile peppers and the flavors in a pizza without all the carbs, calories and fat!

 

tomato-feta-pizza2

In the Mediterranean style pizza above above I just sliced a few tomatoes, no sauce needed, topped with crumbled feta cheese, basil and a few slices of fatalii chile peppers. The feta has a very sharp flavor but the citrus in the peppers blended nicely with this pizza. For the pizza below I used spicy marinara, fresh mozzarella, sliced red onions, basil and topped with sliced fatalii chile peppers. This wasn’t as hot as I thought it would be since the fresh mozzarella helped tame some of the heat but it was my favorite of the two!

mozzarella-pizza

These tortilla pizzas are light, crispy, packed with flavor and very healthy…well unless you eat a half dozen of them which isn’t too difficult!

Watermelon Cilantro and Jalapeno Ice Pops

Ice cold and refreshing on a hot summer day, popsicles always take me back to childhood. Frizzy hair, sundresses, flip flops, sun beating hard on my back, ice pop melting down the side of my arm, and the sweetest most artificial flavors ever! Seriously, I’d like to say we bought all fruit ice pops but mostly we had flavors like green, red and orange, that’s all my pocket change could get me. Some things never change though, I still love the sun on my back, my hair is still frizzy only now my popsicle flavors are much more interesting and grown up. These watermelon cilantro and jalapeno ice pops will remind you of those summer days long gone but nothing artificial here.

watermelon-popsicle

These spicy watermelon ice pops are made with fresh, sweet watermelon. The cilantro balances the sweetness and brings out more of the watermelon flavors while the jalapeno gives it an extra kick. First you’ll taste the ice cold fruit and cilantro then you’ll feel the heat in the back of your throat soon after.

watermelon-pops

I made a cilantro and jalapeno simple syrup instead of just infusing the cilantro and jalapeno with the watermelon juice since my watermelon wasn’t as sweet as I would have liked. Just keep in mind that even though the mixture may taste too sweet once it’s frozen it loses the sweetness. If you have a really sweet watermelon then let the cilantro and jalapeno sit in watermelon juice overnight.

watermelon-icepops

Another option with this recipe is you can reserve a couple of pieces of watermelon and give it a coarse chop. Add it to the mixture for a more chunky and fruity ice pop!

Watermelon Cilantro and Jalapeno Ice Pops
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 quart of seedless watermelon, cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • ½ large jalapeno, sliced
  • juice from ½ lime
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
Instructions
  1. Puree watermelon in a blender.
  2. In a small saucepan add sugar and water and stir to dissolve sugar. Add the cilantro and jalapeno to mixture and bring to a boil. Let the mixture cool and remove jalapeno slices.
  3. Add about ¼ of the spicy cilantro syrup to the pureed watermelon and stir. Squeeze all the juice of the lime.
  4. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze. Once frozen, run hot water over molds to release ice pops.