Bourbon-Bacon Peanut Brittle


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves about


Appears in

The Bacon Bible

The Bacon Bible

By Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas

Published 2019

  • About

This is not your grandmother’s peanut brittle. Sweet, salty, and smoky is the way I like my desserts, and this recipe hits all of those notes and then some. Peanuts make it perfect and classic, but you could use cashews or almonds, if you’d like.


  • 10 slices thin-sliced bacon
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) plus 2 tablespoons bacon-infused bourbon or plain bourbon
  • ¼ cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar
  • cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) light corn syrup
  • 1 cup (150 g) Spanish peanuts, skins removed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • Sea salt or smoked sea salt for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray another baking sheet liberally with nonstick spray or line with a Silpat.

Lay the bacon in a single layer on the foil-lined baking sheet. Brush the bacon with ¼ cup (60 ml) of the bourbon and sprinkle the brown sugar on both sides. Bake the bacon until it caramelizes and becomes crisp, 13 to 15 minutes. Using tongs, remove the bacon to a cutting board and let cool completely, about 10 minutes. Once the bacon has cooled, chop it with a knife into small pieces. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup (60 ml) water over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring only until the sugar has melted. Continue cooking, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 300°F (150°C) on an instant-read thermometer. Once it has reached 300°F (150°C), stir in the peanuts and continue cooking until the temperature reaches 310°F (154°C).

As soon as it reaches 310°F (154°C), remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons bourbon, the candied bacon, the butter, vanilla, and baking soda and wait for the foaming to stop. Once the foaming has stopped, carefully and immediately pour the brittle onto the prepared greased baking sheet and spread it out as much as possible with a greased heatproof spatula.

Be careful not to touch the mixture or get it on you—it is very hot and dangerous. Sprinkle with the sea salt. Let cool completely, then break into pieces or coarsely or finely chop. The brittle can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.