Sunday, February 05, 2012

Beer Bacon Nuts

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The Super Bowl is starting in a matter of hours. Less than hours. Like 75 minutes. My boyfriend fiancee (that's right, we're officially engaged now!) and I are attending a Super Bowl party at a friend's house in just a bit. Besides the side we're bringing, we decided to make another snack. Food Network Magazine always includes a lovely little pull-out booklet that's 50 quick recipes focusing on a certain theme. Their latest issue's booklet was 50 Super Bowl Snacks. Hello, what's not to love??? Even better, there was a recipe for...wait for it... BEER BACON NUTS. While there are 49 fabulous other ideas in the little booklet, this sounded perfect. It's unique and tasty and did I mention there's bacon? So George, being the wonderful fiancee he is, took over this task and made these for the party. I give him full credit. My contribution was pointing at the recipe saying "OOOOOH!!!!!!!! Let's make this!" and then deciding that instead of putting all the nuts in a big bowl just to stick together in a big glob, I said "I know! Let's put them in cupcake cups." Because frankly, that's just really cute. And Super Bowl food is still allowed to be cute.

And honestly? They're delicious. Just follow the recipe and you'll be golden.

Courtesy of Food Network Magazine

1/3 c beer (we used a nut brown)
6 slices of UNCOOKED bacon (i know, it sounds weird, just go with it)
1 tablespoon salt
1 pinch cayenne
1 c brown sugar
1 1/2 c corn nuts
1 c almonds
1 peanuts
(We included pecans as well, but that's optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°. Slice the uncooked bacon. Boil the beer, the sliced uncooked bacon pieces, brown sugar, salt, and cayenne. Boil until the beer evaporates and it's a bit syrup-y, about 8 minutes. Mix in the nuts and spread on a baking sheet. You might want to consider lining the sheet with either foil or parchment. George did it straight on the baking pan and it's a hot mess. Save yourself the trouble and line the pan if you can. So anyway, pop the pan in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. We baked it until the bacon's texture was a little crispy. Afterwards, divvy the mixture up into little cute cupcake cups. It makes enough for about 20-22 cupcake cups, depending on how much you fill them.

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The mixture will harden a bit and they'll become cluster-y, so the cupcake cups are perfect. In my opinion, they could probably even use another slice (or two) of bacon. But since it's a pretty loose recipe, do whatever your heart desires!

And yes, if I would've been smart and planned this better, I would've used Super Bowl team colors instead of the "Oh, I never use these" collection. But hey... whatevs.
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