Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, adapted from Essential Emeril: Favorite Recipes and Hard-Won Wisdom From My Life in the Kitchen, Oxmoor House, 2015, courtesy Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
- Yield: Makes 4 to 6 appetizer servings
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1⁄2 cup (1 stick) lightly salted butter, cubed
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound thick-cut bacon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top of the baking sheet. Spray the rack thoroughly with nonstick spray.
In a small bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, and cayenne, using a fork to mash it all together until thoroughly blended and smooth.
Arrange the bacon slices on top of the wire rack in a single layer so the slices don't overlap. Divide the butter-sugar mixture evenly among the slices of bacon (about 2 tablespoons per slice). With slightly damp hands, spread the mixture evenly over the slices, trying to cover as much of the bacon as possible with an even coating. Bake on the center rack of the oven until the bacon is crisp around the edges and the sugar mixture is caramelized and bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and let the bacon cool slightly, then transfer the strips to a serving plate. Set aside until completely cool, about 20 minutes. (The bacon will continue to harden as it cools.) To serve, cut it into smaller lengths, if desired, and place on a serving plate in a single layer for guests to help themselves. This is best enjoyed the day it is made.