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Serious Heat: Spicy Candied Bacon

[Photograph: Bill Milne]

The distinctive red stripes, the mouth-watering aroma, the snapping sizzle from the pan, the crisp texture and, of course, the intense, porky flavor. With a food that pleasures all five of our senses, how can we resist the temptation of sinfully delicious bacon?

In a recent issue of Chile Pepper magazine, we rounded up all things bacon. There's bacon floss, maple-bacon coffee, jalapeno bacon salt, spicy bacon jerky and even bacon pancake mix.

While all were good and certainly unique, nothing trumps the bacon I had at Café Pasqual's in Santa Fe. Sticky, spicy and sugary, this was a step into bacon heaven. And it's easy to create at home.

This recipe highlights bacon at its sweet, spicy best.

Start with applewood-smoked bacon. Dip it into a mixture of chile powder and brown sugar, then slowly cook this in the oven. (Keep a watchful eye for burning.) Personally, I like to bump up the chile powder a notch. This recipe highlights bacon at its sweet, spicy best. And with the oven doing most of the work, this is an easy addition to any brunch during the holiday season.

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