Candied bacon martini
The candied bacon recipe is adapted from "The Gift of Southern Cooking: Recipes and Revelations From Two Great American Cooks" by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock.
8 slices smoked bacon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, shiny side up. Dredge the bacon on both sides in the brown sugar and arrange the slices so they do not touch on the sheet. Bake until the bacon is richly caramelized, 15 to 25 minutes. Use a pair of tongs to transfer the bacon strips to a cooling rack and allow the excess fat to drain. Serve warm as candy or cool until hardened for the martinis.
Candied bacon martinis
6 ounces premium vodka
4 ounces Applejack brandy
2 ounces amaretto liqueur
2 ounces maple syrup, preferably grade "B"
4 thin slices tart apple, such as Granny Smith
2 slices candied bacon, halved crosswise
Chill 4 martini glasses. In a large cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, brandy, amaretto and maple syrup with ice. Shake until combined and chilled. Strain the cocktail into the 4 chilled glasses and garnish each with an apple slice and half a slice of candied bacon. Serve immediately.