How to Make Perfect Coffee Bacon with Maple-Espresso Glaze by Cleo Coyle

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WARNING: Once you start eating this beautiful, smoky-sweet bacon, you won’t be able to stop! One strip evokes the glorious flavors of a pancake breakfast—the sweetness of maple syrup, the earthiness of coffee, and the unctuous richness of smoked meat. 

Click here for free recipe PDF.
Our readers may recognize this treat from our latest Coffeehouse Mystery Dead Cold Brew, in which a shocking inheritance leads to murder and our amateur sleuth Clare's attempts to save a dear friend's bacon. As for this bacon, you can download the recipe now in a free PDF by clicking here

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How to Make Perfect Coffee Bacon 
with Maple-Espresso Glaze


Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

While there are plenty of recipes out there for coffee bacon or glazed bacon, this one is our own—and my husband and I tweaked it to perfection (at least in our opinion)! 

Now you may be tempted to change the recipe—say, use regular bacon instead of thick-cut. Or make the bacon on a rack instead of a sheet pan or leave out the espresso powder (aka instant espresso). 

Our advice is don't do it, follow the recipe! Thick-cut bacon works wonderfully in this cooking process; regular or thin-cut will burn to a crisp! A rack will drain too much grease, which is necessary in the cooking for both flavor and caramelization. (It would also become caked with the glaze, making a royal mess.) And the deep earthiness of that espresso powder is needed to balance the cloying sweetness of the maple syrup and unctuousness of the bacon.

Finally, be sure not to undercook the meat. The real key to perfection is watching for the slight char on the edges of the strips. That char assure you that the sugars have properly caramelized in the glaze.

You can serve the finished bacon with coffee, grapefruit, and slices of melon for an amazing breakfast (that's how Marc and I are eating it this morning)! Or make this a show-stopping side dish as part of a larger brunch, or try it as a fun snack or dinner appetizer. It’s also fantastic in a BLT. However you serve it, one thing is certain... You will be eating with sheer joy!



🍴

To download this recipe in
a free PDF that you can print,
save, or share, click here.

Cleo's Coffee Bacon with
Maple-Espresso Glaze

Makes 6 bacon slices - for the amazing Maple-Mustard Glaze variation, see the recipe section of Dead Cold Brew.

Ingredients:

6 Thick-cut bacon slices (must be thick-cut)

2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar (dark gives deeper complexity)


¼ teaspoon espresso powder 
(aka instant espresso, see my note and the end of the recipe) 

1 Tablespoon hot coffee

1-1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

Optional addition: For a smoky-spicy note, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon chili powder to the glaze. For more heat try chipotle chile powder or ancho chile powder. Start with a little and taste-test the glaze until you reach the level of spiciness you like. (And, yes, there is a difference between "chili" and "chile" powder. Learn more here.)

Directions: 


(1) First preheat your oven to 375° F. Place bacon slices flat on a rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper. You want the slices to warm up a bit before going into the oven, so lay out the bacon before making the glaze. 

The parchment paper is there to absorb grease and prevent the bacon from sticking to the pan. Believe me, the process is messy, and you’ll be glad you used it!



(2) Measure dark brown sugar and espresso powder (aka instant espresso) into a small bowl. Add hot coffee and whisk with a fork until sugar and espresso granules are dissolved. Whisk in maple syrup. 



(3) Brush each slice with your coffee-maple-glaze. 


(4) Bake for 10 minutes at 375° F. Flip the bacon, brush the other side with more of the glaze. Increase the oven temperature to 425° F. Bake for another 10 to 13 minutes. 

Watch closely to prevent burning. Bacon is not done until the edges show caramelization—they should look slightly charred. (See my photos below as a guide.)






(5) Drain grease: Allow the bacon to cool a few minutes and the sizzling to stop. Then move the hot bacon slices to a baking sheet or counter surface that’s been covered with waxed paper or parchment paper. Do not use paper towels, the glazed bacon will stick! Serve and eat with sheer joy!




*Note on Espresso Powder: 

Espresso powder (or instant espresso) is not made of ground espresso beans. It is freeze-dried espresso that dissolves quickly in liquids. A good quality brand to look for is Medaglia D’oro. You can use any brand of instant espresso in this recipe, but do not substitute instant coffee. It gives a harsher and more sour flavor than instant espresso, which brings a richer, earthier note.




Be sure to try the amazing
Maple-Mustard Glaze variation
of this bacon, which you'll find in
the recipe section of
Dead Cold Brew!


Click here for
free recipe PDF.


Eat (and read) with joy! 

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.


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