Two Super Snackin’ Sunday recipes in a row that don’t require any cheese? This is so unlike me. When we’re snacking, there’s almost always some kind of cheese or dip involved. Nuts, too, always seem to make an appearance at our game day spread. Mr. Big Flavors loves a good beer nut that balances salt, sweet and crunch so there is usually a can in the cupboard. Nuts are that one snack with no multi-tasking required. This means more time watching the game, and less time paying attention to what you’re eating.
When I saw a recipe on Pinterest that included both nuts and bacon, I knew it was going right onto the game day menu. Who doesn’t love a hefty helping of salty, crispy, smoky bacon? I can’t think of anyone. So, while it may not be the healthiest of snack items, it sure is a tasty one. The walnuts are coated in a concoction of bacon fat, maple syrup, and cinnamon before roasting in the oven until toasted and fragrant. The result is sweet, not too salty, and very addicting.
Even though bacon is a perfect source of pork, I thought I might try to make it even better by broiling on a brown sugar crust. Simply, top the bacon with brown sugar, and place under the broiler for a few seconds. The sugar heats up and caramelizes onto the bacon, creating a crusty thin coating of sweetness. One note though – keep the brown sugar contained to the bacon, and don’t let too much spill over onto the baking sheet. It will burn quickly, and your kitchen will smell that unsweet smell of blackened brown sugar. Not awesome.
When you combine the crispy chopped sugared bacon with the maple roasted walnuts, the combination is simply munchable. Each component brings its own saltiness, sweetness and crunchiness. And in true snack mix form, there’s no need for fancy things like utensils or plates or crackers. Just pour into a bowl and get to game watching!