Coffee Candied Bacon S'mores [because...yay, bacon!]

A few weeks ago during one of my all too often food daydreams, a lightbulb suddenly went on in my head. "Why not put that coffee candied bacon I made a while ago on a s'more?!?!" OK, I know the concept of bacon in desserts may be overdone, and I'm sure plenty of people have already thought to use it on a s'more, but it was a revelation to me. Excitement (and drooling) ensued, and I was off to buy bacon.

Pretty frequently, what I think up in my head ends up having to go through quite a few adjustments before it's even edible. But this? Coffee Candied Bacon S'mores? I knew this would work. The coffee candied bacon itself is incredible, but add to that dark chocolate and a roasted marshmallow in between crispy graham crackers? Ahhhhmazing. 

Despite the initial success, I still thought it necessary to put this recipe through a few revisions (read: I wanted an excuse to eat more bacon). I made this with both thick cut bacon as well as regular cut, and both worked well. I personally liked the thinner cut better, but the hubs preferred the thick cut. The thinner bacon adds more crunch to the s'more and you definitely get a better "candied" texture. However, the thick cut bacon yields a more bacon-y s'more (how's that for descriptive writing?), and there's still plenty of crunch from the graham cracker.

So bacon, you've done it again. Just as you've improved the flavors of many other foods (I'm lookin' at you, Water Chestnut III), you have also exponentially improved the good 'ol s'more.

Coffee Candied Bacon S'mores
Makes enough for 4 s'mores

Coffee Candied Bacon
4 strips bacon (thick or thin cut)
1 Tablespoon finely ground coffee (I used FreshGround Roasting's Forte Espresso)
2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
Pinch black pepper (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the bacon slices out on the baking sheet.

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and coffee. Spread the mixture on the slices of bacon, flipping to coat both sides.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes if using thick cut bacon, or 13-15 minutes for thinner bacon. The sugar should caramelize and the bacon should get crisp. Sprinkle on a bit of black pepper to taste. Allow the bacon to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack. 

Graham crackers
Dark chocolate
Coffee Candied Bacon

Roast marshmallows and assemble s'mores, adding candied bacon. I use about one small strip of bacon, cut in half, per s'more.