A Holiday Epicurean Tradition

Sweet & Spicy Bacon Breads ticks

Sweet & Spicy Bacon Bread sticks

Sweet & Spicy Bacon Bread Sticks are one of our holiday food traditions.  My youngest daughter, Abbie loves them and seriously, bacon? What’s not to love?  I only make them twice a year, Thanksgiving and Christmas, so they are a special treat.  They aren’t too hard to make, technically speaking, but they are a bit of a PIA.

I still remember how we discovered them.  It was a long time ago, when Sara Moulten hosted “Cooking Live” on the Food Network.  This was back when the Food Channel was about food and cooking, not ridiculous competitions and over the top personalities.  What is it with specialty channels by the way?  Remember when MTV played videos, I mean MUSIC videos?  Suddenly the programming became game shows and then reality (un-reality) programs.  It seems like once a targeted channel get’s an audience, it’s no longer satisfied and has to become something else.  I get it, but at the same time, I don’t.

Hmm… I guess that was a tangent.  Back to the story.  I loved Sara Moulten because she didn’t act as if everything in the kitchen always worked perfectly, you listening Bobby Flay?  It doesn’t always work out perfect.  I remember on one show she had a caller on the line who disagreed with her about an ingredient. Sara said, “Well if you like that flavor better, to hell with me!  What do I know? Make it the way you like it.”  Form then on..LOVED. HER.

Abbie Enjoying a Bacon Bread stick

Abbie Enjoying a Bacon Bread stick

So Sara was doing a Gourmet Magazine Holiday special and she demonstrated this recipe.  I looked it up online and made it that year.  Everyone loved them and it’s been a tradition ever since.  Here’s the recipe.


  • 1 lb thin sliced bacon.  The thick stuff is too hard to work with
  • 14 unbroken bread sticks, I use Alessi brand. Don’t get the real thin kind; the thicker the better.
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Hungarian paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp red chili powder


  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees (F).
  2. Mix brown sugar, paprika, cayenne and chili powder.  Break up any clumps and mix well.  Put in a baking sheet with sides.
  3. Carefully wrap each bread stick  with a slice of bacon.  Try not to break the bread stick.
  4. Carefully roll each bacon wrapped bread stick in the sugar spice mixture.
  5. Place the bread sticks on a wire rack in a baking sheet.  Do yourself a favor and cover the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  6. Put in oven until the bacon is cooked.  Be careful not to burn the exposed ends of the bread sticks.
  7. Let cool to room temperature.

Hope you enjoy, we sure do!

About Larry Downes

Son, brother, husband, father, boss, mentor & friend. Believer in unfettered personal liberty. Occasional host on 93.1 WIBC in Indianapolis.

4 Responses to “A Holiday Epicurean Tradition”

  1. Sounds great!

  2. This looks outstanding. I will be trying this soon.

    I’m no chef… but here’s another one to try. Get fresh asparagus, wrap it completely in bacon, Dip it (completely submerge it) in a melted butter and garlic mixture, and throw it on the grill when you’re grilling out sometime. Makes a hell of a side dish with burgers, steaks, or any other grilled meat product.

  3. These look fantastic! We’ll definitely have to try them out for Christmas! You can’t go wrong with bacon!

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