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Candied corn? Check. Candied ginger? Check. Candied citrus peel? Check. Yawn, snooze. Candy fanatics, check it out. There are some far more interesting foods you can candy in your kitchen, and they might surprise you. From the crazy-trendy candied bacon to the old-school (kind of unbelievable) candied potatoes, once you learn to master these candying skills, you’ll be one step closer to celebrity chef status.

Bacon

If you’ve fallen victim to the $5 bacon cupcake – you just had to try it – save yourself the dough next time and DIY! The key is in the candy, my friend. Just bake it and forget it (until you eat it, that is). Put candied bacon on your cupcakes and sweets, in an Elvis-inspired peanut butter sandwich, or straight on a plate for the perfect midnight nosh.

1 teaspoon olive oil
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground spice of choice (try cumin, chili powder or cinnamon)
1 pound sliced bacon

1.    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking pan with foil, and place a broiler rack on top of the pan. Coat the rack with oil.
2.    Mix sugar and spices in a large bowl. Add bacon and press mixture onto each bacon slice. Place bacon slice on oiled rack in a single layer, sprinkling with any remaining sugar mixture.
3.    Bake until bacon is nice and crispy, about 20 minutes. Transfer to towels to drain, then transfer to a dish to cool completely.

Jalapenos

There’s something downright devilish about foods that are as sweet as they are hot. Use candied jalapenos to make a killer sub sandwich, for your next Fish Taco Friday, or for a kicked up Mexican salad.

1 ½ cups water
1 cup sugar
4 jalapenos, cut into rounds, seeds discarded

1.    Combine water and sugar in a small pot. Heat over medium until a syrup forms, whisking occasionally. Add jalapenos and heat about 4 minutes. Remove and transfer to rack or plate to cool and dry.
2.    Repeat until all peppers are used; discard remaining syrup.

Potatoes

Candied potatoes? Kind of. Mashed potatoes create a no-bake cookie meets old-time candy in these rolled up potato candies. Let us know when you’ve made them—and send us a sample.

1 cup mashed potatoes
1 bag powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter

1.    Beat sugar into potatoes in a large bowl until well mixed. Roll out with a rolling pin on a piece of wax paper until about pizza dough thickness and size.
2.    Cover surface with peanut butter. Roll up dough to make a peanut butter-filled log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 2 hours, until firm. Slice and serve!

Sage

For the fancy pants-chef in you: Candied sage is the ultimate gourmet garnish for jazzing up fish, pastas and even savory desserts. Look at you go.

1 bunch (10 to 20 leaves) fresh sage leaves
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Superfine sugar, as needed (about ¼ cup)

1.    Wash leaves and blot dry, being careful to keep them intact.
2.    Drop each leaf to coat in egg white, then coat thoroughly in sugar. Shake off excess. Place on a rack to dry completely.

Candied flowers

Now you’re really fancy. Top off a wedding cake, make a super citrus salad, or just show someone you love them with these crystallized beauties.

Small bunch edible flowers (about 10 to 20)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Superfine sugar, as needed (about ½ cup)

1.    Use a paintbrush to gently paint egg wash onto flowers. Coat both sides. Holding flowers over a bowl, gently sprinkle sugar over entire flower to coat, letting excess shake off.
2.    Place on a rack to dry completely, away from moisture and light (may take about 12 hours to completely dry).

Image: chefdruck