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Fair foods: Make your own chocolate covered bacon

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Midwestern state fairs are a summer favorite, with fun foods and festive attractions. Animal auctions, carnival games, horse and livestock shows, midway rides, popular concerts, and youth craft exhibits draw fairgoers in throngs to county fairgrounds for these annual highlights.

What’s on the menu at the state fair?

From cotton candy to corn dogs, crispy kringles to cream puffs, popcorn to potato pancakes, and roasted ribs to pork rinds, state fair food is a tourist’s treat. And for folks in the Midwestern United States, chocolate-covered bacon has become a state fair staple.

Chocolate-covered bacon actually tastes a lot more appetizing than it sounds, offering a unique blend of sweetness and saltiness. And this super state fair snack is simple to make at home. Chocolate-covered bacon can be a creative home-made gift for the holidays, a hostess treat or even a housewarming surprise.

Here’s how to make your own crispy and delicious chocolate-covered bacon. Dieters, be warned. Chocolate-covered bacon may be considered a splurge.

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First, gather these chocolate-covered bacon ingredients.

  • 1-pound package of bacon (thick-sliced)
  • 12-ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tablespoon margarine

Follow these simple instructions to make chocolate-covered bacon.

Cover a flat baking sheet with waxed paper. Set this aside, as it will hold the chocolate-covered bacon for cooling and setting.

Cook the bacon thoroughly until the slices become crunchy. (Bacon may be cooked in a frying pan, in the oven (about 20 minutes at 350 degrees “F”) or in the microwave (wrapped in paper toweling).

Drain the bacon grease. Blot the bacon strips in clean paper toweling, and lay the bacon strips out flat to cool.

Melt the chocolate chips and margarine in a glass bowl in the microwave. Microwave for 30 seconds, and stir the mixture thoroughly. Repeat this step several times (microwaving for 30 seconds and stirring), until the chocolate mixture is completely melted and stirs smooth.

Use a pair of sturdy tongs to dip the bacon, one strip at a time, into the melted chocolate mixture. Be sure to coat the entire bacon strip with the chocolate before laying it out flat to dry on the waxed paper atop the baking sheet.

After coating all of the bacon strips with the melted chocolate mixture, set the baking tray in the refrigerator (or in a wintry cold garage) for cooling. The chocolate will harden after several minutes.

Once the chocolate has solidified on the bacon strips, the chocolate-covered bacon is ready for serving or wrapping in clear plastic wrap for storage or gifting.

Chocolate-covered bacon is a Midwestern treat, and leftovers are pretty much non-existent.