Bacon caramel popcorn is an appropriate gift for a third birthday, right? I thought so too I know I’ve been on a bit of a bacon binge lately, but can you blame me? It just makes everything a whole hell of a lot better. Just think about the bacon, caramelized onion and cheddar deviled eggs I made the other day; so much better than regular deviled eggs. Or the bacon, bourbon and peanut butter cookies; they kicked ass on regular peanut butter cookies. Throw some bacon into a grilled cheese sandwich or in the middle of a chocolate turtle and they go from good to holy f***ing good!
Adding a little, actually a lot, of bacon to caramel popcorn makes it so good that you’d seriously think about hoarding it all to yourself. But I’ve heard about that TV show Hoarders and from the sound of it those people are completely crazy, so you might not want to do that. Or at least don’t tell anyone if you do. I decided to share and wrapped up a big bag of this bacon caramel popcorn for my little nephew for his third birthday. I love anyone who loves bacon as much as I do. If that person happens to be my little nephew and the cutest little human being you’ve ever seen, I’ll love them even more.
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 pieces bacon, cooked crispy and chopped (reserve bacon fat)
- ½ cup peanuts
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 oolong tea bag
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat popcorn and oil in covered heavy large pot over medium-high heat until kernels begin to pop. Lift pot just barely off of element and shake until popping stops. Pour popcorn onto a large baking sheet..
- Sprinkle salt and cayenne over popcorn and toss to coat. Sprinkle bacon and peanuts on top of popcorn.
- Bring cream and tea bag just to boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes, occasionally pressing on tea bag with back of spoon to release flavor. Discard tea bag.
- Stir sugar, ¼ cup water, and maple syrup in large saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high; boil without stirring until syrup turns deep amber, about 13 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately add cream (mixture will bubble up). Stir until blended. Immediately drizzle caramel over popcorn mixture; toss to coat with wooden spoons.
- Place caramel popcorn in oven and bake until caramel is shiny and coats popcorn, tossing mixture occasionally, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Using wooden spoons toss popcorn and breakup any large chunks. Let cool another 5 minutes and then toss again. Continue this until caramel popcorn is completely cool.