Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

Four of my favorite words: Bacon. Bourbon. Caramel. Popcorn. Each on their own sounds amazing and delicious but together … oh man, it's almost too much.

You might remember the bacon caramel popcorn that I made for my cutest ever little nephew for his 3rd birthday. (Which was almost 2 years ago to the date. 2 years ago! Crazy.) It was one of the best things I had eaten at that point.

And why is this the first time since experimenting with that recipe 2 years ago that I've made it since? Also crazy.

Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

I made this popcorn for a catering event I had a few weeks ago. See those cute little bags? ↑ I was feeling so Pinterest-y making them, which is usually so not me. Don't you love it when you feel for a nano second that you could maybe be a part of all those incredibly talented and crafty Pinterest goddesses out there?

Or maybe you are one. In which case I bow down to you.

Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

I've made this recipe a few times since and served it as a part of the dessert at the supper club. I love how fun and unconventional popcorn for dessert feels. It's playful and light and oh so unexpected.

I'll admit that the bourbon doesn't play a huge roll in this recipe. It's definitely an in-the-background flavour. The bacon on the other hand … oh the bacon. The rich, smoky, delicious bacon. There's lots of it in here which made my mouth very happy.

Enjoy!

Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

If you make this Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn, make sure to snap a pic and tag @theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you create.

Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

You can't go wrong when your popcorn has bacon, bourbon and caramel. This popcorn treat is a different kind of dessert but is absolutely amazing!

If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!

4.80 stars (10 ratings)
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Ingredients

  • ¾ lbs. bacon, diced
  • 1 cup popcorn kernels, 22 cups popped corn
  • ¾ cup melted butter, the amount you'll need will depend on how much bacon fat you have.
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons bourbon, divided
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions 

  • Place the diced bacon in a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. Cook the bacon for 10-12 minutes, or until it is quite crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve the bacon oil.
    ¾ lbs. bacon
  • Pour 2 tablespoons of the bacon oil into a large pot over medium heat. Add 2-3 popcorn kernels and cover the pot. When you hear the first kernels start to pop add the remaining kernels all at once. Give the pot a shake then reduce the temperature to medium-low. Continue shaking the pot occasionally until most of the popping has stopped popping. Remove the pot from the heat. Pour the popcorn into a very large bowl, making sure that no un-popped kernels get into the bowl. (Use 2 bowls, if needed.)
    1 cup popcorn kernels
  • Pour the reserved bacon fat into a 1 cup measuring cup. Fill the rest of the cup with melted butter and then pour it into a medium-sized pot – see notes. Add the brown sugar, 4 tablespoons of bourbon, and sea salt to the pot.
    ¾ cup melted butter, 2 cups brown sugar, 6 tablespoons bourbon, ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and bring the pot to a boil. Stir the pot once then let it boil without stirring until the candy thermometer reads 275 degrees. (This will take approximately 4-5 minutes.) When the candy thermometer reads 275 degrees immediately remove the pot from the heat and stir in the baking soda, vanilla, cayenne pepper, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of bourbon. Be careful at this point as the caramel will bubble up considerably and create a lot of steam.
    1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn, tossing the popcorn as you pour the caramel over it. Toss the crispy bacon through the popcorn.
  • Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking trays with parchment paper. Pour the caramel covered popcorn evenly between the two trays. Bake the popcorn in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the popcorn from the oven and let it cool completely before storing it in an airtight container.

Notes

Do not use a pot that is too small as the caramel will bubble up considerably.
Serving: 1 cup, Calories: 184kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 209mg, Potassium: 63mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 164IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 15mg, Iron: 1mg
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?If you love this recipe as much as we do, be sure to leave a review or share it on Instagram and tag @TheEndlessMeal.