Phew! What a week! Life has certainly been crazy, because... Jack and I got engaged! Yay! Now the wedding planning is beginning, and I must say that it is a bit overwhelming, but I am sure it will all turn out well in the end.
Now, you're not here to read about the humorous story of our engagement, but I am sure you are here to read about what has certainly been a stress reliever with all that is going on- Caramel Bacon Popcorn! I was inspired to make such a crazy snack from the Boston Food Bloggers event at The Gallows, and decided to give it a try. My only modification was that I used turkey bacon rather than regular bacon. Quite honestly, we could not tell the difference.
I must confess though- popping popcorn kernels in a pan is a lot more difficult than I anticipated! I burnt the popcorn the first time around, more than likely because I was perusing reception venues, but I tried again, and everything turned out perfect. The caramel making process was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be too. I am thankful for a Le Creuset Dutch Oven for easy clean up after making such a sticky treat!
The end result of the popcorn was awesome! Finger licking, sweet and salty and totally addictive! This recipe will be seeing an encore in my kitchen in the very near future.
What is your favorite popcorn or sweet snack?
Caramel Bacon Popcorn
adapted from The Cooking of Joy
1/2 pound bacon
1/3 cup organic popcorn kernels*
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar (I used 1 cup light and 1 cup dark just because)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Cut bacon into a fine dice and fry until crisp. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Or, if you are like me and forget to reserve fat, use 2 tablespoons of butter.
Heat the bacon fat (or butter) in a large pot with a cover. Add 3 popcorn kernels and cover. Listen for all three kernels to pop, and add the rest of the popcorn kernels. Listen closely- they are often hard to hear! Cover and shake until popping stops. Put popped corn in a non-stick roasting pan, making sure to remove the unpopped kernels.
Preheat oven to 200°F.
Heat butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt in a saucepan over medium high heat until it reaches 300°F on a candy thermometer.
Remove from heat, stir in baking soda and bacon (the caramel will explode in volume at this point so make sure you use a large enough saucepan) and pour this caramel mixture over the popcorn (do this quickly so that the caramel does not cool and stiffen).
Stir the mixture with a couple wooden spoons and place in the oven for a total of an hour stirring the popcorn to evenly distribute the caramel and bacon every 15 minutes. Add more salt (if necessary) during this process. Cool and break into bite-sized pieces.