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Friday, June 10, 2011

Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

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After mentioning the whole bourbon, bacon, blues party theme in yesterday's post, you had to know another bacon recipe was headed your way! I'll change things up a bit tomorrow before I share a few other party recipes with you, but I've been dying to share this with my readers. I found this recipe while researching recipes for the party and passed it along to Maggie, who whipped up a few batches of the popcorn drug. Tasting this popcorn gave me a little insight into the life of an addict!

I could. not. walk. away. Though we had a fabulous spread of foods that evening, this was the one I returned to again and again. Long after my stomach was full, I still found my hand in the bowl of this stuff! I wasn't the only one who found it irresistible--a few hours into the evening, I noticed that the "refill" bag of the stuff had already been broken into by those hanging out in the kitchen.

Love caramel corn? You'll love this! Don't love caramel corn? You'll still love this! The bacon lends a smoky flavor that cuts into some of the typical sweetness. The maple syrup adds another dimension of flavor. Make this for your next party. People will raise an eyebrow when they hear but it is, but I guarantee they won't be able to stay away!

[And before I forget, the winner of the Kelapo Coconut Oil was Commenter #45: Nella! Nella, send me an email (natalie.mclaury@gmail.com) so we can get you your coconut oil soon and you can get to making some homemade granola bars! :) Thanks to all of you that commented--you gave me some GREAT granola bar ideas (Samoa-flavored? Tropical with Macadamia Nuts? Mocha Coconut? Yes! Yes! Yes!)...I will be concocting some other versions in my kitchen in the next few weeks!!]

One Year Ago: Spinach and Artichoke Pasta with Faux Alfredo

Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn
from Someone Left the Cake Out in the Rain

-9 strips bacon
-2 1/4 cups unpopped kernel corn (white or yellow)
-1 cup butter
-2 1/4 cups brown sugar
-1 cup maple syrup (real maple syrup, not pancake syrup)
-1/2 cup bourbon
-1 tbsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-vegetable oil
-sea salt

1. Fry bacon. Set aside.
2. Place 3 tbsp vegetable oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add 3 kernels to the pot..once they begin to pop, add 3/4 cup popcorn (you'll make 3 batches), cover, and shake the pot occasionally, so that the popcorn doesn't burn.
3. When popping has slowed, remove pot from heat and pour popcorn into a large bowl. Repeat twice more.
4. Preheat oven to 250F. Crumble bacon over batch of popped popcorn. In a large pot, bring butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
5. Stir in bourbon, vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda. Pour caramel mixture over bacon and popcorn mixture before tossing to coat evenly. Evenly spread the mixture over 3 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle each tray with salt.
6. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

This post is linked to Eat at Home.