Spicy Salted Caramel Popcorn, with Bacon

We recently celebrated my Husband’s 30th birthday party!!

IMG_2049-2

It was a great day, and he got a lot of fun gifts! One of my favorites is a Mini Kettle Popcorn Maker. It has a been amazing having fresh popcorn so easily accessible! 

IMG_2337-2

I have started to browse some of the MANY popcorn recipes out there. That is when I stumbled across one that truly has my name written all over it.

Spicy Salted Caramel Popcorn….with BACON!! It checks off all of my tastebuds…sweet, savory, and spicy!!

DSC_0990-2

It is truly…ooey gooey, and crunchy!! Plus the cayenne adds the perfect “kick”.

DSC_0986-2

 

For the popcorn, I use 10 cups of popcorn made in my kettle popcorn maker with 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels.  If you do not have a kettle popcorn maker, you could use an air popper, the old-fashioned stove top method, or even microwave popcorn. If you are using microwave popcorn, it is best if you use “naked” popcorn so that it does not taint the flavor.

To cook the bacon, we use the same method we use when making my Maple Bacon Cupcakes. I prefer to cook the bacon in the oven for this instead of a frying pan. Using this method the bacon doesn’t tend to shrink.

The caramel comes from my latest post. It is a really easy caramel to make, it doesn’t require a candy thermometer, and it yummy!!

One of the best ways I have found to coat the popcorn, is to spread it onto 1-2 cookie sheets, lined with Silicone Baking Mats. This will help the popcorn from sticking to the cookie sheet, and make clean-up a lot easier!

DSC_0984-2

Once you pour on the caramel, you will want to use a rubber spatula to help coat all of the popcorn.

DSC_0985-2

Then it goes in the oven at a low temp for one hour. This will help make sure all the popcorn gets coated, and the caramel “sets”. It won’t be as sticky to the touch, and will have that perfect crunch!

 

Spicy Salted Carmel Popcorn, with Bacon

  • 10 cups of cooked popcorn, plain
  • 6 slices of thick-cut bacon
  • 1 batch of Salted Caramel Sauce
  • 1 1/2 t of baking soda
  • 3/4 t of cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. It is best to place a wire cooking rack over a 13 x 9 pan in order to allow the bacon grease to drip down while cooking. Cooking time will vary per oven, but it is generally around 20-25 minutes. Be sure to flip the bacon once at the half-way point. Once bacon is done cooking, use paper towels to try to soak up most of the grease. Once the bacon cools, dice.
  2. Reduce heat to 200 degrees.
  3. Spread popcorn in a thin layer on 1-2 cookie sheets lined with silicone baking mats. If you do not have silicone baking mats, you may want to use wax paper sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Once the Salted Caramel Sauce is finished, mix in baking soda and cayenne pepper. The reaction will cause the mixture to bubble and rise. Stir in bacon bits.
  5. Pour over the popcorn and stir gently. Cover as much of the popcorn as possible. Place in the over for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
  6. Once done, stir once more. Allow to cool and break apart into clusters. To keep fresh, store in an air-tight container.

Slightly adapted from A Cozy Kitchen

 

I welcome your feedback, please let me know what you think!