I really considered naming this blog post “How To Make Crack.”
But I chickened out.
In need of a last minute gift? Give the gift of
crack caramel bacon popcorn. I think it’s a Southern thing, spending days in the kitchen making Christmas candy and sweet treats to pass out to the neighbors, your hair dresser and UPS man. I’ve watched my mom and sister spend hours on end cooking everything from peanut butter balls and divinity to haystacks and fudge. I’m usually the self-designated taste tester but this year I think I’ll contribute…and it wouldn’t be a Bree recipe without bacon. 😉
| scroll down for the recipe |
I follow a simple recipe for the caramel, fry some chopped bacon, and pop (healthy, no butter*) popcorn. Before I pour the caramel, I meticulously sift through popcorn to make sure there are no unpopped kernels. One caramel-covered unpopped kernel and you’ll end up at the ER (most likely the dentist) but still, pick those puppies out. Once you mix the caramel and bacon in with the popcorn, spread the sticky mixture on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Every 10 minutes, remove the cookie sheet from the oven and “toss” the popcorn. This helps ensure that each popped kernel is covered with the perfect amount of caramel. After 30 minutes (3 “toss sessions”), remove from the oven and let the popcorn cool completely.
*I use the healthiest popcorn I can find because you are literally going cover it with 2 sticks of butter, lots of sugar and bacon. So save the calories with the popcorn because you’ll make up for it with the caramel.
This caramel bacon popcorn is extremely addictive, so make more than you think you will need because I promise you’ll eat half of it before you can finish packing it out for gifts. I chose to fill up different size mason jars, adorned with the classic red stripe string for my gifting getup, but you use good ol’ Tupperware or cellophane baggies too!
- 3 bags of regular size microwave popcorn
- ¾ lb of thick cut peppered bacon
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
- Pop corn in the microwave and carefully transfer the popped kernels to a large bowl. You want to make sure no unpopped kernels make it into the bowl. (This is usually the most tedious step, but it's so worth it.)
- Chop bacon into small pieces and fry on medium heat until crispy and cooked. Drain on a paper towel and let cool.
- To begin the caramel sauce, melt butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a sauce pan.
- Bring sauce to a boil and boil for 4 minutes without stirring.
- While the sauce is boiling add about half the bacon into the bowl of popcorn and toss well.
- Once the caramel sauce has boiled for 4 minutes, take the sauce pan off of the heat and let the mixture cool for about 30 seconds.
- Pour caramel sauce over the popcorn and toss gently with a spatula.
- Add in the remaining bacon.
- Prep a backing sheet with parchment paper or foil and transfer caramel covered popcorn into an even layer on the sheet.
- Bake the popcorn for about 30 minutes, tossing/stirring every 10 minutes, for a total of 3 "tossing sessions."
- Let the popcorn cool on a parchment lined counter and then enjoy!
- The blandest, healthiest popcorn works best. Between the butter and the salt in the bacon, you get plenty of flavor. This piggy popcorn will keep for about a week or so if stored in an airtight container.
- *Yields about 16 cups