I am a huge snacker! I get it from my dad. One of my favorite things to do as a kids was curl up next to dad on the sofa. Friday and Saturday nights were our time to watch television as a family. We would pop a big bowl of popcorn and pop open a soda and just enjoy each other’s company. My dad was also a big fan of bacon, so I bet he would have loved a big bowl of this Bacon Caramel Popcorn!
I had my first taste of this deliciously different appetizer (or snack as you will) when my family visited The Polaris, a very cool rotating restaurant, located at the top of the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Georgia. (Be sure to stay tuned for my post this weekend on the entire experience.)
Chef Rodney Ashley, who is hands down one of the best chefs in the world, had their Benton’s Bacon Pop Corn on their menu and our entire table fell in love. I did my best to duplicate the recipe, and although it is not up to par of a fine Chef like Rodney, I think I did pretty well!
In my bacon caramel popcorn recipe, I did a pretty heavy pouring of the caramel as we all have a sweet tooth. I knew the kids would enjoy the mix of sweet and salty and boy did they! Of course they quickly pointed out it was “Not like Chef Rodney’s mom!
But they agreed it was pretty darn good! The recipe would be good with peanuts or cashews mixed in! I am going to try that next time! This appetizer is the prefect precursor to my Roasted Pork Chops with Green Beans and Potatoes Recipe.
Bacon Caramel Popcorn:
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 1/2 ounces bacon, about 2 slices
- 1 1/2 quarts popped popcorn
- 8 teaspoons butter
- 4 teaspoons bacon fat
- 5 ounces (10 tablespoons) brown sugar
- 8 teaspoons corn syrup
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Place popped popcorn in a very large bowl.
- Prepare 2 sheet pans with nonstick spray and line with aluminum foil or silicone baking sheet.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, par-cook the bacon and render the bacon fat. Once the bacon has cooked, strain the bacon fat from the bacon pieces and reserve the fat. Transfer the cooked bacon pieces to paper towels and continue to drain the excess fat. Then add to popcorn.
- In the saucepan already used, add the butter and bacon fat (add more bacon fat as needed). Heat until the butter has fully melted.
- Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil and stir constantly. Continue to boil without stirring for 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla.
- Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, tossing to coat evenly.
- Divide the mixture evenly between sheet pans and bake, stirring every 15 minutes for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.
What is your favorite way to eat popcorn?Do you put toppings in/on it? I would love to hear!