Bacon + Bourbon

When one of my besties asked if I wanted to participate in the cooking preparations for her boyfriend’s birthday party this past weekend, I said, “LET ME THINK ABOUT IT.”

But then she informed me we’d be making Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn, and I said, “DID YOU EVEN HAVE TO ASK?!”

Typically I don’t jump at the thought of bacon, but this recipe sounded way too intriguing and delicious to question.

Crispy bacon and salty popcorn unforgivingly coated in butter, sugar, maple syrup and a touch of bourbon – it was like the birthday party had been conveniently relocated to my mouth!

The hint of liquor provided an unexpected flavor, leaving you wondering what exactly you’d just tasted.

Needless to say, this sweet and savory treat was a hit.

I’m so glad my friend shared this recipe with me; that’s what besties are for.

Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

Source: Villains Tavern in L.A. via DailyCandy...with a few small tweaks

What You Need

  • 8 strips of bacon
  • 3 bags of unpopped kernel corn OR if using an air popper, 1 cup of unpopped kernels
  • 1½ cups of butter
  • 3 cups packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup bourbon or rum
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, if popping on stove; disregard if using an air popper

What To Do

  1. Place bacon on a baking sheet and bake at 400° until crisp, about 12 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and unpopped kernel corn in a large, deep pot, then place on high heat. Cover and shake pot occasionally, so popcorn doesn’t burn. Remove pot from heat once popping has slowed. If using an air popper, ignore this step and pop popcorn according to air popper directions.
  3. Heat oven to 250°.
  4. Crumble bacon and spread over finished popcorn.
  5. In a large pot, bring butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup to a boil, stirring constantly.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
  7. Stir in bourbon or rum, vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda, and mix.
  8. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and bacon and mix until distributed evenly.
  9. Spread coated popcorn on large baking trays.
  10. Bake for 1 hour, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven. Cool for 1 hour.

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