Waiter, there's Bacon in my Popcorn!

There are cultures on this fine earth that believe the pig is an unclean animal and should not be consumed.  I don't know if they're right or wrong, but I do know that they're missing out.  Of all the meats, pork has an amazing ability to transform into wondrous things... prosciutto, carnitas, ham, sausages, and, of course, bacon.

Bacon has magical powers.  This is no secret.  It was the power of bacon that compelled me back to being omnivorous after a dozen years as a vegetarian.  As the saying, and the t-shirt goes, "Bacon makes everything better".

I guess it's no surprise, then, that when brainstorming ideas for an appetizer/desert to bring with me to Paul and Lori's recent Soup Night, I turned to bacon.  Actually, in this case, the bacon was a happy accident.  I'd decided that I wanted to make some sort of gourmet flavored popcorn to share with my foodie friends on the inspiration of Roots Restaurant.  So I set to googling "gourmet popcorn recipes"...  Eventually, I came upon this.


And so the Nueske's bacon came out of the freezer (because no Milwaukee kitchen is complete without a stash on-hand), the bourbon supply was re-upped, and Bourbon Bacon Popcorn was made.

And then eaten.

All of it.

The Power of Bacon compelled me.

Bacon Bourbon Caramel Corn (adapted from sarahsprague.com)

5 quarts fresh plain popcorn
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 lb bacon (applewood-smoked is awesome) - fried crispy and chopped into bits
1 cup butter (for extra bacon-y goodness, replace up to half the butter with an equal amount of bacon drippings)
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 teas. sea salt
1/2 teas. baking soda
6 oz. bourbon 

Preheat your oven to 250º.
Melt butter over medium heat.  Mix in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt and then stir until boiling at the edges. Lower the heat slightly and let boil until the caramel is 250º or until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, add baking soda and bourbon. Once fully incorporated, stir in bacon and pecans
Divide mixed popcorn between 2 lightly-greased 9x13 or jelly roll pans.  Pour caramel evenly over corn.  Mix to coat. (Use a greased rubber spatula to keep from going crazy.)  Place in oven and bake for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10 - 15 minutes.
Remove caramel corn from oven, spread on parchment or wax paper to cool.  Break into pieces.  When completely cool, store in airtight container. Store in refrigerator -- there's meat in there!


  1. And even great for breakfast! Thanks again for bringing this deliciousness to our house. You can come over anytime if you bring this with you! :)

  2. I accidentally ate some caramel corn with Bacon. I thought at least caramel corn was safe. But no..

    Love the new blog look!

  3. Mmmm. Bacon. The only thing better is pie. I'm so glad you posted this, since I will make it - and share it if people are lucky...