This here? The perfect Halloween party food. As if caramel corn wasn’t addictive enough – using maple syrup and adding chunks of crisp bacon puts it over the top. If you’re looking for the ultimate Halloween treat, this is it – fill a bowl and watch everyone at your party converge around it ’til it’s empty. Best to make a double batch and have some more on standby in the kitchen. If you really want to bowl people over and knock it out of the park, use more of the bacon drippings in place of the butter when you make the caramel. Oh yes. Unreal.
It also makes a pretty fab gift– if you buy a cool bowl or mug or any type of vessel you can fill with it, wrap in cellophane and tie with ribbons.
Maple Bacon Caramel Corn
5 slices bacon
6-8 cups air popped popcorn
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup or corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla or maple extract
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup pecan pieces or halves (optional)
Preheat oven to 250° F. In a medium skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer to a plate, crumble or chop into chunky pieces and reserve 1-2 tablespoons of the drippings.
Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray and put the popcorn in it, along with the pecans if you’re using them.
Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and reserved bacon drippings in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil without stirring, swirling the pan occasionally, for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. It will foam up at first.
Quickly pour over the popcorn and stir to coat well, adding the reserved bacon. Tongs work really well for this! Spread onto a cookie sheet or roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. Cool.
Makes about 7 cups.
Who would have thought: French toast and bacon…cupcakes!