There is something that has been a part of many families for years and it still is an important part of getting together as a family in many households, even down to this day. I’m talking about that one night of the week when everyone in the family gets together, sits down as a family and enjoys a movie. It is a special occasion that many of us cherish.
The movie is perhaps the most important part of movie night but another important part is always going to be the snack. Popcorn is typically on the menu but if you would like to take things to the next level, you can do so with this Bacon Bourbon caramel popcorn. It is not only delicious, it is awesome, so you may just want to make extra.
¾ lbs. bacon, diced
1 cup popcorn kernels (22 cups popped corn)
Butter – up to 1 cup
2 cups brown sugar
6 tablespoons bourbon, divided
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Place the diced bacon in a medium sized frying pan over medium high heat. Cook the bacon for 7-10 minutes, or until it is quite crispy.
Pour 1 cup of popcorn kernels into an air popper.
Pour 1 cup of butter into a medium sized pot. Add the brown sugar, 4 tablespoons of the bourbon and the sea salt to the pot. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and bring the pot to a boil. Stir the pot once then let it boil without stirring until the candy thermometer reads 275 degrees. (This will take approximately 4-5 minutes.) When the candy thermometer reads 275 degrees immediately remove the pot from the heat and stir through the baking soda, vanilla, cayenne pepper and the remaining 2 tablespoons of bourbon. Be careful at this point as the caramel will bubble up considerably and create a lot of steam.
Immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn, tossing the popcorn as you pour the caramel over it.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking trays with parchment paper. Pour the caramel covered popcorn evenly between the two trays and toss the crispy bacon over top of the popcorn. Bake the popcorn in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Remove the popcorn from the oven and let it cool completely before storing it in an airtight container.