I'm not quite sure why I was making Caramel Bacon Popcorn on a hot day in August, but here we are.
This was the first time I've made it, and all of the internet's recipes seemed to have a few things in common, none of which I really wanted to incorporate into my quick, lazy version:
1) The caramel sauce contained corn syrup, sometimes a lot.
2) You're supposed to measure the temp of the caramel with a candy thermometer.
3) You have the bake the final mixture in the oven for say, 45 minutes before you can devour it.
I had neither corn syrup nor a candy thermometer on hand, and my kitchen was about 1000 degrees, so I tried to simplify everything to the barest bones and see if we could still make an edible caramel bacon popcorn without all the bells and whistles.
To start with, here's the super simple recipe I used:
Bacon Caramel Corn for Lazy People
adapted from this about.com recipe
5 cups popped corn
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 pieces cooked bacon
salt, baking soda
* Cook the bacon, then pop the corn in the bacon fat.
* Crumble the bacon, then combine it with the popped corn.
* Cook the butter and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring, for about 4 minutes. You're looking for it to be bubbly, deep brown, and shiny. Pout in a tiny bit of baking soda and stir. It'll foam up a bit. Looks kinda like this:
* Then pour the caramel over the corn + bacon mixture, and combine by stirring or shaking.
* If desired, bake the mixture on a super-low temp, say 300 for 45 minutes, or until you remember to take it out.
The results? Let's take it point by point
1) Corn syrup: Don't need it. It tasted just fine, more than fine without it.
2) Candy Thermometer: Nope, you don't need it. You're just cooking everything for a few minutes, and as long as you have some liquid that reasonably resembles caramel sauce, you'll be okay. It might not be perfect, but it'll still be incredibly delicious.
3) Baking: To test, we baked half and just ate half straight up. And yep, the baked popcorn was way better, much crispier than the non-baked version. Just do it.
Most of all, wait until it's a bit cooler to try any of this.
Tagged with caramel bacon popcorn