Forget Cracker Jacks — with bacon and caramel, this is our new sweet and salty popcorn addiction.
8 pieces bacon, chopped
3/4 cup popcorn kernels
3 tablespoons canola/vegetable oil
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
Let's get Cooking...
Preheat oven to 300 degrees, and prepare 2 baking sheets with slightly greased aluminum foil.
In a cold frying pan, add chopped bacon. Turn heat up to medium, and cook bacon until crispy. Remove from pan, and drain on paper towels.
In a large pot, heat oil on medium-high heat, and add popcorn kernels. Cover, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally until popping has almost stopped.
In a separate large pot, add butter and melt on medium-high heat. Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and continue to cook mixture for 5 minutes, or until caramel takes on a golden brown color.
Remove caramel from heat, and add baking soda, salt and black pepper, stirring to combine. Lastly, add the bacon.
Pour caramel over popcorn, and toss to coat. Divide popcorn between two baking trays, and spread out into one even layer. Bake for 1 hour, stirring the popcorn mixture every 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and transfer to parchment paper to cool. Break into pieces and enjoy!