Bacon and Cashew Caramel Corn by Bon Appetit

Written by Becky

Josh and I recently celebrated our 5th year anniversary and what a better way to celebrate than with the foods we love the most, bacon (for Josh) and caramel (for me)?  I imagine this Bacon Caramel Popcorn would also be the perfect treat to have around Halloween or a fall party. I found this genius recipe on Bon Appetit and tweeked it just a bit by using popcorn bags instead of just kernels.

You might be a bit freaked out by the combo of bacon with caramel but they actually compliment each other quite well, making a perfectly salty and sweet treat, a combination I have grown to love.  You can read more about salty sweets in this post.

I hope you make something extra fun for Halloween.  I would love to hear what you’ll be making!

Bacon and Cashew Caramel Corn
by Bon Appetit
Makes about 15 cups
Time: prep 1 hour 20 minutes, 3 hours total (includes cooling time)

1/2 cup popcorn kernels (I used 2 bags of plain popcorn, popped in the microwave)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 ounces bacon, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted raw cashews (one 2.5-ounce package)
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt or coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 oolong tea bag (you might be tempted to skip this ingredient but it really adds to the flavor!)
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 300°F. Pop popcorn in microwave then our into very large bowl. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until almost crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain; cool. Add bacon and cashews to bowl with popcorn. Sprinkle with coarse salt and cayenne; toss to coat.

Bring cream and tea bag just to boil over medium heat. Remove from heat; let steep 15 minutes, occasionally pressing on tea bag with back of spoon to release flavor. Discard tea bag.

Line rimmed baking sheet with foil; coat with nonstick spray. Coat 2 wooden spoons or heat-resistant spatulas with nonstick spray; set aside. Stir sugar, 1/4 cup water, and corn syrup in large saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high; boil without stirring until syrup turns deep amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 13 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately add cream (mixture will bubble up). Stir until blended. Immediately drizzle caramel over popcorn mixture; toss with sprayed spoons until evenly coated. Transfer to sheet.

Place caramel corn in oven and bake until caramel is shiny and coats popcorn, tossing mixture occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool completely on sheet on rack, tossing occasionally to break up large clumps. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight in refrigerator.

Comments (11)

  1. Wade and I were just talking this weekend about how we couldn't think of any food that would taste bad with bacon – I would have never thought to put this combo together, but it sounds yummy!!!

  2. Wow! What a treat this is. The sweet/salty combination if one of my favorites and, really, you can never go wrong with bacon.

  3. OH MY GOSH!! Becky! You are on Bakerella's site for her book signing in SLC!! So exciting! 🙂 Now you are even MORE famous!

  4. Sheri, the original recipe calls for popcorn kernels and to make over the stove but I just used 2 bags of plain popcorn. Hope that helps!

  5. It’s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

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