This year, tell your Dad you love him with bacon. We don’t usually make recipes this decadent, but Father’s Day happens once a year, and everyone needs a cheat now and again. And if you’re going to cheat, cheat with bacon caramel corn.
If you’re reading this and it is now past Father’s Day, this recipe also qualifies for other “it happens once a year” events… like birthdays, half birthdays and National Popcorn Day. What we’re trying to say is that you should make this recipe because it’s delicious.
- 1/2 cup popping corn
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 strips thick cut bacon
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
First, pop the popcorn. In a large pot with a lid, heat up the olive oil over a medium flame with 3 kernels of corn. When the kernels pop, it’s time to add the rest. Shake the pot around until the popping becomes infrequent. Watch out! You don’t want to burn the popcorn. It’s easier to pull out the unpopped corn than it is to unburn it (because you can’t do that). Set the popcorn aside.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
In a pan, fry the bacon over medium heat until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and leave the bacon grease. Add the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt and stir to combine. Continually stir until the mixture comes to a boil, and then let it sit (no stirring!) for 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and add in the vanilla extract and the baking soda.
Pour the mixture over the popcorn and shake or stir to coat. This step isn’t that easy, so it helps to add the caramel in stages and mix with a big spoon.
Pour the popcorn onto a lined cookie sheet and bake until the caramel becomes firm, about an hour. It’s definitely delicious unbaked, but the popcorn will become soggy if you don’t bake it.
What you do with the extra bacon is up to you. You can just eat it, you can chop it into tiny bites and toss it into the mix if you plan on eating it immediately, or you can save it for another recipe.