Spicy Bacon Caramel Corn

Photo by Carmen Troesser
November 2017

Spicy Bacon Caramel Corn


cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup light brown sugar
cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. bourbon
2 tsp. kosher salt
tsp. cayenne pepper
tsp. baking soda
12 cups popped popcorn (preferably stovetop)
8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup cashews


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with cooking spray.
Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar and corn syrup. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer undisturbed 4 minutes. Stir vigorously, then continue simmering, stirring every 30 seconds until the mixture turns amber, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in the bourbon, salt, cayenne and baking soda, then gently stir in the popcorn, bacon and cashews until evenly coated.
Spread the popcorn on the baking sheet in an even layer and bake 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
Spread out the popcorn on wax or parchment paper and let cool at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up clumps. Serve immediately or cover and store up to 5 days.