Bourbon Caramel Corn With Bacon

  • 1 cup popcorn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use coconut oil great flavor)
  • 12 ounces bacon, chopped (I prefer a thicker cut smoked bacon for extra flavor)
  • 1 cup nuts optional (pecans, cashews, peanuts)
2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ¾ cup light Karo syrup
  • ¼ cup Bourbon/Whiskey (I prefer Makers Mark and probably did a splash more)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat popcorn and oil in covered heavy large pot over medium-high heat until kernels begin to pop. Using oven mitts, hold lid on pot and shake pot until popping stops. Pour popcorn 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 nuts to bowl with popcorn. Sprinkle with coarse salt; toss to coat.

Melt butter in sauce pan add brown sugar, Karo syrup and whiskey. Simmer for about 7 minutes. Taste and adjust whiskey flavor to your liking. Take off heat and add vanilla.

Line rimmed baking sheet with foil; coat with nonstick spray. Coat 2 wooden spoons or heat-resistant spatulas with nonstick spray; set aside. 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 30 minutes. Cool for about 45 minutes to an hour, tossing occasionally to break up large clumps.

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