Tag Archives: caramel

Bacon and Rosemary Caramel Corn

7 Jun

Hands down there is nothing better than bacon. Obviously lots of people agree because what used to be everyone’s favorite breakfast buddy is now making more and more appearances in sweet dishes like doughnuts, chocolate and, even, ice cream.

It never occurred to me to include bacon in caramel corn. But when you think about it – it makes total sense since caramel and salt became a duo more harmonious than Fred and Ginger. My first taste of Bacon and Rosemary Caramel Corn was as a Happy Hour nibble at Prospect, a contemporary American restaurant in downtown San Francisco. It was love at first bite and I couldn’t wait to make it at home.

I trolled around my go-to site, epicurious.com, searching “caramel corn.” I found a Bacon and Cashew Caramel Corn recipe that was a good place to start. I also often make Kraft’s Caramel Popcorn recipe without the nuts. While it goes against my grain to use prepared foods, this one is a little more “homemade” than some of their others and it tastes great. I took information from both recipes, paired it together with some of my cooking know-how and came up with this addictive recipe for Bacon and Rosemary Caramel Corn.

The popcorn is coated in a buttery and rich caramel and studded with salty and smoky bacon goodness. The rosemary adds adds a bit of earthiness. It is very easy to eat the whole batch yourself so make sure you have plenty of people around to share it!

A few things to note:
* Use popcorn popped on the stove top or in a popcorn maker. Most microwave popcorns are heavily seasoned and won’t work in this recipe. 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels yields 12 cups.
* Things can get very sticky with homemade caramel so be sure to spray work bowls and utensils with lots of cooking spray
* Cook the bacon until just done. It will cook more when the popcorn goes in the oven so make sure it isn’t too crispy or well-done when making this recipe.

Bacon and Rosemary Caramel Corn

12 cups popped popcorn
3/4 pound (12 ounces) bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon butter

1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed cooking sheet with parchment paper. Coat paper with cooking spray.

2) Spray large bowl with cooking spray. Add in popcorn, popcorn, bacon, rosemary and kosher salt. Toss until combined.

3) Bring cream and rosemary sprigs to a boil in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Discard rosemary sprigs.

4) Stir together sugar, water and corn syrup in large, non-stick saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring, occasionally swirling the pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush. Boil until syrup turns deep amber, about 13 minutes.

5) Remove from heat and immediately add steeped cream and butter (mixture will bubble vigorously). Set pan over low heat and whisk caramel until smooth, about 1 minute.

7) Drizzle caramel over popcorn mixture and toss with heat-resistant spatulas until evenly coated. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Place in oven and bake 20 minutes, stirring occassionally during cooking.

9) Cool completely on rack, tossing occasionally to break up large clumps.

Popcorn can be made two days ahead and stored in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator.

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