Bacon Peanut Caramel Corn

Recipe by Zac Young
YIELD: 12 cups




  • Pre Heat Oven to 375. Lay bacon out on a baking sheet and cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Reserve the rendered fat and set the bacon aside.
  • Reduce the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large pot, place 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon fat and the popcorn. Put a lid or heat proof bowl on top (unless you want popcorn all over your kitchen). Cook over medium heat, shaking the pot intermittently until the popcorn slows to 1 pop every two or three seconds. Remove from heat and pour the popcorn into a bowl. (if you’d like to use air popped or microwave popcorn, that will work as well. Make sure it’s a “natural” kind without the artificial butter flavor. 2 bags of microwave popcorn will give you more than enough for 8 cups.).
  • Wipe out the popcorn pot, making sure there is residue and add the water, then the corn syrup and sugar. Cook on medium high heat, until the mixture turns a light amber color, about 6 to 8 minutes. You do not want to over cook the caramel.
  • While the caramel cooks, spread the popcorn onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat, or parchment paper (if using parchment paper, make sure it fully lines the baking sheet or the caramel corn will stick.).
  • Sprinkle the peanuts evenly over the sheet. Crumble the cooled bacon over the popcorn and peanuts. You want the bacon to be in small pieces. Season the popcorn with a generous pinch of salt. (If you are using microwave popcorn that is salted, omit this step).
  • Once the caramel is light amber, drizzle it evenly over the sheet of popcorn, scraping the pot with a heatproof spatula. Immediately stir the popcorn mix and caramel to coat. The caramel will start to harden and not fully coat everything, that’s ok, you just want to get the process started.
  • Place the sheet in the oven and bake for thirty minutes, stirring the corn every 8 to ten minutes. When you stir the corn, make sure to scrape the caramel off the silicone mat and turn it over to coat.
  • Once fully coated, remove from the oven and break the clusters apart with a fork, or your hands.
  • Let fully cool. Once cool the caramel corn will store for a week in an airtight container protected from humidity.