I think too many food bloggers are overlooking the bigger food holiday coming up that allows--nay demands--foods with the highest possible contents of fat, sugar, and salt. Even non-football fans such as myself can appreciate the unhealthy food opportunities presented by Superbowl Sunday. But I don't think it should really matter about having an excuse, be it romance or pigskins, to eat poorly. (And yes, I realize this goes against everything I said in my last food post about baking healthier.) To that end, a week ago I had a true stroke of inspiration: maple bacon caramel corn.
I know, right?
This genius was the product of having an overabundance of bacon in my fridge and a love of sweet and salty combos, especially on popcorn. It might need some fine-tuning, but here's my process thus far:
1/2 unpopped popcorn
3 slices bacon
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup maple
a couple of dashes of salt
Preheat oven to 375.
Then cook the bacon to the crispiness you desire and move it to some paper towels to cool. Make sure to reserve the bacon grease.
Add the bacon grease to a large pan with a cover. Turn on medium high and add the popcorn. Cover with the lid and shake until most of the kernels are popped. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.
In another pot (or if you're like me, the same one, rinsed and dried), add the maple syrup and butter and heat over medium heat. When bubbles start to form, stir vigorously with a whisk for 4-5 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat.
Crumble the bacon and add it to the bowl with the popcorn. Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn. I then tossed it with salad tongs to evenly distribute. Pour the popcorn onto a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper (or one of those slipat mats if you have one). Put in the oven for around 10 minutes until the caramel is dry and delicious.
Separate any globs of popcorn that may have become stuck together and enjoy!