Popcorn gets better with caramel, cashews….and BACON! Pop up a batch of bacon cashew caramel popcorn with this fun and festive snack recipe.
Now you have to admit, I have been very well-behaved in terms of the bacon recipes lately. I didn’t put any bacon in the shrimp pot pies, or the lemon chicken parm, or even the pizza potatoes. I am practically going through bacon withdrawal over here.
And the only antidote might be this CRAZILY good popcorn. Bacon, cashews and popcorn, all held together with just a little bit of caramel.
It’s hard to describe how completely, totally, addictively good this is. All I will say is, one minute that jar was full up with popcorn, and the next it was empty. It’s all kind of a blur to me. A happy, sweet, salty blur.
Here’s how you make bacon cashew caramel popcorn!
Pop up about 15 cups of popcorn (which is about 1/2 cup of unpopped popcorn kernels, which doesn’t make sense to me but it’s true.) You can of course use already popped popcorn, or pop it up in the microwave – just make sure you get plain popcorn.
Personally, I like hauling out my good old popcorn popper, because it reminds me that freshly popped popcorn is a wonderful thing, and the popper stays out for a while.
Anyway, having about 15 cups of popcorn will mean your popcorn ends up with just a tiny bit of caramel on each kernel, which was perfect from my point of view, but if you like more caramel on your caramel corn, cut the popped popcorn down to 10 or 12 cups.
Cook up some bacon, crumble it up and toss it in with the popcorn. My all time favorite way to cook bacon is in the oven – less mess and perfectly evenly cooked bacon – but you be you, bacon-wise.
Add in some cashews and a pinch of salt.
Now comes the fun part: making the caramel. You bring some cream to a simmer and let it sit for a while. Then you boil up some sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium pot until the sugar melts and turns amber-colored.
Now comes the dramatic part: pour in the cream…it will bubble up and then before your eyes you will have a pan full of beautiful molten caramel. Quickly pour it over your popcorn mixture, quickly stir it up to coat everything with just a touch of caramel loveliness.
Now dump the whole shebang onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and let it cool until the caramel hardens. Then comes the hardest part of all: trying not to eat it all in one fell swoop.
Good luck with that part – I speak from experience!
Want to round out your meal? This recipe pairs well with...
Popcorn gets better with caramel, cashews….and BACON! Pop up a batch of bacon cashew caramel popcorn with this fun and festive recipe.
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels, popped to make 12-15 cups popcorn (see note)
- 6 ounces bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray. Spray two large spoons with cooking spray as well.
- Combine popcorn, bacon and cashews in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat.
- Bring cream to a simmer in a small pot to heat it up and then set aside,
- Stir sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium pot over medium low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until syrup turns amber, occasionally swirling Pantones mix it up. This will take about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately add cream. The mixture is going to dramatically bubble up – don’t panic!
- Immediately pour mixture over popcorn, being Very Careful – it’s hot. Toss with the sprayed spoons until well-combined and transfer to baking sheet. Cool completely and then break up into chunks.
You can of course use already popped popcorn – just make sure it is the plain kind.
Need to add something to your kitchen equipment to make this recipe? Below are some of the items we used in the Framed Cooks kitchen to help cook this up. These are affiliate links to things we use and love, which helps to pay for all that bacon I keep buying!
Updated (and made even more delicious!) from a previously published Framed Cooks post!