Yesterday, I went out with a group of friends to go see the hit movie The Hunger Games. During the coming attractions, I was discussing with a few of them what I should make for my next recipe on the Republic of Bacon. After a short while, my friend, who just happens to be vegan of all things, shouts out “Why don’t you put some bacon on popcorn? That sounds easy enough!” Genius, pure genius. I guess that’s why she’s on her way to getting her PhD. This was a true movie-theatre inspired idea and I was all over it. I decided to take it one step further and make a sweet-and-salty combination. Caramelized bacon a top a home-made maple caramel corn.

Ingredients

6 Strips Maple Leaf Bacon

¼ cup + 6 tbsp Brown Sugar

¼ cup Maple Syrup

2 tbsp Corn Syrup

¼ cup Butter

¼ tsp Baking Soda

1 bag Microwave Popcorn

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 375F

2. Arrange 6 strips of bacon on a lined baking sheet and top with a tbsp. of brown sugar for each strip of bacon. Yes, that’s right. Caramelized bacon. Bake these for about 7 minutes per side. Chop it up small once its cooled and hardened.

3. While your bacon is cooking, stir together your ¼ cup of brown sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup and butter in a small sauce pan

4. Continue to stir until it comes to a boil. Once the sugar mixture comes to a boil STOP STIRRING. Let this continue to boil on medium-high for 3-4 minutes. We are candying the sugar. This will allow it to go crunchy later.

5. Pop a bag of popcorn and separate it into two paper bags

6. Pour equal amounts of your caramel over the two small bags of popcorn and shake them up. Don’t worry if they’re perfectly coated right now, it will fix itself later.

7. Put your two bags of coated popcorn in the microwave and nuke it for 45 seconds. Shake the bags, flip them over and re start the microwave for an additional 45 seconds. Be careful, the sugar gets pretty hot.

8. After the second go-round in the microwave, quickly arrange the popcorn on a parchment lined baking sheet in one layer to cool. Top with your caramelized bacon pieces.

9. After a couple minutes, the caramel will have cooled and gone hard. Grab your favourite flick and enjoy!