Sweet Bacon Habanero Party Popcorn
After making those sweet & spicy party pecans with Jack Daniels, I was SO tempted to try that taste combination with bacon. So I broke out my air popper and popped up some popcorn, mixed it in with some pretzels & nuts, then cooked up the hot sweet buttery “syrup”, added a little bacon goodness and oooh what resulted was a spicy sweet smoky salty bit of crunchy munchy-liciousness.
I don’t think this taste combination is for everyone. There is heat involved. It’s not intensely hot, but hey, habaneros are not for the weak of heart. I had my brother in law in mind when I made this. He likes hot & spicy foods. And he loves bacon (well, okay, really he loves meat of any kind). And yes, candy too. So this should be perfect for him, don’t you think? (I’m pretty sure he doesn’t ever read my blog … but don’t tell him, k?)
He’s not getting all of it, though. I kinda inhaled a bowl-full one night after yoga. Ooops! It goes addictive-ly well with a nice dark beer. I had a vanilla porter with mine. Mmmm.
It’s not the healthiest mixture around, but it does have lots of fiber from the popcorn and protein from the nuts, so it’s not ALL bad. And hey, it’s the holidays. We’re allowed to splurge a little, right?
- 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn (about 10 cups popped)
- 2 cups pretzels
- 2 cups mixed nuts
- 3 Tablespoons butter + 1 Tablespoon bacon fat (or 4 T butter)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
- 2 Tablespoons habanero pepper sauce (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 Tablespoons crumbled, cooked bacon
- Coarse sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 250 F. Pop the popcorn and split it between two large mixing bowls. Add a cup of pretzels and a cup of mixed nuts to each bowl and toss lightly to mix.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and bacon fat, then add the brown sugar, whiskey, habanero sauce, salt and garlic. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the crumbled bacon.
- Pour the buttery bacon mixture over the popcorn in the bowls and stir gently to coat all the pieces.
- Pour the popcorn mixture onto a jelly roll pan (or other large baking sheet with an edge). Sprinkle lightly with the coarse sea salt.
- Bake at 250 for 30 - 45 minutes or until the popcorn and nuts are crisp, stirring every 10 - 15 minutes or so. Let cool, then store in an airtight container. (A tin is perfect!)
You can make this party mix gluten free if you skip out on the pretzels (or use GF pretzels?) and change out the whiskey for a gluten free form of alcohol. Most rums are gluten free, and some tequilas are, too.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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This recipe was shared at Sweet & Savory Sunday.