Windy City Pig Candy Popcorn Mix

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: about 16 cups
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Ingredients

For the Pig Candy:

Cooking spray

2 cups packed light brown sugar 

12 ounces medium-cut applewood-smoked bacon (about 12 slices)

For the popcorn mix:

8 cups plain popcorn 

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar 

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup light corn syrup

6 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

8 cups yellow cheddar popcorn

Directions

  1. Make the Pig Candy: Preheat the oven to 275  degrees F. Set a rack on a rimmed baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Place the brown sugar in a pie dish. Gently press each slice of bacon into the brown sugar until coated (it?s OK if there are patches of uncoated bacon).
  2. Immediately arrange the bacon on the prepared rack and bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until super crispy and golden, 50 to 60 minutes, depending on the thickness of the bacon. Transfer the bacon to a piece of parchment paper and let cool.
  3. Make the popcorn mix: Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside. Put the plain popcorn in a large bowl. Bring the granulated sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cook, without stirring, until light amber, 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to a very low simmer and gently swirl the pot until the mixture is dark amber, 2 to 3 more minutes.
  4. Take the pan o the heat and add the butter. Let the caramel bubble, stirring until the butter is fully combined. Add the salt and baking soda and stir until uniform. Pour over the plain popcorn and mix well, then spread on the prepared baking sheet and let cool completely.
  5. Combine the caramel corn and cheddar popcorn in a large bowl; crumble the Pig Candy on top.

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