A Salty-Sweet Surprise for National Popcorn Day

Try an all-new bacon, peanut and caramel corn recipe from Zac Young for national popcorn day.
By: Lindsay Damast

When we heard that today was National Popcorn Day, we here at Cooking Channel immediately began plotting the number of ways to celebrate this food holiday: super spicy? classically cheesy? dressed in herbs? Since January (and our get-fit resolve) is waning, we settled on sweet, in the form of crunchy, sugar-coated caramely, caramely caramel corn.

But no ordinary caramel corn recipe would do — this day comes just once a year, after all — so we turned to the master of sweets himself,  Double Ovens chef and Unique Sweets star Zac Young, to get his inventive take on the classic. Not one to disappoint, Zac shared a recipe that hits the sweet-tooth spot — with plenty of salty, smoky and savory flavor to boot. We guarantee this palate-pleasing treat will have you popping a second batch in no time.

Zac's Bacon Peanut Caramel Corn

Ingredients:
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 cup oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups honey roasted peanuts
1 pound extra-crispy cooked bacon

Directions:

Pop popcorn with oil in a large (covered) pot on the stove or in a popcorn maker. You know the popcorn is ready when the popping slows to one pop every seconds.

Pour popcorn onto a cookie sheet lined with a liner. Sprinkle salt, peanuts and crumbled bacon over the popcorn.

Heat the sugar, corn syrup and a ½ cup of water until light amber in color. Pour evenly over the corn. Mix the mixture on the cookie sheet with a heat-proof spatula to try and evenly coat the popcorn, peanuts and bacon. Place in a 350 degree oven for 7 to 10 minutes until the caramel has melted. Work the mixture again with the spatula until everything is evenly coated.

Let cool and enjoy!
Pictured above, clockwise from top left:
Want more ways to celebrate National Popcorn Day?
• Try Bobby Deen's lighter vanilla-cinnamon popcorn
• Make a thick candy-bar-like popcorn and peanut chocolate bark
• Make a cheesy batch with both Parmesan and Pecorino

• See how Kelsey adds honeycomb and peanuts to her popcorn to delicious effect

Add sesame seeds for a surprising, nutty note
Keep Reading

Next Up

Say Cheers to Your Team on Game Day

On Sunday while your team is facing off in New Orleans (or perhaps waiting it out to try again next year), skip a pitcher of beer in favor of these classier cocktails.

Football Food Hacks to Make Your Game-Day Party a Touchdown

Get food hacks for your game day party food recipes and ideas, including chicken wings, burgers and chips and guacamole.

On TV

Holy & Hungry

7:30am | 6:30c

Holy & Hungry

8:30am | 7:30c

Holy & Hungry

9:30am | 8:30c

Cheap Eats

10am | 9c

Cheap Eats

10:30am | 9:30c

Cheap Eats

11am | 10c

Cheap Eats

11:30am | 10:30c

Unique Eats

12pm | 11c

Unique Eats

12:30pm | 11:30c

Unique Eats

1pm | 12c

Unique Eats

1:30pm | 12:30c

Good Eats

2pm | 1c

Good Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Carnival Eats

6:30pm | 5:30c

Carnival Eats

7:30pm | 6:30c

Carnival Eats

8:30pm | 7:30c

Carnival Eats

9:30pm | 8:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Carnival Eats

10pm | 9c

Carnival Eats

10:30pm | 9:30c

Good Eats

11pm | 10c

Good Eats

11:30pm | 10:30c

Carnival Eats

12am | 11c

Carnival Eats

12:30am | 11:30c

Carnival Eats

1am | 12c

Carnival Eats

1:30am | 12:30c

Carnival Eats

2:30am | 1:30c

Good Eats

3am | 2c

Good Eats

3:30am | 2:30c
What's Hot
What's Hot

Cheap Eats

New Episodes Wednesdays 10|9c

So Much Pretty Food Here