Midday Fix: Oscar viewing party treats and ideas from Boutique Bites chef Elaina Vazquez

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Elaina Vazquez

Boutique Bites

BRIQUE - new event space
224 N. Ada Street
Chicago
(773) 313-3211
www.boutiquebites.com

Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn
Yield 12 small bowls

Ingredients:
6 strips of bacon, reserve bacon fat
3/4 cup of unpopped kernels
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup bacon fat
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:
Fry bacon and set aside. Drain bacon fat and reserve for caramel mixture. Put 3 Tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add 3 kernels to the pot – when they begin to pop, add the 3/4 cup of popcorn, cover and shake pot occasionally, so popcorn doesn’t burn. Remove pot from heat once popping has slowed, place popcorn in a large bowl. Heat oven to 250 degrees. Crumble bacon over finished popcorn. In a large pot, bring butter, bacon fat, brown sugar, and maple syrup to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Stir in bourbon, vanilla extract, salt and baking soda. Warning: this mixture might overflow so use a pot that is tall enough, just in case. Pour caramel mixture over bacon and popcorn mixture. Toss to coat evenly. Spread mixture onto a large baking sheet covered in parchment. Bake for 50 minutes, stirring the popcorn every 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for 1 hour.