|Saveur Maple-Bacon Popcorn Recipe|
Here is my version:
Spicy Maple Bacon Popcorn Topping
2 12-ounce packages John Morrell Rath Black Hawk Smoky Maple Bacon
1 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp bacon drippings
Preheat oven to 375°. Separate bacon into individual strips and divide into four equal sections for frying. Put one section of bacon strips into skillet and fry on stove top over medium heat until crisp and brown. Do not layer bacon. Remove bacon from skillet and drain on paper towel. Place next section of bacon into skillet and repeat process, until all four sections are done. Reserve 2 tbsp bacon drippings for your topping.
When bacon is finished frying and well drained, crumble it up into very small pieces. ( I used kitchen shears to cut mine up into tiny little strips. Then I put them all inside a clean paper towel, wrapping it around the bacon crumbles to form a ball that covered the bacon, and squeezed the ball gently to crumble it up really well.) Place bacon crumbles into bowl. Add syrup and pepper. Stir well and set aside.
Completely cover bottom and sides of a 7"x11" baking dish or similar size deep, oblong baking pan with Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick Foil . Pour 2 tbsp bacon drippings into the foil-lined pan and spread evenly. Add bacon crumble mixture to pan and spread evenly over the top of the foil and bacon drippings. Place in preheated oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Then, check your results. Topping mixture should be simmering and bubbly across the top. Once it is simmering and bubbly all across the top, turn off your oven. Do not remove topping mixture yet. Let it set inside the oven for about 30 more minutes. (Monitor the baking process carefully because bacon grease and maple syrup will ignite when overheated.) Then, remove the mixture from the oven so that it will continue to cool.
When it has cooled sufficiently to handle, remove popcorn topping from baking dish and place it into a container for serving or storing. You should end up with enough topping to fill a 12 ounce jelly jar.
Use one tsp topping per cup of fresh popped corn. Spoon over the top of lightly buttered popcorn and enjoy. Refrigerate any leftover topping. It tastes great cold, too.