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You know I’m a sucker for sweet and salty, it’s just how I roll. So, when I was thinking of game day snacks, I immediately thought maple bacon popcorn. I feel like I say this in every single post, but maple and bacon are like the perfect pairing for a sweet and salty treat. The best part about making something with maple and bacon paired in it, is that I get to sit back and watch Wesley go crazy over it. I absolutely love to watch people thoroughly enjoy a recipe of mine. Is that normal? Probably not, but Wesley does frequently say I’m a weird one.
This maple bacon popcorn and Henry’s Hard Soda makes me think of a childhood favorite that’s been made into a grown man’s favorite. This is when adulting comes in handy. Let me just say, this hard soda is insanely delicious. The first sip had a slight flavor of beer, but after that I could taste the orange soda flavor. It makes putting down the drink hard to say the least.
As I was browsing Price Chopper, I came across Henry’s Hard Soda. There were two flavors. Ginger ale and orange, I love both of those flavors but the winner was the orange. Maybe it was the bright orange color that drew me in and shouted game day. Yeah, I definitely think that was what did it. Plus, orange soda and sweet and salty popcorn. That sounds like a party. Let me give you a glimpse of my trip to the store to buy my party supplies.
This popcorn has flavor in every single bite. I cut my cooked bacon up with some scissors into pretty small pieces and placed them on top of the plain popcorn that was waiting to get coated with the maple brown sugar mixture. That allowed the bacon to become glued to the pieces of popcorn as I poured it on top of the popcorn. I have made a couple other maple bacon recipes. Check out my maple bacon cake pops, maple bacon rice krispies treats, and maple glazed yeast donuts topped with bacon.
- 16 oz. Jimmy Dean bacon
- ⅓ cup unpopped popcorn
- ½ cup salted butter
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ tsp. maple extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a rack inside a large jelly roll pan. Place the pieces of bacon side by side on the rack.
- Place into the oven and let bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip each slice of bacon. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
- Remove from rack and place on a paper towel lined plate. Let cool.
- Reduce the oven heat to 275 degrees.
- Line a large clean jelly roll pan (17¼ x 11½ Inch) with parchment paper. This will prevent any sticking.
- Using an air popper, pop the ⅓ cup of corn kernels. You can also pop the corn kernels in a kettle with some vegetable oil. Keep the kernels moving and the lid on the kettle. I would use 1 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- Spread the popcorn on the large jelly roll pan that's lined with parchment paper.
- Using scissors or a knife, cut the bacon into bite size pieces and place on top of the popcorn. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, add in the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. Place over medium heat and stir until the butter and sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture come up to a boil and boil for 8 minutes without stirring.
- Remove from the heat and add in the maple extract.
- Drizzle the maple brown sugar mixture over top of popcorn. Stir the popcorn and flip it to help coat the popcorn.
- Place in the oven and bake at 275 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir the popcorn again and flip it. Cover the popcorn as much as possible with the maple mixture.
- Place back into the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Stir and flip the popcorn one last time and set aside to cool. As the popcorn cools, the maple mixture will become crispy.
If you’re headed to Price Chopper for Henry’s Hard Soda, I found mine next to the peanut butter and jam aisle. I have also been able to get them at some of my local restaurants and bars like Green’s Long River Inn, Angus & Ale and The Red Caboose Restaurant & Bar. Price chopper is also running a game day deal on pizza and wings. You can get 2 single topping pizzas and 2lb. wings for $22.99. Might as well get a deal while they’re there!