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An adult version of “Cracker Jacks” that’s perfect for any celebration, especially New Year’s Eve!  My Bourbon Caramel & Cashew Popcorn with Maple-Bacon Dust is simply to die for!

bourbon caramel and cashew popcorn with maple bacon dust

BOURBON CARAMEL & CASHEW POPCORN WITH MAPLE-BACON DUST

Coated in a dreamy bourbon caramel sauce, fresh popped corn and cashews are then liberally sprinkled with Maple-Bacon Dust!  Bourbon Caramel & Cashew Popcorn is just one more of my “Over-the-Top” New Year’s Eve Party Ideas.   OMG, your guests will go nutty for this special occasion treat!

 

SERVE YOUR BOURBON CARAMEL & CASHEW POPCORN IN STYLE!

bourbon caramel & cashews popcorn labels

When I host a gathering, I usually try to serve some type of “specialty” drink or treat that’s a little “over-the-top”!  

And since I know my guests love to munch and imbibe while visiting with each other, I wanted to make my specialty New Year’s Eve Party snack portable!  

So, what do you serve your BOURBON CARAMEL & CASHEW POPCORN WITH MAPLE-BACON DUST in?  

Chinese Take-Out Containers, of course! But plain white containers would be boring, right?

So I decided to create some great party labels for them!  

There’s four different designs, 2 for New Year’s Eve and 2 more for the cold days of Winter! 

  • After you download the PDF, you can print them on Avery Full Page Package Stickers or Glossy Photo Stock paper. 
  • Then cut out and adhere to the two end sides of the take-out containers. 
  • Add an “adult” prize to the package before filling with popcorn for an extra-special party presentation

 

I actually tried it both ways. The stickers were really easy to cut out and adhere to the little boxes, no problemo.  Then I tried them on glossy photo paper, and liked the way they had a nice “shine” to them.  Both methods are fast and easy, the choice is yours!

I purchased a bulk package of Chinese take-out containers fromchinese take out containers Amazon:

16 Oz. Takeout Food Container with Handle – Microwaveable Kraft White Paper Chinese Take Out Box (50 Pack)  for under $16.00.

No, I won’t need all of them for this New Year’s Eve party. But I know I’ll find another fabulous entertaining use for them in the near future!

These are exactly the type of item that if you buy cheaply in bulk, can be reused, recycled, or repurposed, depending on your needs.  I’m already thinking about something romantic for Valentine’s Day…

I’ll tell you how to get your own holiday party labels for your Bourbon Caramel & Cashew Popcorn at the bottom of this post.

You’ll also find a bunch more New Year’s Eve Party Printables there too!

 

HOW TO MAKE CARAMEL CORN – THEN MAKE IT PARTY READY!

I’m a lover of caramel popcorn, it’s a bit of a sickness with me.  No, I don’t eat it all the time, and can go months without a single nibble!  Really…

bourbon caramel and cashew popcornBut I will say this, once I take the first bite of caramel popcorn, I have all sorts of trouble stopping!  We usually receive a huge can from a client during the holiday season, and it’s always delicious.  But it’s not fabulous!

So, I went about developing a recipe for my Bourbon Caramel & Cashew Popcorn with Maple-Bacon DustIt’s truly worthy of serving at a fancy holiday soiree like New Year’s Eve!

What I don’t love about many caramel popcorn recipes is they just don’t have the right ratio of caramel sauce to popcorn.  Many are way too gooey, or a little too hard and brittle.

With some experimenting in the kitchen, I think I’ve achieved the perfect combination, and then doubled-down to make it fabulous!  Wait until you taste my version with Maple-Bacon Dust sprinkled on top!

 

BOURBON CARAMEL AND CASHEW POPCORN

  • You’ll start by making a batch of “Maple-Bacon Dust”!  It is an amazing ingredients to have around!
  • The caramel is made on the stove, without the need of a candy thermometer
  • Read the entire recipe carefully and assemble all the ingredients before starting your caramel sauce

 

bourbon caramel and cashew popcorn

  • Then it’s drizzled with my incredible, buttery caramel sauce that’s got an adult “kick” to it.  My final caramel sauce recipe ended up with a few ounces bourbon in it to “up” the party-ready flavor
  • Once the popcorn and cashews are thoroughly coated, it’s baked at a low heat, stirring occasionally, to allow the soft caramel to bake into the popcorn 
  • When the bourbon caramel popcorn & cashews are almost done, you’ll sprinkle on the Maple-Bacon Dust and pop it back in the oven for a few more minutes

bourbon caramel and cashew popcornI do believe you’ll agree, this is not only a divine recipe for caramel popcorn, but it’s also fit to serve at all your holiday parties! 

Bourbon Caramel Popcorn & Cashews with Maple-Bacon Dust will also be a hit served in paper cones for the 4th of July! 

NAN’S TIP: Use a large non-stick skillet to make the caramel sauce for the popcorn because it’s much less messy at clean-up time. I also spray my mixing bowl and wooden spoon with vegetable spray to keep the caramel from making a sticky mess when coating. 

 

DON’T HAVE A POPCORN POPPER OR DEHYDRATOR?  You Don’t Need Them!

POPPING CORN THE FAST WAYbourbon caramel and cashew popcorn with maple bacon dust

  • Add 3 Tbsp. popcorn kernels to a brown paper bag
  • Fold down the top to seal the bag tightly
  • Microwave bag for approximately 1 minute, 45 seconds on High, or up to 2 minutes, depending on your microwave
  • You’ll end up with about 5 cups in each batch, you’ll need two for this recipe
  • Of course you can add salt once it popped if you desire

 

DEHYDRATING IN A CONVENTIONAL OVEN

  • Cook the bacon in a conventional oven after coating in maple syrup or maple sugar
  • Let dry in an oven set at a very low heat for an hour
  • Grind dried maple bacon into “dust”

 

See, it’s really simple to do both these tasks without the help from any fancy kitchen gadgets or appliances… of course, we’re not counting our trusty microwaves!  They’ve become a kitchen necessity these days, haven’t they?

 

“ADULT” CRACKER JACKS FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE

I hope you love this recipe for Bourbon Caramel & Cashew Popcorn with Maple-Bacon Dust as much as my crowd does!  It’s perfect for serving at fancy parties or barbeques, at home in upscale or casual gatherings alike. 

bourbon caramel and cashew popcorn with maple bacon dust

I’m all about the special occasion presentation, making sure my party foods are decorated or presented in party-perfect ways.  That’s why I served my caramel popcorn in Chinese take-out containers!

You can see I added some curled ribbons and raffia to the container for a little festive touch too!

Do you WANT and NEED some more fabulous  “Over-the-Top” New Year’s Eve Party Ideas & Recipes?  How about fabulous New Year’s Eve Printables?  Keep reading my “party-animal” friends…

 

ADD SOME MORE FABULOUS NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY IDEAS TO YOUR EVENING

new year's eve party ideas

When you’re planning how to decorate and assemble a stylish soiree for your besties, you’ll need plenty of New Year’s Eve Party Ideas! 

I’ve assembled an incredible collection of coordinating New Year’s Eve Party Ideas this year!  They all just happen to  go perfectly with your New Year’s Eve Photo Prop Picture Frame.

CLICK THESE LINKS FOR LOTS MORE STYLISH NYE IDEAS:  “Over-The-Top” New Year’s Party Ideas

 

champagne jello posh shots

 

Champagne Jello “Posh Shots” in Flute Glasses

New Year’s Eve “Posh Mallow” Tower & Gourmet Dipped Marshmallow Pops

 

new year's eve photo picture frame

HERE’S ALL THE FABULOUS NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY PRINTABLES I PROMISED YOU!

 

NEW YEAR’S EVE PRINTABLES – Up Your Hostess Game!

Don’t forget to download these fabulous New Year’s Party Printables to help make your soiree a festive greeting to the New Year!

 

happy new year garland

Want your own set of all the fabulous NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY PRINTBLES?  AREN’T YOU ON OUR LIST YET?

Why not join in on the fun!bow tie drink name tags

Fill out the form below and I’ll send you a copy as a thank you for joining the IFAFL Email Subscriber List.

As a Ingredients For A Fabulous Life Subscriber, you’ll also get instant access to the IFAFL Resource Library and receive our twice-weekly emails.

What are you waiting for?  You don’t want to miss out on anything fabulous, do you? 

There’s always something fabulous happening here at Ingredients For A Fabulous Life, don’t you want to stay in the loop?  

And while you’re at it, come join the gang in our Facebook group and get in on the gabfest at, The Fab Life!

That’s where we show off our triumphs and share our pursuit of “the good life” with each other all week long.  

 
 


 

 

bourbon caramel and cashew popcorn with maple bacon dust

Bourbon Caramel & Cashew Popcorn with Maple-Bacon Dust

Yield: 4 quarts popcorn
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

An adult version of "Cracker Jacks" that's perfect for any celebration, especially New Year's Eve! Coated in a dreamy bourbon caramel sauce, fresh popped corn and cashews are then liberally sprinkled with Maple-Bacon Dust! OMG, your guests will go nutty for this special occasion treat!

Ingredients

  • MAPLE BACON DUST
  • 6 oz. thick sliced bacon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or maple sugar
  • 4 quarts air-popped popcorn
  • BOURBON CARAMEL SAUCE
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (brandy is great also!)
  • 1 teaspoon fine kosher salt
  • 2 cups cashew halves

Instructions

  1. MAPLE-BACON DUST - Preheat broiler on high. Lightly coat broiler pan with vegetable spray.  Place bacon strips on broiler pan and brush both sides with maple syrup.  Broil until crisp, turning when first side is almost done. When second side is done, remove and place on cooling rack. (don’t drain on paper towels, it will stick!)
  2. Preheat oven on 275°. Place bacon strips on clean rimmed baking sheet and let dry in warm oven for 60 minutes.  Place on cooling rack. When completely cool, grind in a spice grinder or food processor until it turns into a dusty texture. Place in a small bowl and hold until needed.
  3. Lightly coat a large metal bowl and wooden spoon with vegetable spray.  Pour popped corn into bowl. Set aside until needed.
  4. Preheat oven to 300°.
  5. BOURBON-CARAMEL SAUCE - Combine the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium high heat. Stir to combine.
  6. VERY IMPORTANT -  Do Not Stir or Disturb the Pan until the sugar has melted and caramelized.  The sugar mixture will go from clear, to a shade of ale, then lightly golden, and then to increasingly darker shades of amber.  Pay close attention, as it darkens quickly once it begins to caramelize!
  7. When the sugar reaches a deep amber color, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  8. Immediately begin to slowly and carefully pour the room-temperature heavy cream into the sugar mixture, whisking as you pour to quickly incorporate the cream. The mixture will boil furiously when the cream hits the hot sugar, SO BE CAREFUL! 
  9. Add the butter, whisking until combined. Then pour in the vanilla, bourbon and kosher salt, whisking until completely combined.
  10. Pour half the caramel over the popcorn and stir gently. Sprinkle in half the cashews, stirring again.  Pour in remaining caramel and cashews, stirring until kernels and nuts are well coated.
  11. Divide corn mixture between two rimmed baking sheets, spreading into a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring half way through.
  12. Remove pan from oven, sprinkle Maple-Bacon Dust evenly over both pans of popcorn. Return to oven and bake for 15 more minutes.
  13. Allow to cool on the pan, then break apart large clusters into bite-size pieces.
  14. Cover the popcorn tightly once cooled.
  15. DON'T FORGET TO DOWNLOAD THE FABULOUS HOLIDAY POPCORN CONTAINER DECO LABELS!

Notes

Make Ahead Instructions: This caramel corn stays fresh for up to 2 weeks in an
airtight container, so it’s a great recipe to make ahead of time! Cookie tins are ideal!

Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 422Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 38mgCarbohydrates 40gFiber 2gSugar 24gProtein 11g

Nutritional information should be considered an estimate only; please consult a registered dietician, nutritionist, or your physician for specific health-related questions. Please note that the recipe above is published using a recipe card plugin, with preexisting software which can auto-calculate metric measurements, as well as change the number of servings.

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