This month for Secret Recipe Club I was given the blog, Bakeaholic Mama and man, was I excited! One look at Carrie’s site and you’ll understand why. First, her site is gorgeous with its cute design and crisp, clean pictures that just invite you to take a bite. She’ll get your mouth-watering from the moment you land on her homepage. Carrie says that she is “a young food obsessed wife, mother of three kiddos and a black lab. And I am a bacon crazed yoga lover from New Hampshire.” Right off the bat, as a young food obsessed wife, mother of 3 children and a bacon freak myself, I immediately love this lady!
Then I got to really looking around and peeking at all the scrumptious creations that were waiting for me to feast my eyes on. At first I thought I would simply have to make her Pound Cake with Caramel Peaches and Chevre Whipped Cream and trust me, I will be making that. As everyone knows by now, I am a fiend for goat cheese and I’ve never had it in whipped cream but not only that, she made an avocado pound cake. Yes, avocado! I find that to be so intriguing. Bookmarked!
Then I thought about making Carrie’s Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. Holy crow, that sounds good!! I love buffalo chicken but I can’t say I’ve ever used it in mac and cheese and now, I definitely need to. And there’s bacon too! That’s a big win in my book. As I continued to have trouble narrowing things down, I stumbled across Sea Salted Maple Caramel Popcorn.
Oh yes, this was it. I immediately loved the salty sweet combo cause well… that’s kind of one of my all-time favorite things ever! As I read her post, Carrie mentioned this was to be her Hurricane Irene survival food. Being on the East Coast myself, I knew exactly what she meant and I could have used this kind of food during my time with Irene. I also pretty instantly knew that I would need to add bacon to this popcorn. I knew that the maple hints in Carrie’s caramel corn would be the perfect sweet for the porkiness. It all comes back to the whole “sweet and salty” goodness. Bacon really does make everything better. Everything.
When I sampled the creation I was quickly hooked, like scary hooked. I had to stop myself but even that wasn’t enough. I actually had to take it to work to prevent myself from eating the entire batch. I’m not being dramatic here people. You need to make this. Now. Today. At the latest, tomorrow. After you do you’ll need to have a bit and then you’re going to need to find the best hiding spot in your house and put this popcorn there.
The crunchy popcorn has a perfect balance of maple, brown sugar sweetness, buttery pecans and then you’re hit with the smoky flavor from the bacon. What happens next is that you just find yourself so enamoured that you cannot help but continue to reach back into the bowl, handful after handful. Yes, this is that kind of snack. Consider yourself warned.
*Is there any snack that you absolutely have no self-control around?
Now, let’s go see what the rest of the Secret Recipe Club has been up to this month, shall we?
One Year Ago: Cherry Clafouti
Maple Bacon Caramel Corn with Pecans
1 bag of plain microwave popcorn, popped
8 slices bacon
2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (I used dark)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– Preheat your oven to 275 degrees.
– Cook the bacon slices until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Once cool, coarsely chop into pieces.
– In a large bowl, toss together the popped popcorn, bacon pieces and pecans. Set aside.
– In a medium sauce pan, add the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. Melt, stirring and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
– Remove from heat and add the vanilla and baking soda.
– Working quickly, pour the caramel over the popcorn mixture and stir until all the pieces are covered.
– Spread out onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
– Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
– Remove from oven, break apart a bit and then let it cool.