Super Bowler Baller Corn: Bacon-Maple-Bourbon Coffee Caramel Corn

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Every year for the Super Bowl we all wonder where the heck we are going to watch the game.

The year the Bowl came to Houston, all our friends sat together in my husband’s old neighborhood munching on Brownies, wings, and popping our eyes out of our head as Justin Timberlake ripped Janet Jackson’s shirt the mess off.

Usually the children are running around the house completely involved in their own worlds, as the parents take their seats in the Den surrounded by yummy food, laughter, and tales of Jr. High Football upsets.

These are the times when you find out that your husband was always as sweet as he is today.
And that he has always liked to walk around in his underwear.

This is when you grow deep bonds with your husband’s best friends wife because she deals with the same nonsense that you vowed you would deal with for the rest of your life.

Recipes are shared, pots of luck are spread to fit every inch of the kitchen table, and we all unite for one night to enjoy the same things, laugh at the same jokes, and remember what it is like to be completely immersed in the moment.

We’ll yell.
IT’S A CRYING SHAME!
But secretly we’ll love the call the ref just made.
We’ll shove each other around, with all the love we have to muster.
We’ll giggle, and chug on beer, and lick our fingers.

It’s SUPER BOWL SUNDAY, gosh durnit.

Live it. Breath it. Eat it.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

I think we are hosting a Super Bowl Party for the 4th year in a row.

I’m not really sure.
I think the usual email has already been sent asking my hubs “What is everyone doing for Superbowl?”

Usually he ignores the first go round.

It’s the second flag that usually gets his attention.
I think that happened last night.  His best friend said EVERYONE is wondering “whats up for the Super Bowl.” His friend chuckled and said he told everyone, he’s not sure . . . . but maybe The Woo’s are having financial difficulties that’s why we haven’t offered. . . .yet.

Now the third flag has been thrown.
Because Warwick relayed this message to me today.

Still, I think I’ll make them sweat.
Make them wait a few days longer before we announce that we are having a party.
Then. . . .

It’s on like Donkey Kong. . .Eating Bacon Maple Bourbon Coffee Caramel Corn.

Now that is a serious party.

Bacon-Maple-Bourbon Coffee Caramel Corn

Reprinted from Edible Brooklyn: The Cookbook © 2011 by Edible Brooklyn. Permission from Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 

 Ingredients:
1 STICK UNSALTED BUTTER
1/4 CUP LIGHT CORN SYRUP
1/4 CUP DARK (Grade 8) MAPLE SYRUP
1/4 CUP BOURBON
2 CUPS SUGAR
NON STICK COOKING SPRAY
20 CUPS OF POPPED POPCORN
1 1/2 TSP FINELY GROUND COFFEE*
1 CUP COOKED BACON, CRUMBLED INTO PIECES*
1 TSP BAKING SODA
SERVES 8-10
1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan set over low heat. Stir in the light corn syrup, maple syrup, bourbon, and sugar. Increase the heat to medium-high, place a candy thermometer in the saucepan, and continue to cook until the temperature reads 300. *
2. In the meantime, heavily coat a large bowl (or two, if necessary) with nonstick cooking spray, and add the popcorn. Also spray 2 spatulas and set aside.
3. When the bourbon mixture reaches 300 F*, take it off the heat immediately and add the coffee, stirring well. Add the cooked bacon pieces and baking soda. Blend well until fully incorporated.
4. Carefully add the hot bourbon mixture to the popcorn and immediately toss with spatulas until thoroughly coated. (Keep tossing the popcorn until it cools down a bit or the caramel corn will stick to itself. If that happens spray on some more nonstick spray and it will separate.) Let cool completely before serving.

*Nicki Woo’s Notes:  The recipe is easily cut in half and even in quarters. Also I used Instant Coffee for the finely ground coffee. For ease and quickness, try using the already cooked crumbled bacon pieces that you can find in the salad dressing aisle of the grocery. Not bacon bits, the real bacon. And one more thing. . .if you don’t have a candy thermometer, take the caramel mixture to the hard crack stage. . .meaning when the caramel has reached an amber color, test it by dropping a bit of it into ice cold water. If it hardens into crunchy ribbons, it’s ready.

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