Bacon and Cashew Caramel Popcorn


½ Cup of unpopped popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
170 gms bacon, chopped?
½ Cup of unsalted raw cashews
1 Teaspoon of coarse kosher salt or coarse sea salt?
¼  Teaspoon of cayenne pepper?
¼  Cup of heavy whipping cream?
Olive oil or vegetable oil spray?
1  ½ Cups of sugar?
¼ Cup of water?
2 tablespoons of light corn syrup (optional)


Heat popcorn and oil in covered heavy large pot over medium-high heat until kernels begin to pop. Hold the lid on pot and shake pot until popping stops. Place the popcorn into very large bowl.
Cook the bacon until almost crisp, drain & cool.
Add bacon and cashews to bowl with popcorn.
Sprinkle with coarse salt and cayenne pepper & toss to coat.
Line rimmed baking tray with foil. Coat with oil
Coat 2 wooden spoons or heat-resistant spatulas with nonstick spray; set aside.
Stir sugar, 1/4 cup of water, and corn syrup (optional) in large saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high; boil without stirring until syrup turns deep amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 13 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately add cream, stir until blended.
Immediately drizzle caramel over popcorn mixture; toss with sprayed spoons until evenly coated. Transfer to sheet.
Cool completely on sheet on rack, tossing occasionally to break up large clumps.