Make Flex Donuts Chef Zac Young’s Bacon Peanut Caramel Corn


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and while most people will be buying a heart-shaped box of chocolates for their loved ones, why not say “I love you” with a more awesome food: bacon. Specifically, Flex Mussels pastry chef (and Top Chef: Just Desserts cheftestant) Zac Young’s bacon peanut caramel corn, available at the Flex Donuts pop-up in Grand Central Terminal. “This treat combines three of my favorite things: snacking, nuts, and bacon!” explains pastry chef Zac Young. “It’s the perfect balance of sweet and salty. I’ve been known to eat a whole batch before it’s even cooled.” Here he shares the recipe for his crunchy, sugary treat. And if you don’t have a special someone to make it for this V-Day, you can always whip up a big batch for an Oscars viewing party two weeks from now. Make sweet bacon popcorn, and movie watchers will come. Promise.

Bacon Caramel Popcorn


2 pounds of bacon, fat rendered and meat crisped in the oven
7 cups popped popcorn
1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon rendered bacon fat
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt


Scatter the bacon, popcorn, and peanuts on a Silpat-lined sheet tray. In a large saucepan cook sugars, corn syrup, and water to 280 degrees F. Add the bacon fat and cook to 300 degrees F. Stir in salt and baking soda, taking extreme caution. Pour evenly over the popcorn, bacon, and peanuts. Let the mixture cool and harden before breaking off into a serving bowl.