This bacon & Earl Grey tea-infused caramel corn is as decadent as it gets. It takes some work to pull this together, but it’s worth the effort. A glam companion on a cozy evening in front of the TV, this recipe is perfect for those special moments when nothing but the good stuff will do. —Feed Me Dearly
Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat popcorn and oil in covered heavy large pot over medium-high heat until kernels begin to pop. Using oven mitts, hold lid on pot and shake pot until popping stops.
Pour popcorn into very large bowl.
Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until almost crisp.
Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain; cool.
Add bacon and cashews to bowl with popcorn. Sprinkle with coarse salt and cayenne; toss to coat.
Bring cream and tea bag just to boil over medium heat. Remove from heat; let steep 15 minutes, occasionally pressing on tea bag with back of spoon to release flavor. Discard tea bag.
Line rimmed baking sheet with foil; coat with nonstick spray. Coat 2 wooden spoons or heat-resistant spatulas with nonstick spray; set aside.
Stir sugar, 1/4 cup water, and corn syrup in large saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.
Increase heat to high; boil without stirring until syrup turns amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 10 minutes. I like my popcorn pretty dark, but if you like yours lighter, take it off the heat before it reaches this amber color. Remove from heat and immediately add cream (mixture will bubble up). Stir until blended.
Immediately drizzle caramel over popcorn mixture; toss with sprayed spoons until evenly coated. Transfer to sheet.
Place caramel corn in oven and bake until caramel is shiny and coats popcorn, tossing mixture occasionally, about 15-20 minutes.
Cool completely on sheet on rack, tossing occasionally to break up large clumps.
NOTES: Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight in refrigerator.