Spicy Caramel Popcorn

22 Feb

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There’s been a plethora of fancy schmancy popcorn recipes floating around on Pinterest lately. I’ve definitely wanted to give some of them a try and finally had the chance over Super Bowl weekend. The Super Bowl and the need for Super Bowl type snacks was the perfect excuse.

Now, I knew if I ended up creating popcorn dripping in deliciousness, it would be tasty yes, but probably give a bit of gut rot as a result. Maybe it’s just me, but TOO much sweetness is overwhelming sometimes. I found a great-looking recipe called Sriracha Caramel Corn via pinterest over at I Am A Food Blog and then tweaked it a bit to go easy on the flavor:popcorn ratio. I’ve renamed this version just ‘Spicy Caramel Popcorn’ as we didn’t use Sriracha and I’ve changed up the amounts of ingredients a bit. But great base recipe, definitely go check out  I Am A Food Blog for more tasty recipes!

This popcorn turned out as a perfect compromise as each kernel definitely had spicy caramel on it but nothing was too saturated. I thought it was a true success (well, it took me two tries to get this right) and had to share it with you all. Here we go…

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 cups of plain popcorn (or roughly 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels)
  • 1 Tbsp of coconut oil
  • 6 Tbsp of butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1-2 Tbsp of hot sauce of your choosing

How to Make:

As with many recipes I post on here, this one is not difficult. It’s great to make in advance for a party (i.e. Super Bowl), make for a late night snack or pack into several Ziplocs to bring to work/school as a mini treat. Possibilities are endless!

Now how to make this stuff? Right, right, that’s why you’re reading this. First, you gotta pop the corn. However you choose to do this with the kitchen appliances available to you, is your choice. I made this at Luke’s parents house and they have this awesome popcorn maker (is there a fancier name for that?!) that heats up your butter or oil (as noted above we used Coconut Oil) and then helps keep your popcorn contained as it heats up and pops. I was in awe. I realize this is likely not exciting to many of you but I was significantly entertained for the few minutes it took to pop this corn. (I may add this to the wedding registry…that’s how cool I think this is).

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To get the ratio of caramel:popcorn that we were looking for, we did 1/2 cup or so of popcorn kernels. This made quite a lot of popcorn! Once your popcorn is all popped, set it aside while you dive into the caramel sauce.

Before we start caramel-ing, preheat the oven to 250 degrees and line a baking sheet (with sides, ideally) with parchment paper or spray it down with Pam or olive oil.

Now to caramel! Heat up the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

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Mix in the packed brown sugar and stir constantly for about 3-4 minutes until it comes to a boil. Forewarning – this can very quickly burn so watch closely! I burned my first batch and had to start all over. Key is to not bring the heat too high, stir constantly and remove immediately once it boils and gets that caramel looking color to it.

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Remove from the heat as soon as the sauce gets that caramel color and set aside to cool.

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In a small bowl, mix the vanilla, salt, baking soda and the hot sauce you selected. If you’re going for more spice – aim for closer to 2 Tbsp (if you’re a real spice lover, you could do a bit more…at your own risk!) if you want less spice and more of a little ‘zing’ mixed in the caramel, aim closer to 1 Tbsp.

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Once this mixture is all combined, add this to the butter/sugar saucepan and stir together. It will likely bubble up quite a bit but have no fear – just stir until all combined and has a nice, silky sheen to it. Taste test it too just to be sure you have the spice level where you wanted.

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Now to combine! Pour the popcorn into the pan you prepped and then slowly dribble in the caramel sauce, turning the popcorn with a spatula to coat everything as evenly as you can. It helps to continue to mix and stir with the spatula after all the caramel as been poured in to really get everything coated.

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Pop this into the oven for an hour, stopping at 15 minute increments to stir and break apart any clumps.

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Once it’s all done, it’s ready to consume!

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Pour out into a large bowl for hungry humans to devour or into individual bowls so no one steals your portion! Or, you can also store this in airtight Ziplocs or containers for about a week.

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Seriously addicting popcorn and not overly sweet. I can promise you’ll love it! (Bold statement I realize, but prove me wrong if you think it’s too bold.)

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With that, I shall end another post. HOWEVER fun news to share…to tempt you to stay tuned…there will likely be another blog giveaway coming soon! The rules shall be the same as last time, all who are official blog followers (meaning you get email notifications when I post and are included in that total number in the upper right on the Home Page) will be eligible to win a treat box from me in the mail, filled to the brim with goodies! More details to come in the next few posts. But if you’re not already a follower, now is the time so you can be eligible! I’m thinking that two lucky individuals will win this time around…

Let me know how the popcorn attempts go, I always love your comments. 🙂

Cheers!

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