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Monday, October 12, 2015

Salted caramel popcorn

I can't be the only one who has had one of these moments in the kitchen.  You're following a recipe to a T and then all of a sudden you have an 'oh crap' (I usually use a different four-letter word) moment.  Where you fear something has gone terribly wrong (and it usually has)?  Like the burning caramel in the bottom of the pot.  Well in this case, it was what I thought was burnt caramel and actually wasn't (or maybe it was?  As compared to the popcorn in the original post, my caramel is way darker).  But I ended up pouring some of what I thought was burnt caramel out, and my popcorn didn't get totally and completely covered in delicious salted caramel. Which is actually ok.  But I was more impressed with my disaster-averted.

But let me get back to this salted caramel popcorn.  Because first, it's the best combination of salty and sweet.  And secondly, it's really easy (as long as you don't burn the caramel)!

I ended up seeing mimi popcorn kernels on the shelf at the supermarket and I decided that they would probably be the best for caramel popcorn since their surface area to popcorn ratio was high -- meaning more caramel per kernel for a better bite. B thought that I had overthought the popcorn size, but I guess that's the science nerd in me coming out.  Plus, he got a tastier popcorn so I really don't think anyone lost out on this deal!

Salted Caramel Popcorn
From Cookies & Cups


1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels (about 16 cups popped corn)
1 cup salted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1.5-2 tsp kosher or sea salt, divided
2 cups of nuts, optional


Preheat oven to 300F.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Set aside.

Pop popcorn kernels using air popper into a large bowl (I don't have an air popper, and popping it the old fashioned way in a pan with a little bit of oil worked nicely...just move it to a bowl before proceeding).
If using nuts, add them here.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and 1 tsp of salt together of medium heat.
Bring to a boil.
Boil for 4 minutes without stirring.

Pour caramel mixture over popcorn.
Stir to coat evenly.

Pour popcorn onto lined pan.
Sprinkle remaining salt on top (I skipped this part).
Place pan in the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Allow popcorn to cool on a parchment lined counter.

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