Ahhh, it feels so good to be back. We’ve got some exciting stuff for you this week and on that note– it’s heeeerrrrreeee! Fall! My favorite time of year has come. What’s that? You’re sad that summer is over? Don’t worry, I’ve got just the thing to cheer you up. How about some Apple Caramel Popcorn?
And while we’re at it, do you want to see a magic trick? Try this. Put a bowl of this popcorn in a place where people will see it. Come back in 15 minutes and POOF– it will have disappeared. Trust me, this never fails. This isn’t cheering you up? All of your popcorn is gone? Hmmm… let’s talk flavor profile. Thoughts of deliciousness should bring a smile to your face.
So imagine your favorite caramel popcorn. Fluffy popcorn encapsulated in a salty-sweet crunchy caramel coating. Now, add in the flavors of apple and cinnamon to these little pieces of heaven. That’s what this popcorn is like. In fact, they taste quite a bit like Apple Jacks. Omigerd, so good. They’re the perfect fall treat– and darn addicting. You could even make these into popcorn balls for Halloween. How? It’s easy, simply:
- Follow the directions, up until the point where you are cooking the caramel mixture. Simmer for 1 minute longer (4 minutes total).
- Pour the caramel over the popcorn and stir to coat.
- Coat your hands with oil and dig into the popcorn, forming it into balls.
- Allow to cool, then devour!
While we’re at it, I’d love to share with you a few tips that will help you pull off some killer caramel popcorn.
Work with Freshly Popped Popcorn – Because of the sugar and salt (both of which are hygroscopic, meaning that they attract water) in this recipe, the popcorn tends to get stale if it isn’t stored in an airtight container right away. Working with fresh popcorn gives you a leg up on preventing a stale snack.
Be Careful Not to Overcook the Caramel – Watch the caramel carefully both when it’s cooking in the pan and in the oven. Try not to walk away from the caramel while you’re cooking it on the stove top and stir occasionally around the sides of the pan, where it tends to burn first. You can also peek while it’s in the oven and give it a stir to make sure everything is kosher. You’ll know it’s gone too far when you start to smell the subtle flavor of burnt sugar, like the top of a crème brulee.
Stir After Removing from the Oven – For beautiful individual kernels of perfectly coated caramel popcorn instead of a popcorn brick, stir the popcorn when it is removed from the oven. Do this until it is cool. This will seal each kernel and prevent them from sticking together.
So if you’ve got a craving for something killer, throw together a batch of this popcorn! It’s easy, ready in less than 30 minutes and super ridiculously delicious. See you guys next time!
- 12 cups popped, unsalted popcorn
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup apple juice concentrate
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 250ºF. Lightly oil 2 cookie sheets with vegetable oil or butter. Place the popped popcorn in a large bowl with enough room to stir it around. In a small bowl, stir together the coarse salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
- In a large saucepan, stir together the apple juice concentrate, butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar. Place over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil then simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Watch around the edges of the pan for burning. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda mixture.
- Pour the apple caramel over the popcorn and stir until the popcorn is coated. Spread onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Stir until cooled and devour immediately. If, for some ungodly reason, there is leftover popcorn, it can be stored in a resealable plastic bag for up to 3 days.