(recipe from Just Get off Your Butt and Bake)
This recipe is a fantastic idea for teacher gifts. My daughter and I made this for her teacher on the first day of Kindergarten. Crispy, sweet, cinnamon-spiced popcorn with a creamy chocolatey swirl is such a perfect snack. Seriously, it almost did not make it to the teacher. Actually I’m pretty glad that we were giving it away because my daughter and I would have eaten it all in minutes. My mom took some home and instead of sharing with my dad and brother, she saved it for herself. Really it is that good.
This would work really well as a Halloween treat for a costume party, or to give away as Fall treats! However, I would eat this at any time of the year and it would make me smile. What will make you smile is that this is very easy to make.
12 cups of Popped Popcorn (1 cup of kernels)
1 cup nuts (optional) – cashews, almonds, peanuts, pecans
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Karo Syrup
a pinch of salt
1 stick or cube of Real Butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Almond bark, vanilla chips or white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Pop your popcorn – I use my air popper so that there isn’t the added oil from popping in a pan and it cuts down on the hard kernels too. You could even use microwave popcorn, but I’m not sure how buttered microwave popcorn would taste. Remove any kernels.
You will need about 12 cups of popcorn.
In a saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted add your brown sugar, Karo Syrup and salt.
Over medium heat melt the butter and sugar (You can do this part in a microwave by cooking in 2 minute intervals and stirring until completely melted).
While the butter and sugar are cooking get the vanilla, cinnamon and baking soda ready. Once the sugar and butter are melted, remove from heat and add these last three ingredients. The caramel will lighten in color and sort of poof up…this is good!
Pour the caramel over the popcorn in a very large bowl (or a few big bowls if you don’t have one large). Toss the caramel and popcorn until completely coated (oh and you can add nuts at this point too).
Place your pan or pans in a preheated 250 degree oven.
Stir every 5 minutes and rotate pans. The recipe I used said to cook for 20 minutes for crunchy corn, I think it was more like 30-35 minutes.
Remove the popcorn from the oven and lay out on wax paper on the counter to cool. It will get crunchier as it cools.
Now you can melt the white chocolate and drizzle over all the popcorn – as little or as much as you’d like.