It’s Thursday again, which means it’s time for the next installment of Popcorn Thursday. Did you all settle in with a big bowl of popcorn last week for some TV watching? What new shows are you watching or what shows are you looking forward to seeing return? Of course I’m looking forward to Scandal. After all, it’s why I began Popcorn Thursday. But the popcorn consumption shouldn’t be limited to Scandal, Thursdays, or TV watching. I consider popcorn an equal opportunity snack.
This week, I went with a sweet version. It’s my own version of Crunch N’ Munch or Poppycock. I used to pick up a box or bag when I’d go to the store for treats, but once I discovered how easy it is to make (and customize) at home, I stopped. It works because I can add as many nuts as I want and I don’t have to sift through the box searching for the big clumps. Since this is homemade, you add as many (or few) nuts as you want, drizzle over chocolate or sprinkle in toffee bits. If you like clumps, don’t break the cooled mixture as much; leave it as big as you’d like. If you dislike nuts, omit them entirely and enjoy the buttery, caramel drenched popcorn. This one’s a tasty keeper.
10 cups Popcorn, lightly salted and cooled
2 sticks Butter, cubed
2 1/4 cups Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Corn Syrup
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Butter Flavoring
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 cups Mixed Nuts (I used Almonds, Honey Roasted Peanuts, and Cashews)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray.
Place popcorn in a large bowl. Be sure there are no unpopped kernels in the bowl.
Place butter in a saucepan and melt. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt and stir using a heatproof rubber spatula until combined. Let mixture begin to bubble, stirring occasionally. Once it is bubbling, stir constantly for 3-4 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the color is a deep golden brown.
Add in the extracts and baking soda. This will bubble a lot and may spatter, so stir carefully. The mixture will seem thicker and will be the color of peanut butter.
Add the nuts to the popcorn bowl and drizzle over the caramel mixture. This will still be VERY hot, so take care to not touch the caramel. Stir using a rubber spatula, folding and combining until the popcorn is mostly coated.
Pour the popcorn onto the prepared baking sheet and spread out using the rubber spatula. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to distribute the caramel evenly.
Remove from oven and let cool on the pan, about 20-30 minutes. It will harden further as it cools. Break into the desired size pieces and enjoy. If you’re anything like me, this won’t last long. However, if you happen to have leftovers this can be kept in an airtight container for a few days.
I’m enjoying the Popcorn Thursday posts, and I hope you are too! Let’s connect via Facebook or Instagram (Eclectic Yellow House), Twitter (@EclecticYellow), and now I’m on Periscope (@EclecticYellow) as well! Happy Popcorn Thursday!