From the Kitchen: Spicy Caramel Popcorn
When I was little, one of my favorite mommy and me excursions was shopping at Nordstrom…but it wasn’t because I’d get new clothes, or my favorite Capezio dance shoes, or because I was spending time with my mom (although all of those we’re awesome) – no, I loved going to Nordstrom with my mom because she’d always buy me caramel popcorn at the cafe. It was like a ritual for me, and she was happy to oblige.
Today, caramel popcorn is still a really special treat for me, and just recently, I started making it at home… which is really dangerous!! But It’s so much better than any store-bought version.
A dash of cayenne pepper gives this classic sweet treat a swift kick to the taste buds that leaves you wanting more. This is caramel popcorn, all grown up. Pairs well with ice cold beers and an evening of good conversation on the front porch. Enjoy!! -xo
Spicy Caramel Popcorn (adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook)
Makes about 4 cups
For the popcorn:
3 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup corn kernels
For the caramel:
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4-3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp course sea salt
Before you start:
Line two baking sheets with parchment and spray a rubber spatula and large bowl with cooking spray. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F
Heat oil in a deep pot over medium heat for 5 minutes, add kernels and cover leaving the lid a bit cracked to allow steam to escape. Kernels will pop within 8-10 minutes. Once popping is done, transfer popcorn to prepared large bowl.
In a small bowl, mix cayenne pepper, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, combine butter, sugar and corn syrup over medium-high heat. Boil for 5-6 minutes, stirring often.
Remove from heat and stir in cayenne mixture. Caramel will become bubbly, airy and light brown in color.
With prepped spatula, pour caramel over popcorn, stirring to coat evenly. Divide coated popcorn between baking sheets in one even layer. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring and rotating every 15 minutes.