I adore cinnamon caramel popcorn. Not popcorn, but the combination of warm cinnamon-butter glazed over semi-crunchy-gooey popped popcorn is pure bliss. It takes me back to my childhood love for Crunch 'n Munch popcorn. Besides being easy to whip up, this popcorn compliments the divided parties among dessert-lovers. Some like it gooey and sticky. Some like it crunchy and dry. I learned this the hard way when I sold this deliciousness at a local pharmacy. I mean really? Who complains about objective preferences? After tweaking this a bit, I think this has the best of both worlds.
I love to make this for the teachers that spoil Aaron daily with delicious Kolaches and croissants. He's sort of the young and determined celebrity teacher that reminds them of their own children. Cute, huh? I think it's darling and it makes me happy.
So here's payback, grab your popcorn popper and kernels and let's get baking!
Crunchy-goo Cinnabun Popcorn
adapted from Ourbestbites
adapted from Ourbestbites
16 cups popped popcorn or 1/2 C kernels
1 1/3 C brown sugar
1 1/4 t cinnamon
3/4 C real butter
1/3 C karo syrup
3/4 t baking soda
1-2 t vanilla
1 C halved pecans
What's the worst thing while eating popcorn? Breaking your precious teeth on the tiny kernels you've forgotten to take out of your batch. Biggest understatement. Ever. I use two bowls--one bowl to catch the flying popcorn that's spewing from the popper and another large bowl to transfer the fresh, natural popcorn into. Set aside.
Stir together brown sugar and cinnamon in a 2 Qt microwaveable dish. Cut in butter. Top with karo syrup.
Microwave for 1 minute. Stir with a large, rubber spatula (this won't crush your beautifully large popcorn pieces later on.) Microwave for another 2 minutes.
You want it to be hot and bubbly. BUT, but.... don't overcook this. You may end up with a hard clump that won't drizzle nicely over your popcorn but your husband may be a little more optimistic by thinking it'll still be scrumptious as sugary globs and you'll then need to whip up another batch really quick and pour it over your popcorn. Don't over cook it. I'm just saying...
Next, stir in vanilla and baking soda which will make it pop and bubble into a foamy-mess. Quite divine. This is also the part where you'll be tempted to lick the spatula. Don't. Not yet.
Sprinkle the nuts on top of the popcorn (don't mix in) and quickly pour the caramel mixture on top of the nuts and popcorn. Stir it all together and pour onto a foil-lined jelly roll pan.
Bake at 250 degrees for 20-25 minutes, stirring once after 15 minutes.
When it's done, stir it again to cool off and remove the foil from the pan. Melt 2 squares of almond bark or 1/3 C white chocolate. Using a fork, flick the white chocolate onto the cooling popcorn.
This is my favorite part! INDULGE.
If your household is anything like mine then half of your batch has already been sampled and devoured.
(You can place it in the fridge if you need the chocolate to set quickly.)
These make gorgeous little gifts and they taste even better than store-bought gourmet popcorn!
And here you have it. Cinnamon caramel corn with pecans and white chocolate.
Sincerely, Little Bakin' Blonde