9.09.2013

Apple Caramel Popcorn


Another recipe that will make your house smell delicious!  This is a basic caramel corn recipe with something special added - apple chips and apple pie spice.  It's purely addictive.


A couple of notes about the recipe.  This is using apple chips, NOT your typical dried apples.  What's the difference?  Well, they are both dried apples but one is crispy {apple chips} and one is chewy and leathery {regular dried apple pieces}.  The crispy apple chips work great with the crunch of the popcorn.


Also, a note on popcorn.  I've come to realize that not all popcorn is created equal.  I had been using a brand-name grocery store popcorn and always measured 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn which would give me about 5 cups of popped popcorn.  Then, I switched to a popcorn from the health food store and 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn only yields me half of the other.  You want about 5 cups of popped popcorn for this recipe, so if your corn yields less, just pop another batch.

On to the recipe......



Apple Caramel Popcorn

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn, about 5 cups popped popcorn {*see note above}
8 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
heaping 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
1 cup apple chips
1 cup roasted nuts - almonds, walnuts, etc., optional

Preheat oven to 250┬║.  Prepare a cookie sheet by buttering it or spraying a thin layer of cooking spray on it.

Pop popcorn according to popper directions.  Remove all unpopped kernels from popcorn and pour popcorn into a bowl.

Combine butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Once boiling, continue boiling for 4 minutes without stirring.  Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla {mixture will foam}.  Stir in apple pie spice.

Carefully pour about 1 cup of the caramel mixture over the popped popcorn, tossing well so it doesn't deflate the corn.  Add the apple chips and nuts, if using, and toss well.  Slowly add the remaining mixture, tossing with the popcorn mixture, until covered. 

Spread onto greased cookie sheet, and bake for 40 minutes, carefully stirring with a large wooden spoon at 15 and 30 minutes.  Place cookie sheet on a cooling rack.

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