Homemade Nutty Caramel Popcorn

by - November 07, 2009

I promised you a delectable dessert didn't I? Well here it is:

Scrumptious Homemade Nutty Caramel Popcorn


-popcorn kernels (not the microwave kind)
- sweetened peanuts (beer nuts, honey roasted, any kind will do)
-1 cup of sugar
-6 tbsp of butter
-1/2 cup of heavy cream (whipping cream preferably)
-tsp extra virgin olive oil 

On maximum heat, heat a tsp of olive oil in a medium- sized pot.  Add enough popcorn kernels to just cover the bottom.  This will make quite a large bowl of popcorn, so you do not need to add more to the pot.  Heat the kernels without the lid on, always shaking the pot lightly, until the first kernel pops.  Place the lid in the pot and shake over heating element until popping sounds dies down.  Do not continue after that or you will burn the popcorn.  Place the popcorn into a large bowl, making sure it only comes up halfway, as you need room to stir.  If you do not have a bowl large enough, use two.  Place to the side.

For this next part, make sure you have the sugar, butter and cream measured out and within reach as this part goes quickly!  You will be making a caramel sauce and it requires constant attention.  

Place another medium-sized pot over high heat on stove top.  Add cup of sugar to the pot, stirring constantly.
The dry sugar will turn slowly turn to a liquid, but will burn if not stirred constantly.  A whisk is desired but I just used a fork.  Once the sugar has gone from a solid to a liquid, it should be a deep amber color.  Still stirring, you will now add the butter all at once.  The liquid will bubble up but keep stirring.  Once all the butter has melted, take the mixture off the heat.  Wait 10 seconds and add the cream.  Stir until the mixture becomes thick.  You now have a delicious caramel sauce.  

Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.  Pour a little bit of caramel sauce over popcorn in bowl.  Add a handful of sweetened nuts. Add a pinch of salt.  Again, I find that coarse sea salt works best for this but any salt will do.  Slowly stir mixture with a spatula or any kind of flat utensil until all popcorn is properly coated.  Keep adding caramel sauce until you are finished.

Pour the popcorn mixture on to a cookie sheet and spread out all over sheet.  Place tray in oven lower rack and bake for 1 hour.  Stir mixture every 15 minutes until done.  Baking the popcorn will give you the same non-sticky sheen that store bought caramel popcorn has to it.

Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy.  Seriously delicious! 

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