If you’re lucky enough to have some pure maple syrup in the kitchen, here’s a fun way to use it. This caramel corn is less buttery than others, but has just as much flavor thanks to the maple syrup. It’s not over-the-top maple flavored and you might not even realize the maple syrup is there, but the syrup does add a little something extra.
Unlike other versions which are made with molasses, this caramel corn has a lighter color and kind of reminds me of Poppycock. I used cashews leftover from my Clodhopper recipe, but any nut will do. Next time I’m going to make this with mixed nuts. Oh, and I apologize that it is not red, white and blue; but it would still be great to serve at a Fourth of July party.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for greasing pan
- 11 cups popped popcorn (I used air popped)
- 1 cup cashews or other mixed nuts
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (Morton)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 250°F. Rub a large roasting pan generously with butter or spray with cooking spray.
- Spread the popcorn in the roasting pan and stir in the nuts.
- Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan set over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar, maple syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and carefully stir in vanilla and baking soda. Mixture should bubble up into a light brown foam. Pour over popcorn.
- Using a heat proof scraper or a wooden spoon, fold the sugar mixture over the popcorn until it is coated.
- Bake on lower rack of oven for 45 minutes, stirring and breaking up clumps with a spoon every 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven. At this point it won't be completely crisp, but will crisp as it cools. Let cool completely.
- Makes about 12 cups