Have you ever noticed that popcorn is one of those foods that’s hard to stop munching once you’ve started? And it’s always kind of a mystery how the bowl has somehow been emptied of its salty, crunchy, buttery goodness. How’d that happen?! Then, when you add caramel and nuts, you’ve taken it to a whole other level of addictive! With that in mind, I’ve done my best to improve upon the healthfulness of this Salted Caramel Popcorn with Nuts by using maple sugar and maple syrup in the sauce; but if you don’t have refined sugar restrictions, you can use the other sugars noted in the recipe below, if you prefer. Also, I used Skinny Pop popcorn (saves time if you’re having a mad craving…), but you can air pop your corn or do it the old fashioned way and pop it on the stove. I hope you enjoy it, but don’t put the blame entirely on me if you have a new snacking addiction….
- 9 quarts of popped corn
- ½ cup of unsalted butter
- ¾ cup of maple sugar
- 2/3 cup of maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup each of coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans, and almonds, unsalted (or any other nut combination)
- coconut oil to grease cookie sheets
- Put popped corn in a very large bowl (10-12 quart-size). Add chopped nuts and stir to distribute evenly.
- In a 4-quart, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, melt butter. Add the maple sugar, maple syrup, and salt stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add baking soda, again, stirring constantly so the caramel doesn’t boil over.
- Pour hot sauce over the popcorn-nut mixture, stir well until all corn is coated.
- Pour caramel corn into two, lightly oiled, rimmed cookie sheets, spreading to distribute evenly. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, so the corn gets toasted and the caramel fully adheres to the popcorn.
- Remove from oven to cool. When completely cooled, store in airtight container or scoop into small plastic bags to give away as gifts.