I am obsessed with anything salted caramel – salty and sweet is just the best combination.
In my search for great gifts for Christmas I wanted to try a simple, cost effective recipe we could give to extended family and work colleagues. I have “heard” that flavoured popcorn is the new macaron and I LOVE popcorn so my mind set to thinking!
After some experimenting, I present to you my salted caramel popcorn with peanuts and pretzels….I apologise but it’s incredibly more-ish and if you try to just sneak a little taste the little taste will turn in to a big taste and you may end up skipping a proper meal in favour of this amazingly awesome sweet treat.
1/4 cup popcorn kernels – or if you prefer to buy already popped around 2 cups of popped corn
1 cup salted pretzels – I reckon the ones you buy at the Continental delis in big bags are better than the supermarket style ones but hey, I’m not that fussy!
1/2 cup peanuts (if you’re allergic or worried about gifting to someone with an allergy then you could use dark chocolate chips!)
Pop corn in your preferred way and place on a lined baking tray so it’s all nice and flat – use two baking trays if you need. Sprinkle over your pretzels and peanuts.
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups brown sugar (you could use caster sugar but I like the brown sugar taste personally)
1 tablespoon salt (use less if your peanuts are salted)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, adding sugar, water and salt and leaving to bubble away for around 10 – 12 minutes until you think it’s looking a lovely deep caramel colour. Don’t stir it but you can swish the pan around a little if you like. Stirring disrupts the awesome caramelisation of the mix and we don’t want to mess with that!
Remove from the heat and whisk in the baking soda. Watch magic happen as it transforms in to a bubbling, golden lava. YUM! Be careful though cos it’ll burn you big time.
Carefully pour it all over the popcorn mix and if you can, use a lightly oiled knife or spatula to give it all an even coverage.
Let it set!
It’ll keep in an airtight container for at least a week, maybe more depending on how often you go in to sneak a piece!
I also turned this into a DIY gift…packaging up the corn kernels, sugar, salt, bicarb soda (in a little pouch), pretzels and peanuts in a jar and topping it with a little paper bag so that the recipient could use the bag to eat the popcorn out of. I also used a paint swatch card to write up some instructions on what they should do to make up their popcorn.Are you mad about salty and sweet too? I’m going to experiment with some chilli and chocolate flavour next for the grown boys in my life who are partial to that kind of caper. What flavours would you like to try?