After the holiday season, I’m usually a little lost. For months – well all year, really – I’m planning the decorations, candies and cookies I’ll be making for the Christmas season. I love to over plan and prepare, it’s just in my nature. So when it all comes to an end the week after Christmas, I usually go into seclusion. Don’t let me fool you into thinking I don’t enjoy New Year’s: it is a celebration after all! Whether going to a party or hosting your own, quick munchies are always needed along with a good cocktail. This sweet and spicy caramel corn will leave everyone craving more. To top off the evening, I love to pair it with a quick champagne cocktail that’s a fun take on a royale.
- 4 quarts popped popcorn
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Spray a large brown grocery bag with nonstick baking spray.
- Pour the prepared popcorn into the grocery bag and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Cook in the microwave for 3 minutes. Stir and cook 1 1/2 minutes. Stir and cook an additional 1 minute until the mixture is thickened and bubbling throughout.
- Immediately stir in the vanilla and baking soda. Stir vigorously to ensure no dry baking soda remains.
- Pour over popcorn in bag. Fold over the top of the bag tightly and shake for 30 seconds to evenly coat the popcorn in caramel.
- Place bag in microwave and cook 1 minute. Shake the bag for 20 seconds, turn upside down and cook an additional minute.
- Remove from microwave and pour on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Allow to cool 30 minutes and serve. Once cooled, the popcorn can be placed in airtight containers for up to one week.
- In a champagne flute, scoop two tablespoons raspberry sherbet and pour in a splash (1 tablespoon) of raspberry liquor. Top with a desired champagne.
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