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 cinnamon and cayenne caramel corn will leave everyone craving more.
To top off the evening, I love to pair the caramel corn with a quick champagne cocktail that’s a fun take on a Kir Royale. In a way, this combination is a high-low pairing that makes each component that much better.
To make the cocktail:
- In a champagne flute, scoop two tablespoons raspberry sherbet.
- Pour in a splash (1 tablespoon) of raspberry liquor.
- Top with a desired champagne.
These are quick to serve and easy to make into a bar. Set everything out and let people make their own while they munch on popcorn!
Happy New Year’s!
Here’s how to make this cinnamon + cayenne caramel corn
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Caramel corn is the perfect light snack for any party. But when you elevate it with the flavors of cinnamon (for sweetness) and cayenne (for a bit of kick), it’s that much better!
- 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 extract
- 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.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 187
- Sugar: 12.9g
- Sodium: 235.9mg
- Fat: 9.2g
- Saturated Fat: 4.2g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 25.7g
- Fiber: 2.4g
- Protein: 2g
- Cholesterol: 15.3mg
Keywords: caramel corn, cayenne, cinnamon