Thursday, March 5, 2015

Salted Caramel Corn

I love popcorn. I'm sure I'm not alone in that statement, but I adore it even in it's simplest form, hot from the air-popper without even a kiss of salt. That said, a little adornment on occasion never hurts - and if you're fortunate enough to have the sweet, salty and "nutty" flavours of a freshly made caramel corn on hand... well, lets just say picnics, road trips and baseball games just won't be the same without it!

I garnered inspiration for this vegan, (naturally) gluten free treat from a bag of "Fit" Sea Salt Popcorn from Popcorn, Indiana. I reviewed both the Fit line and their Movie Theatre-style popcorn back in December, and was back for more with another bag! This time, though, I was on track to make treats for a few friends of mine, one who avoids dairy and wheat due to skin inflammation and another whose child has celiac as well as dairy and tree nut allergies. By using coconut oil and eliminating the nuts that are so common in caramel corn recipes, I effectively rendered the pan of goodness dairy free, and with the merest sprinkle of Kosher salt it had the addictive combination of flavours I was going for.

Salted Caramel Corn

While a bag of this caramel corn looks like it took a host of complicated steps to put together, it really was all of about 15 minutes from the time I opened the bag of popcorn until it was baking to crispy, dark amber perfection in the oven. Another 25 minutes (and a stir) later I had a tray of gorgeous, crunchy and just sweet enough caramel corn that would last me, my co-workers and my friends a good long movie's worth of munching!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays and Waste Not Want Not Wednesday 

Salted Caramel Corn
Makes ~15 cups, 10 (1 1/2 cup) servings
1 bag (4 oz) Popcorn, Indiana "Fit" Sea Salt Popcorn (or 15 cups air-popped popcorn)
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup golden or dark corn syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp Kosher salt
¼ tsp baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with sides with parchment or silicone and set aside.
  2. Place the popcorn in a large mixing bowl, set aside
  3. Combine sugar, corn syrup, coconut oil and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil (do not stir).
  4. Cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 252°F, then remove from the heat and immediately stir in baking soda.
  5. Pour over the popcorn, stirring until most of the kernels are coated.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Stir to coat any “naked” kernels, then return to the oven and bake 10 minutes longer.
  8. Cool on the sheet before gently breaking up large clumps.
  9. Store in an airtight container.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 196.0
Total Fat: 3.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 239.9 mg
Total Carbs: 49.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.3 g
Protein: 1.3 g