Spicy Caramel Popcorn

Make this tasty snack for this weekend's football game.

Spicy Caramel Popcorn

Make this tasty snack for this weekend’s football game.

-Courtesy of The Craft of Baking by Karen Demasco

Spicy Caramel Popcorn

This crunchy treat makes a fun and unexpected dessert or a great movie snack. I also love packing it into cellophane bags and tying the bags with ribbon for gifts.

Makes about 4 quarts


Nonstick cooking spray

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup popcorn kernels

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 cups sugar

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

The Craft of BakingPreparation:

1. Lightly coat two large heatproof rubber spatulas and a large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large saucepan or pot with a lid, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn kernels, cover, and keep the saucepan moving until all of the kernels have popped, about 4 minutes. Transfer the popped popcorn to the prepared bowl, removing any unpopped kernels.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the baking soda and cayenne pepper. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, salt, and 1/2 cup water. Cook over high heat, without stirring, until the mixture becomes a light golden-yellow caramel, about 10 minutes.

4. Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the baking soda mixture (the mixture will bubble up).

5. Immediately pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn. Working quickly and carefully, use the prepared spatulas to toss the caramel and popcorn together, as if you were tossing a salad, until the popcorn is well coated.

6. Pour the popcorn onto a large baking pan and quickly flatten and separate it into small pieces while it is still warm. Cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Once it is cool, store it in a well-sealed airtight container. Caramel popcorn will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Find more snack recipes in our Recipe File.

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