Monday, March 21, 2011

Cinnamon Pecan Caramel Popcorn

I have to admit I'm not really a popcorn fan. At least not the buttered popcorn while you are watching a movie variety. However, if you take that popcorn, cover it in sugar and bake it, it's general appeal to me seems to increase dramatically.  This variety is my personal favorite. I've made four batches in the last week and eaten a large share of each one. The cinnamon in this recipe really makes it and I use a Vietnamese variety that has the perfect sweet-hot taste, providing just a little bit of bite to the finished popcorn. The pecans add a more refined taste but you could substitute them with any nut variety that you have on hand. Finally, I suppose you could use a microwave popcorn that was light in butter and salt but making your own popcorn on the stove is so easy and fresh popcorn really has no comparison.

Cinnamon Pecan Caramel Popcorn
1/2 cup popcorn kernals (makes about 12 cups popped popcorn)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large heavy pot with lid, pour vegetable oil and popcorn (or enough to cover bottom of pan no more than one kernal deep). Cover pan and heat over medium heat, gently shaking the pot, allowing steam to escape from popping kernals. Remove pan from heat once kernals stop popping. Place popped popcorn and chopped pecans into a large bowl.

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in large microwave proof bowl. Cut butter into 1 inch chunks and place over sugar mixture. Pour corn syrup over the top. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to incorporate. Microwave for 2 minutes and then stir. Microwave an additional 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir in baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will become nice and bubbly and smooth.

Pour the sugar mixture over the popcorn and nuts and fold gently until all the popcorn is covered. Spread the popcorn mixture onto a large cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment. Place in the oven, preheated to 250 degrees and bake for 40 minutes, stirring the mixture every 10 minutes. Let it cool completely and then break it into chunks and place into an airtight container.


  1. I am a popcorn person so this looks really good to me. I've never made anything like this at home before. I'm not familiar with Vietnamese cinnamon. Where do you get something like that?

  2. @Sheryl The cinnamon I got was from Costco and it's called Saigon Cinnamon. If you've got a spice store around you they may have multiple varieties to choose from.

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