You know you’ve hit the recipe jackpot, when you make, eat and then remake the same recipe 3 times in the same week. Popcorn never lasts long around these parts with a ravenous 6 year old and a crazy snack loving mom! I honestly will never understand why/how my son eats so much? Is this just a boy thing? Do tell. He eats a huge lunch and then after school, continues to munch his way to dinner time. He’s like the hungry caterpillar in boy form.
This recipe came about because my sister in law texted me during the World Series to say she was making homemade Cracker Jack. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically (very unhealthy and overly processed) caramel corn that you can get during baseball games (and possibly stores although I don’t remember). We ate them growing up and the best part was eating all of the caramel corn and then at the bottom of the box there would be a little prize waiting for you! Anyway, she was telling me that I would be disgusted with the ingredients and that she was embarrassed to tell me what was in the recipe. I begged her to tell me so I could recreate it using healthy alternatives to the butter, corn syrup, and sugar in her recipe! I love finding ways to make unhealthy recipes healthy. Here, I swapped out butter for almond butter, the corn syrup for brown rice syrup, and the sugar for coconut sugar. I also added pumpkin spice because TIS THE SEASON!
This caramel corn is perfectly crunchy, chewy, salty and sweet and is loaded with warm pumpkin spice! I also added roasted and salted pumpkin seeds for some added crunch. It makes the perfect gift (thinking of those teacher gifts this time of year) as it comes together in a flash and lasts for over a week in an airtight container, so you can make this well ahead of gifting it! It would also be a nice hostess gift for Thanksgiving, should you be attending dinner at a friends house, such as we are!
I hope you have the happiest of holidays! Also, if there’s a recipe you’d like me to recreate, please send me a note! I’d love to help!
10 cups popped popcorn (roughly 1/2 cups of kernels) I like to pop mine in a sealed paper bag 1/4 cup at a time for about 50 seconds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (mine were already roasted and salted)
1/2 cup creamy almond butter (or nut butter of your choice)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup + 2 T brown rice syrup
1/4 cup + 1 T coconut oil
1 t pumpkin spice
1 t salt
Preheat oven to 250F. In a small pan, melt the almond butter, coconut sugar, brown rice syrup, coconut oil, pumpkin spice and salt over low heat until mixture just starts to bubble.
Place your popcorn in a large bowl and pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn a quarter cup at a time, stir, and then add the rest. Make sure all of the popcorn is evenly distributed with the mixture. Then place the popcorn on two baking sheets and place in the oven.
Total cook time is 40 minutes but you will need to stir it every 10 minutes to make sure the popcorn doesn’t burn. Once the popcorn is done, let it sit out on the baking trays at room temperature to cool. Place in an airtight container or ziploc baggie. Will keep this way for up to a week (if it lasts that long!).