Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cinnamon Caramel Popcorn with Pecans & White Chocolate Drizzle!

Is that not a mouthful or what, but boy was it good!  On Wednesday my buddy, Michelle from One Ordinary Day made some cinnamon popcorn that she claimed was quick, easy, and delish!  DSC02276Unfortunately as quick and easy as it may have been the kids’  homework and studying this week has left no time for baking. Lucky for me the next afternoon I found this recipe, for cinnamon caramel popcorn with pecans and white chocolate on Our Best Bites.  Was it coincidence?  I think not! Sara’s recipe even had the pecans and white chocolate I thought of adding to Michelle’s.  Fate and a break in homework had me making a batch of this last night. 

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I only made one change to this most delectable popcorn and that was to use Ghirardelli white chocolate bars instead of the almond bark.  While incredibly good the next time I make this and there will be a next time, I am going to change things up.  These changes are to satisfy MY taste and  not necessarily yours.  My first change will be to double the pecans added and leave them in bigger pieces.  My second change is a biggie.  Next time I’m not going to bake it, at all!  Both the twins and I agreed that it was equally if not more yummy with the caramel mixture still sticky and warm just poured over the popcorn and pecans. Because I’m not baking it I’ll toast my pecans before adding them.  The last change is again, one of personal preference but I’d leave out the white chocolate drizzle.  I don’t think it needed it.  The bites that had white chocolate seemed too sweet.  I just noticed that Sara changed her recipe and left out the salt (1/4 tsp) but I think the popcorn benefits from the salt (sea) and could probably stand another 1/4 tsp of it to cut through the richness of the caramel. 

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Cinnamon Caramel Corn with Pecans                      & White Chocolate            Recipe by Our Best Bites

12 C popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels)
1 C pecan halves, roughly chopped
1 C brown sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1/4 C karo syrup (or honey makes a good substitution)
1 stick real butter (1/2 C)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 squares almond bark (about 4 oz)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Place popcorn and chopped pecans in a large bowl and set aside.
Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a 4 C capacity microwave safe bowl.  Mix well.  Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture.  Pour corn syrup over the top of everything.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to combine.  Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes.  Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more.
Remove from microwave and add in vanilla and baking soda.  Stir to combine.  Mixture will foam and rise.  Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pecans and stir very well so everything is well coated. 
Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined jelly roll pan.  Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. 
Remove from oven and spread out on a large piece of parchment, waxed paper, or foil.
Melt almond bark according to package instructions.  Drizzle over popcorn mixture.  When almond bark is hardened and popcorn is cool, break into chunks and enjoy!  (I might have topped some vanilla ice cream with the last of the it! :))

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Here’s Michelle’s recipe for cinnamon popcorn

Cinnamon Popcorn

  • 8-10 c. of popped popcorn
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 hefty pinches of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Pop popcorn and spread onto a large cookie sheet.  (Michelle used a hot air popcorn popper.)  Melt butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a microwave-safe bowl until sugar is dissolved and butter melted, 1 – 2 minutes.  Stir in vanilla extract.  Spoon butter mixture over popcorn and sprinkle with salt.  Toss to coat as many pieces of popcorn as you can.  Place in oven for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.  If storing {not likely!}, place in an airtight container

**Speaking of Michelle she participating in Cupcake Hero this month and created the very delicious looking (& I’m certain tasty) Banana S’mores Cupcakes.  I haven’t made them yet but they are at the top of my “to make” list.  Check them out and if you think they are as delish looking as I do you can vote for her here!    Go Michelle!  :)

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Over the last six months or so I’ve received several blog “awards”.  I want to take a moment to thank all of you for thinking of me and my blog.  I know that the “award” rules say I need to chose 5, 6, 7, or 10 other bloggers to pass them along to but if you’ve been reading my blog awhile you’ll know how I feel about calling out a select few.  ALL of you have a unique voice and something special about your blogs.  I apologize if  my not passing along the awards offends anyone but there it is.  Thanks, again and I’m sorry it took me so long to say it!

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