Popcorn is a fun and versatile snack. It can be healthy, however, I choose to eat delicious popcorn (I apologize to anyone who thinks plain popcorn is delicious!). Lots of butter and salt. Or covered in crunchy caramel. Or drizzled in melted chocolate. Or mixed with peanuts, pretzels, and M&M’s. It’s all good!
Today I was in the mood for some popcorn, but I didn’t want chocolate on it (I know, I must be ill!). I wanted something like caramel corn, but yet I didn’t want caramel corn (I can be so indecisive sometimes). I realized I was craving apple cider. Apple cider? Yup- Who knows- I just go with it :)
Anyways, you know I was on an apple cider kick a couple months ago (here and here), and I really thought I had satisfied the craving for another year! However, it’s back, but it’s quieter this time. Speaking softly and gently (ahhh).
So I decided to make some apple cider popcorn. I still had a few packets of instant apple cider mix left, so I mixed those into a candy coating, poured it over some popcorn, and baked it till it was crunchy. After it cooled, I couldn’t stop eating it- it’s so good!
Apple Cider Popcorn
Prep time: 25 minutes Bake time: 30 minutes
1 cup popcorn kernels
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup butter
4 packs instant apple cider mix
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pop popcorn using an air popper (if you use microwavable popcorn, make sure it is plain) into a large bowl. Transfer popped kernels to another large bowl and set aside (I always have unpopped kernels, so I transfer the popped popcorn by hand in order to sort out the unpopped kernels).
Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugars, corn syrup, butter, and the instant apple cider mix. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Once it comes to a boil, attach a candy thermometer, and continue stirring until the mixture reaches 300 degrees. Remove from the heat and immediately add in the baking soda (be careful, as the baking soda will make the mixture bubble up) stirring till well combined. Pour the syrup over the popcorn (I did this in 2 batches), stirring well to cover all the popcorn, then pour the popcorn onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet(s). Spread the popcorn out evenly, then put the cookie sheet in the oven. Stir every 10 minutes, for a total of 3 times. After the 3rd time, remove from the oven and stir again. Then let the popcorn set until completely cooled. Break apart into pieces and enjoy! (Store leftovers in zip-locked storage bags)
Question of the day: What do you like on your popcorn?
Made with love, not calories!