Salted Caramel Cashew Popcorn

I love nothing more than meeting someone who you can connect with on many levels.  Rachel is one of those people.  I don’t remember when we first “met” but she is one that I talk to on a nearly-daily basis.  She is seriously one of the most humble and laid back bloggers that I know, and I have never even met her in real life.  We share a love for spreadsheets, all-things-organized and, you guessed it: popcorn.

Salted Caramel Cashew Popcorn

Well, guess what…TODAY is all about Rachel and her sweet baby boy who will be making his appearance very soon.  Happy Virtual Shower, Rach!!

I can say that popcorn is one of my very favorite snacks.  I (almost) lived on it in college and have been known to eat popcorn for dinner…along with a glass of wine, of course.  Sometimes I like my popcorn a little bit spicy.  I  think I prefer it with tons of butter and salt – classic and simple.  But for a new baby, we definitely needs some sweet and salty.  So I made salted caramel cashew popcorn.  The sweet and salty here is almost too balanced, if that can happen – it’s just way too easy to keep going back for another handful.  The salted caramel is so simple – no candy thermometer needed, just some butter, brown sugar and a little stirring.  Go ahead and add some M&M’s, Hershey’s kisses or chocolate chips for a little added sweetness.

Congratulations, Rachel, I am so happy for you, can’t wait to meet your little guy! xo

Salted Caramel Cashew Popcorn

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Salted Caramel Cashew Popcorn Recipe

Yield: 6 cups

Prep Time: 7 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour (includes cooling time)

A simple salted caramel sauce is drizzled over popped popcorn and cashews and baked for a fun fall and winter-inspired snack.

Ingredients:

4 cups popped corn (unsalted, unbuttered), see note below
1 cup cashew halves and pieces
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. Maldon sea salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large roasting pan with non-stick cooking spray and pour in the popcorn and cashews. .

In a heavy saucepot over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt and stir constantly while bringing it to a boil. When it begins to boil rapidly, stop stirring and allow the caramel to boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. Carefully pour over popcorn and mix well. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring at 15 minutes to break up the large pieces.

When finished, spread out the popcorn on a layer of wax paper and break up any large chunks. Allow the popcorn to cool completely before serving; store in an airtight container for up to 4 days...it's actually better the second and third day.

*Updated: some who have tried the recipe have experienced that the popcorn burns when baked at 350 degrees. If your oven tends to run a little hotter, bake the popcorn at 325 or bake at 350 and watch carefully, stirring more frequently.*

Cassie’s Notes:
I pop my popcorn on the stove because: a) we don’t have a microwave and b) we don’t have an airpopper. So stove popping is really my only choice, good thing I love it that way.

Here’s how to do it:

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a medium heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. (I use grapeseed, you can use canola, vegetable, etc. just not olive oil, it will be likely to burn.)

Add a few popcorn kernels and let it heat up. When one kernel pops, add 1/3 cup of uncooked popcorn kernels and cover the pan. Shake the pan a little to spread the kernels in an even layer. Let the kernels pop for several minutes until the pan is full and the popping slows down, shaking the pan every-so-often

Remove from heat and transfer popcorn to a large bowl, in this case, the roasting pan.

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Salted Caramel Cashew Popcorn