Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sticky Spiced Caramel Corn (Vegan option)

As I've said before, most things that fall into the 'snack food' category are crap, no matter how you sugar-coat it (ha ha!).  Low fat, reduced sodium, gluten-free, organic, most of it still has little nutritional value and lots of calories. The only exception is popcorn.  Too bad I don't like it.  But my peeps do, so I make it a lot because I'm happy to feed them this low fat, low calorie, whole grain snack and they are happy to eat it.  This is one of the least healthy versions I've made before, but it was for a holiday party and was being shared by all, so an exception was made.  He he!

Here is a recipe you can customize to suit your fancy. It's so quick and inexpensive, it's an easy thing to have handy for holiday entertaining and, unlike me, most people love it.  This is not a crunchy caramel recipe, its more ooey gooey.  To get it crunchy, you have to do the whole sugar boiling, make it reach a certain temperature thing, which I've never been very successful at.  Besides, this is easier, and I've always preferred soft caramel over crunchy.

Hopefully the suspense will not kill you, but I'm going to post a savoury popcorn recipe tomorrow.

Sticky Spiced Caramel Corn

1 cup popping corn
3/4 cup butter or Earth Balance buttery sticks
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling

Other seasoning options: Chinese 5 spice, chipotle chili powder, pumpkin pie spice, garam masala, etc.

Pop corn in air popper or in a paperbag in microwave.  Spread in single layer on wax paper-lined baking sheets.  Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in butter or Earth Balance, sugar, salt and spice.  Drizzle over corn and place baking sheets in the fridge or freezer until caramel firms up.  Store in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.