For me, a rich caramel popcorn pairs perfectly with cool autumn days. There is something so cozy about whipping up a batch, and munching it while watching a movie, huddled under a warm knit blanket. It also happens to be the treat that always gets snatched from my hands when I bring a bag to the school yard at after-school pick up.
Did you know that caramel corn is also a great menu item to serve at a party? It pairs well with wine, beer, hard liquor and champagne. Keep your party simple and serve booze and spiced popcorn! And for the kids, it's a natural accompaniment to hot cocoa and cider, and I consider it to be a must-serve item at Halloween or fall birthday parties.
Popcorn can be served in individual paper cones, large bowls, or brown paper bags rolled over to create a rustic looking and recyclable no-dishes-to-wash vessel, like the one in the photos.
Pumpkin Pie Popcorn (adapted from Orangette)
- 10 cups air popped popcorn, salted
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syurp
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Coat a large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray, and dump the popcorn into the bowl, taking care to pick out and discard any unpopped kernels.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt, and 2 tablespoons of water.
Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer, whisking often, and bring to a boil. Allow the mixture to boil for about 2 minutes, whisking occasionally. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the baking soda and pumpkin pie spice.
Quickly pour the hot caramel over the popcorn. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the caramel into the popcorn, taking care to distribute it as evenly as you can. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 1 hour, stirring and turning the popcorn with a spatula every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Gently break up the popcorn, and serve.