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 25-30 minutes, stirring and turning the popcorn with a spatula half way through the baking time. Remove from the oven, and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Gently break up the popcorn, and serve.