10.27.2010

Spicy Caramel Popcorn




For a recent Sunday dinner potluck, my friend Melissa (after losing the
draw on an apple dessert) showed up with a batch of beautiful golden
caramel popcorn she'd made earlier that day.


But as looks can be deceiving, the sweet and innocent popcorn
packed a really nice bite thanks to a hit of chili powder and cayenne. And it disappeared amazingly fast.


A
little trick and a little treat make this recipe a perfect
Halloween party sweet.

Spicy Caramel Popcorn
recipe from Cate's World Kitchen


2 tbsp canola oil

1/2 cup popcorn kernels

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tsp salt

1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp chili powder

a few pinches of cayenne


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.


Heat
the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn kernels
and cover the pot. Cook, shaking the pot every few seconds until all the
kernels are popped. (You can hear when they slow down.) Transfer to a
large metal or glass bowl, sprayed with cooking spray or buttered.


Combine
the sugar, salt, butter and water in a medium saucepan and set over
medium-high heat. Do not stir, but swirl the pan occasionally. The
caramel will begin to bubble and should cook until the mixture is golden
brown, about 10 minutes. (Do not walk away from it! It's very easy to
burn the caramel.)


While it’s boiling, spray two spatulas or wooden spoons and a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.


When
the caramel is golden brown, remove the pan from the heat, stir in the
chili powder and cayenne, and carefully pour it over the popped popcorn.
Toss with the greased spoons to evenly coat the popcorn. Then spread
evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove, cool and serve.

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