MMM... This sticky, crunchy, sweet and salty popcorn is everything! For these particular clusters photographed above, I used mini-popcorn* which is why the kernels are so tiny and cute. Now it is certainly ok to use regular kernels as well, just note that it will make the clumps more delicate and easier to fall apart. But whether baked in clusters or sprawled out on the baking sheet, the result is super delicious all the same. I recommend serving this at a party in a big bowl or dividing it up into small goody bags for presents.
maple coconut caramel popcorn
makes 6-8 servings (you can double the recipe), takes about 30 minutes, gluten free and soy free
3 cups popcorn (popped at home or pre-popped)
¼ cup thinly sliced almonds, toasted and chopped
¼ pistachios, toasted and chopped
1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
¼ cup maple syrup
blonde coconut sugar
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add popcorn to a large bowl with the almonds and pistachios.
Next, make the caramel by melting the coconut oil and maple syrup in a small pot and mix well on low heat. Once melted, bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 3 minutes, until it smells rich and 'caramelly' (I know, I made that one up), while thickening. Carefully remove from heat and pour over the popcorn and nuts. Mix well with a large spoon.
Using a ¼ cup measurer (or a large spoon) divide the mixture into 12 mounds or just evenly disperse the mixture on the baking sheet. Sprinkle on top about a teaspoon of coconut sugar and Maldon salt.
Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until desired crispiness. Once done, remove from oven, let cool for 15 minutes.
For the image, I used mini-popcorn (Pipcorn brand). These tiny popped kernels hold together nicely for clusters. If you use regular kernels, I recommend spreading them out and expecting more of a cracker jack consistency as opposed to individual clusters.
If you do pop the kernels at home, make sure to remove any un-popped ones. You don’t want want people hurting themselves!
Make sure to use unrefined coconut oil, as you want the buttery, rich flavor it has to offer (opposed to refined coconut oil which is neutral in taste.)
Blonde coconut sugar is made from coconut palm tree blossoms and has a delicious flavor that is buttery and 'caramelly'. Again, there's that word.
Maldon salt is light and flakey, providing the perfect texture and topping for this popcorn.
You can double this recipe if you want to make a large batch.
This recipe was inspired and adapted from the recipe in Donna Hay’s book Life in Balance. If you aren't familiar with Donna Hay, you should be. She's amazing.