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Prep 30 mins
Cook 50 mins
My dear friend Jenny shared this recipe with me years ago. I have made it many times over the years and it is always a big hit. This is great for football watching and Halloween parties. It is a caramel popcorn with hints of baking spices. Unless you are an experienced caramel corn maker (and even if you are), I highly recommend using a candy thermometer with this recipe. It is not a hard recipe, but you do have to pay attention and have everything ready to go before you start.
- 3 quarts popped popcorn, plain and unseasoned
- 1 cup dried apple, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup raisins (I use a mix of golden and brown raisins)
- 1⁄2 cup peanuts (or nuts you prefer)
- 3⁄4 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 3 1⁄2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or other mixed baking spice)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- First, freshly pop your popcorn and measure out 3 quarts, then sift through your popcorn to remove any unpopped kernels.
- Make sure you have a large shallow sheet pan handy (I use a jelly roll pan) and you may wish to line it with foil or parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- In a very large bowl, mix together the popcorn, dried apples, raisins, and nuts; set aside.
- Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt in a 2 quart size saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Continue to boil to the firm ball stage (248°F on a candy thermometer), about 5 minutes.
- Do not overcook!
- Remove from heat and stir in the spices and the baking soda.
- Pour hot caramel over the popcorn mixture and stir quickly to coat.
- Spread popcorn mixture evenly on your pan.
- Bake at 250 F for 45-50 minutes, stirring EVERY 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely (or you will burn your tongue- the caramel gets scalding hot).
- I often leave out apples, but you can also use other dried fruits if you desire such as dried cranberries or apricots.
- Just make sure your dried fruits are very fresh- if they are too dried out from age, they will tend to burn.
- I use low-salt nuts, Jenny uses unsalted.
We made this the other week when the neighbourhood got together for a Barbie. It was a HeatherFeather theme Barbie. We had the best fun making it. For the fruit, we used apricots and raisins and a few dried bananas. It was truly a huge hit with the young kids and the old kids. Your recipe, I mean, Jenny’s recipe, has now been given to 6 families in my community. My friend across the street said she took the popcorn to footy this arvo and the boys loved it. Everyone agrees that this popcorn is far better than the plain old caramel popcorn!!! :-) Thank you for sharing.
My dd's birthday is 3 days before Halloween and we like to stay away from a halloween theme. I found this recipe and decided to bag it up in favor bags for each of the kids. I loved the fall taste of the spices (we did not use nuts) and added my own dried apples with skins still on and raisins. It was a hit! I like the idea of adding dried bananas and I'll try that next. I have never made oven baked caramel popcorn and this was very easy for me. With the hot caramel I would suggest not letting young children help you when pouring the caramel onto the popcorn or stiring it either.
This was a great tasting version of the usual mix.