Oooey Gooey Caramel Popcorn

Food Network’s Tyler Florence is one of my favorite Food Network chefs. His recipe for caramel popcorn is perfect for a movie night, girls night in or just a little sweet snack!

Oooey Gooey Caramel Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • 1/2 (10-ounce) package marshmallows, about 4 cups
  • 10 cups hot, salted popcorn, uncooked kernels removed or if you do not have a popcorn maker or know how to pop the kernels – 10 cups of popped popcorn – kept warm
  1. In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water, corn syrup, vegan butter, and cream of tartar (fun food note – this bit of acid keeps the sugar from crystallizing)
  2. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. When thesugar syrup reaches a boil, stop stirring and swirl the pan around over the heat so it doesn’t burn.
  3. As the syrup reaches the caramel stage, the bubbles on top will become smaller, thicker, and closer together. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the caramel coats the back of the spoon. (If you have one -stick a candy thermometer in the pot and cook until the syrup reaches the “soft-crack stage”, which is about 270ºF. When you drop a bit of this syrup into cold water, it will solidify into threads that, when removed, are hard yet bendable.)
  4. Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the marshmallows. Fold the marshmallows into the hot caramel so they all melt into a gooey caramel sauce.
  5. The caramel will coat better if the popcorn is hot, so make it while boiling the sugar or pop it first then keep it warm. Put the popcorn in a big bowl and pour the caramel marshmallow mixture over thepopcorn. Gently fold with a wooden spoon to coat each kernel.
  6. If you want to make this into popcorn balls, grab handfuls of the popcorn and squeeze it together to form popcorn balls; make them about the size of a tennis ball. Put the popcorn balls on a sheet pan lined with waxed paper to cool completely.
  7. If not, just spread the popcorn caramel mix onto a baking pan lined with wax paper and let cool then break into pieces.

ENJOY!

Coconut-Almond Popcorn Balls

Another tasty popcorn recipe! This coconut- almond recipe has some of the same ingredients as the Mexican Chocolate Popcorn Balls and is just as delicious! Coconut is one of my favorite flavors!

Coconut-Almond Popcorn Balls

Adapted from Food Network.com

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • 1 cupconfectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • A pinch of salt
  • 12 cups popped popcorn until coated
  • Toasted shredded coconut
  1. Bring corn syrup, vegan butter, cup confectioners’ sugar, mini marshmallows and water to a boil in a large pot over medium heat, stirring.
  2. Add almond extract and a pinch of salt.
  3. Remove from the heat; using a rubber spatula.
  4. Stir in popcorn until coated.
  5. Butter your hands, then shape into balls
  6. Roll popcorn balls in toasted shredded coconut.
Don’t want to make popcorn balls? No problem. Instead of rolling the popcorn mixture into balls, spread out onto a baking pan and sprinkle shredded coconut on top. If your coconut it not already toasted, preheat your oven to 350ºF and place popcorn mixture with coconut on top into the oven until the coconut is a nice light brown.

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a sister of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney. 

Mexican Chocolate Popcorn Balls

Food Network has great snack recipes that are easily adaptable to be gluten free/dairy free! The other day, I came across some great popcorn recipes and I thought HEY! I’ll do a little popcorn series! It first started with the Peanut Maple Popcorn. Today – Mexican Chocolate Popcorn Balls! Movie night snacks will never be the same!

Mexican Chocolate Popcorn Balls

Adapted from Food Network.com

Making these will be sticky but worth it! The mix of chocolate and spices is great!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter (Earth Balance)
  • 1 cupconfectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s is great – you can use Toll House as well but I like Hershey’s cocoa powder way better)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt.
  • 12 cups popcorn – popped (I suggest using a natural or light butter popcorn or even Kettle corn (my personal favorite) )
  • Cinnamon Sugar for rolling
  1. Bring corn syrup, butter, sugar, 1 cup mini marshmallows, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne pepper, and water to a boil in a large pot over medium heat, stirring.
  2. Add vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  3. Remove from the heat; using a rubber spatula, stir in popcorn and 1 more cup of mini marshmallows.
  4. Now for the fun and sticky part – yes it will be sticky! Butter your hands, and shape mixture into balls.
  5. Roll formed balls in cinnamon sugar.

Who said popcorn balls were boring!?! ENJOY!

Peanut Maple Popcorn

Popcorn is a great snack that is also a great canvas for flavors and textures. Thanks to Food Networks Pinterest page, I stumbled upon this Peanut Maple Popcorn recipe that I tweaked a just a little bit.

Peanut Maple Popcorn

This takes regular popcorn to another level. Movie night snacking gets a little bit sweeter with this tasty treat.

Adapted from Food Network.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Real Maple Syrup – pure maple syrup (non of that fake stuff)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (3.5 oz.) package natural microwave popcorn, popped (10 cups)
  • 2 cups dry roasted peanuts
  1. Preheat oven to 250ºF.
  2. Combine sugar and maple syrup in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat. Blend in peanut butter and vanilla.
  3. Place popped popcorn and peanuts in a large bowl. Pour peanut butter mixture over popcorn, stirring until coated.
  4. Place popcorn in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

Pour into your favorite bowl and ENJOY!

So pop in your favorite DVD, kick back and relax with this snack! 🙂

Fudge Mint Popcorn

Fudge Mint Popcorn is the perfect St. Patrick’s Day snack for any party you may be throwing!

Fudge Mint Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup regular chocolate M&Ms, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies, chopped & divided – check out my recipe for Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies!
  • 1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vegan shortening
  • 1/4 cup green candy melts
  • 3 tablespoons green St. Patrick’s Day sprinkles
  1. Combine popcorn, marshmallows, 1/2 cup chocolate candies, and 1 cup mint chocolate chip cookies pieces in a large bowl. Crush the extra 1/2 cup cookies into crumbs and set aside with the extra chocolate candies.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the white chips and shortening. Heat slowly, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Pour over popcorn mixture and toss until everything is coated.
  3. Spread out on a wax paper lined cookie tray. Sprinkle with the crushed cookies and the extra 1/4 cup chocolate candies. Let set.
  4. Heat the green candy melts in a microwave safe bowl. Spoon into a plastic bag and cut the tip off one corner. Drizzle over the popcorn and top with sprinkles. Let set before eating.
 MMMM! If you want an EXTRA pop of green – color your popped popcorn with green food coloring before combining with marshmallows!
ENJOY!

National Peanut Butter Day

January 24th is National Peanut Butter Day! (thank you Twitter for letting me know) So on this day, I bring you a sweet and salty snack that uses Reese’s Peanut Butter cups (a favorite candy of mine – and still able to enjoy because it is gluten free)

Reese’s Peanut Butter Popcorn

This popcorn is a twist on the delicious caramel popcorn but this treat has a peanut butter honey coating instead of the caramel. Drizzled with chocolate and mini Reese’s Peanut Butter cups this treat is great for game time, snack time, party time or anytime! 

Ingredients

  • 8 cups plain popcorn
  • Fine salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  1. Place the popped popcorn in a large bowl and salt to taste. Set aside.
  2. Mix the honey and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the peanut butter. Stir vigorously until all the peanut butter is melted, then mix in the vanilla extract.
  3. Immediately pour the peanut butter caramel over the popcorn and gently stir with a long-handled wooden spoon until it’s all coated. Spread popcorn on a large baking sheet. Drizzle popcorn with melted chocolate and let sit until chocolate hardens. Stir in the Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
HOW EASY IS THAT! Peanut, chocolate and popcorn. Now that is a winning combination. You can also do this with mini Snickers. Any chocolate candy you choose to use is sure to be delicious! Enjoy your National Peanut Butter Day. (or almond butter if you’re allergic to peanut butter, I definitely do discriminate almond butter. It is DELICIOUS and nutritious.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn Brittle

One bite of this crunchy chocolatey peanut butter popcorn brittle and you’ll be itching to make more! Popcorn, caramel, M & Ms are the perfect combination!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn Brittle 

  • 1 bag microwave popcorn
  • 1 cup M&Ms
  • 1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter – Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup lightly salted peanuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Prepare popcorn according to package directions. Remove all unpopped kernels. Spread popped corn evenly in 15×10-inch nonstick shallow baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with M&M’s; set aside.
  2. Place sugar, butter, corn syrup and vanilla in medium heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Add peanuts. Cook an additional 2 minutes or to the hard-crack stage, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add baking soda and mix well. Note: Hard-crack stage, 300 to 310°F on a candy thermometer, is when a small amount of boiling sugar syrup, dropped into very cold water, separates into hard brittle threads.
  3. Immediately pour caramel mixture evenly over popped corn and candy until coated. Do not stir. Let stand 30 minutes or until caramel has cooled and hardened.
  4. Break into pieces.

Pretty Pretty Princess Pink Popcorn

Tomorrow is my birthday! Even though I’m going to be 22, that doesn’t mean I don’t like pink (it’s my second favorite color) and don’t want to feel like a pretty pretty princess. I found this great party popcorn recipe that uses chocolate and food coloring to make ordinary popcorn special. Still right up my alley. 22 and still a kid a heart ❤

Pretty Pretty Princess Pink Popcorn

  • 8 cups of popcorn (natural,regular or kettle)
  • vegetable oil or olive Oil
  • kosher salt
  • 8 ounces of white chocolate
  • red food coloring (if you don’t want it to be pink use whatever food coloring colors you would like)
  1. Pop your popcorn. You can use microwave popcorn or kernels for stove top popcorn
  2. Spread the popcorn over a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Remember to take out any unpopped kernels.
  3. Melt 8 ounces of white chocolate until smooth. You can use a double-boiler to melt the chocolate, or put it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time on medium power, stirring after each round. Once the chocolate is smooth, add a few drops of food coloring, and stir to blend.
  4. Use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate across the popcorn. Mix the popcorn around with the spoon to evenly distribute the chocolate. Then place the baking sheet in the refridgerator for 20 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden.
  5. Serve in a festive party bowl and enjoy!

Kwegyirba Croffie is a freelance Associate Producer at News 12 Connecticut and a Special Events/Event Planning and Social Media Intern at College Lifestyles (TM). She is a Quinnipiac University alumni and a member of Alpha Delta Pi. She enjoy cupcakes,Broadway musicals, Forever 21 ,giraffes, peacock feathers, orchids, lillies and anything Disney.

Cinnamon Caramel Corn

Popcorn is a quick and easy snack that can be used in so many ways and have some many flavors. I love popcorn and there are great brands that have great gluten free popcorns. Popcorn is great by itself, extra butter, light butter or whatever your favorite might be. Kettle corn is one of my favorites and natural popcorn is always a treat.

Here is a great recipe for Cinnamon Caramel Corn.

Cinnamon Caramel Corn 

Ingredients

  • 12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels)*
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup or honey makes a good substitution)
  • 1 stick buttery spread (1/2 C) – Earth Balance is a great brand and come in a spread and stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 squares almond bark (or gluten free white chocolate)

*You can use air popped or microwave popcorn. If using microwave, anything works, so you can use your favorite gluten free brand.

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  2. Place popcorn and chopped pecans in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a large capacity microwave safe bowl.  Mix well.
  4. Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture.  Pour corn syrup over the top of everything.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to combine.  Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes.  Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more.
  5. Remove from microwave and add in vanilla and baking soda.  Stir to combine.  Mixture will foam and rise.  Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pecans and stir very well so everything is well coated.
  6. Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined jelly roll pan.  Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and spread out on a large piece of parchment, waxed paper, or foil.
  8. Melt almond bark according to package instructions.  Drizzle over popcorn mixture.  When almond bark is hardened and popcorn is cool, break into chunks and enjoy!

Snack Search – PopCorners

Quick snack tip! If you haven’t tried PopCorners then I highly recommend them! PopCorners are the new shape of popcorn that are all natural, delicious, light and most importantly gluten-free. They are the world’s first popcorn chip that are available in five great flavors (Butter, White Cheddar, Sea Salt, Kettle and Cheesy Jalapeno), all of which are gluten-free. PopCorners don’t get stuck in your teeth, they don’t get your hands greasy and there are not kernels to clean up!

I first stumbled upon PopCorners at my alma mater, Quinnipiac University which had a pretty good gluten-free snack selection (and gluten-free pizza and bread and bagels but I’m rambling). I tried  the classic butter flavor and was pleasantly surprised. They are light, crunchy and yet do not lack flavor. You still get the movie theater butter taste without the mess.

I really enjoy PopCorners and they are the perfect snack if you are craving anything buttery or sweet or a combination of both! Try the classic butter or simple sea salt with salsa (my personal favorite dip to eat them with) or just by themselves!

So sit back, open up a bag and ENJOY!