Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Danielle's Caramel Apple Popcorn Clusters
2 T. oil 12 T. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter,
2/3 c. popcorn kernels cut into pieces
4 c. dried apple chips, broken into pieces Kosher salt
1 c. unsalted almonds, roughly chopped 1/4 t. apple pie spice
2 c. apple juice 1/4 to 1/2 t. cayenne pepper (optional)
2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Heat the oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn kernels; cover and cook, shaking the pan, until the popping subsides. Remove from the heat and let any remaining kernels pop for 30 more seconds. Divide the popcorn between the prepared baking sheets, discarding any unpopped kernels. Scatter the apple chips and almonds on top.
2. Make the caramel: Bring the apple juice, brown sugar and corn syrup to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Cook without stirring until the mixture is deep amber and a candy thermometer registers 280 degrees, about 30 minutes (the caramel will bubble vigorously toward the end of the cooking time).
3. Stir the butter into the caramel until melted. Add 2 t. salt and the apple pie spice. Add the cayenne, if using, and cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Pour the hot caramel over the popcorn mixture and carefully toss with 2 rubber spatulas. Let cool slightly, then separate the mixture into clusters while still warm. Let cool completely.
Source: Food Network