Kerry makes a cup of Joe every morning in a French press…no coffee maker for him. He really takes his time to steep and brew the perfect cup. So, when I made this Coffee Caramel Popcorn, he said, “Mmmmm,” and ate just about the whole bucket himself. I guess that’s quite a compliment, but he could have saved some for me.
I have a cookie recipe that uses coffee grounds in it, but I didn’t want my caramel popcorn to be peppered with crunchy black flecks. So, I used espresso powder. And depending how much coffee flavor you like, you can add more or less. I thought the amount I used gently reminded me that there was coffee in it. Meanwhile, the peanut gallery over here, said they would like a bigger punch to the taste buds…COFFEE. Next time, I’ll add a teaspoon more of espresso.
Sometimes I like things plain and simple as in this snack because I wanted the coffee flavor to stand on its own. But as you know with caramel popcorn, you can go to town and add nuts, chocolate whatever your palate desires.
Great Tip: My friend, Allan, made this recipe and commented that the popcorn sticks to the baking pan, making it hard to remove. Yup, I know what you mean. Kerry, who is the official caramel popcorn maker in our family suggested his method of cooling. When the caramel popcorn comes out of the oven, he pours it all into a huge bowl to cool, instead of leaving it all to sit in the caramel coated pan. Aha! Thanks, Allan, for your comment! And thanks to my hubby for solving the problem!
Makes a hefty bowlful.
4 quarts popcorn
1¼ cups sugar
2/3 cup margarine or butter
2/3 cup dark corn syrup
4-5 tsp. espresso powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
Spread the popcorn in an 11 x 18 inch pan, or two 9 x 13 inch pans. Butter a rubber spatula and set aside.
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, margarine, corn syrup, and espresso powder. Cook over medium heat, stirring until it boils. Continue cooking without stirring for another 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in the baking soda and vanilla. It will rise up and foam. Pour at once over the popcorn. Stir to coat with the buttered spatula.
Bake uncovered at 250 degrees for one hour, tossing occasionally, so all the popcorn will be coated. Remove from oven and pour into a large bowl. If left in the baking pan, a lot of the popcorn has a tendency to stick to the bottom. When completely cool and caramel is brittle, break apart and store tightly in a covered container.
Recipe by Pearl