Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dark Chocolate Drizzled Caramel Popcorn

The month of December always reminds me of those giant tubs of tri-flavored popcorn. I always avoided the cheese (even though I liked it) and the butter flavor and dove right into the caramel section. I was addicted. Still am. I had to leave this batch in another room to avoid finishing it all. 
This is my version of that delicious caramel popcorn but taken up a notch with some dark chocolate drizzled all over. This keeps for a couple weeks in an air tight container and makes a great hostess gift or party favor when put into a mason jar. That's if you can keep yourself from eating it all. 

Dark Chocolate Drizzled Caramel Popcorn

1/2 cup butter (1 stick) 

1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups popcorn kernels 
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 cup dark chocolate chips 
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp salt 

1 large pot with tight lid
Medium nonstick pot
Wooden spoon or heatproof baking spatula 
Large tray with silpat or lined with parchment paper 
Large bowl sprayed lightly with canola oil 
Small microwaveable bowl 

To pop the popcorn: add canola oil to the pot with lid. Begin to heat over medium and once hot add the popcorn kernels and place the lid on top. Allow the popcorn kernels to pop until the popping slows to a pop every couple seconds. I like to stir my popcorn while popping- which sometimes ends up with popcorn overboard but I think it keeps kernels from burning. 

Once popcorn has popped. Measure out 12 cups. Place onto your lined baking tray. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

In the medium nonstick pot add the stick of butter, both sugars and corn syrup. Turn on the heat to medium low and continuously stir with your wooden spoon until the sugars and butter melt and begin to simmer. It's key to continue stirring so the caramel doesn't separate and become oily. Once it begins to simmer, turn heat to medium and allow it to boil for 4 minutes. I usually set a timer. At this point I put the popcorn tray into the oven to warm the kernels up- this makes it easier to mix the caramel and popcorn later.

After the four minutes are up-  turn off heat and add the baking soda and vanilla extract. It will bubble up a bit- so be aware. Remove the popcorn from the oven. 

Slowly pour the caramel onto the warmed popcorn and using the same wooden spoon- stir and mix the popcorn with the caramel- so it doesn't clump a lot. It will clump a little which is fine. Once the caramel is poured over the popcorn and mixed over evenly- place the whole tray into the oven. Bake for 1 hour. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled- break up any large chunks of caramel and popcorn. 

Take the chocolate chips and place into the microwaveable bowl. Heat for 20 seconds and remove and stir. Continue to do this until the chocolate chips are melted and chocolate is smooth and hot. I microwaved mine for 20 seconds, stirred, 20 seconds, stirred, 20 seconds, stirred, 15 seconds, stirred, 10 seconds, stirred and it was ready to drizzle. 

Using the same spoon just drizzle and move all over the cooled caramel popcorn. Allow the chocolate to set/dry and then enjoy this fantastic treat!! Keep in airtight container if not eating right away. Good luck with that! Xo

Caramel boiling 

Drizzling the caramel 

Finished product

Charlie couldn't wait to try it!! 

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