I’m hanging onto the ends of Summer and resisting the change in weather even though it is happening There is a crispness in the air in the mornings and nights, everyone is sleeping better but when the sun is out people are still bustling in the city .In the Fall, our city population almost doubles because we are a university town. It’s nice to see loads of new people, and local businesses get a nice monetary push.
Today however is neither Summer or Fall but a Nova Scotia drab and grey day. Days like this I just want to cuddle up and binge watch TV series, maybe with a cute boy, a cuddly dog or two and some popcorn.
My resistance all Summer long to turn on the oven is waning, yesterday it actually was on for about 10 minutes to finish up this perfect caramel corn. I found a recipe online for caramel corn in the microwave by A Spicy Perspective (original recipe here). I really wanted to make it but I had two problems, I didn’t have a large paper grocery bag, and I also don’t own a big microwave. I adapted it, which meant I needed to turn on the oven, but I can assure you it was worth it. My version is popped in coconut oil on the stove top, I didn’t have cashews so I toasted some coconut, and added extra salt for that sweet and salty taste of Fall. I really love all the textures and flavours combined together in this caramel corn. It’s the perfect thing to make when all the new seasons of your favorite show are starting up at the end of this month.
Salted Caramel Corn with Toasted Coconut
adapted from A Spicy Perspective’s Microwave Caramel Popcorn
- 1/2 cup organic popcorn kernels
- 2-3 tbs organic virgin coconut oil
- 1+ 1/2 cups organic coconut flakes toasted
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 6 tbs salted butter
- 3 tbs maple syrup
- 1 tbs coarse sea salt
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- sea salt to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350.
In a heavy bottomed large stock pot heat 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil over medium high heat. Add three kernels of corn and wait for all three to pop. Remove the popped corn from the pot and add the 1/2 cup of kernels remaining. Since my pot set has metal covers I use a tea towel to wrap on the top, opening to guard my hands. Popping corn produces a lot steam and you can easily burn yourself if you let the lid fly up with no protection. Once the new kernels start to pop I shake the pot around so no kernel get burned. You will usually be able to tell there isn’t a lot of whole kernels left as the popping slows down. Remove popcorn from heat and place in a large ceramic or metal mixing bowl.
Using a medium-sized non-stick pan, heat over medium and add the coconut. Use a wooden spoon to keep the coconut moving. It will only take a few moments to toast. Once it’s as even as you can get it, empty the coconut unto the popcorn.
Prepare a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl add, brown sugar, butter, maple syrup vanilla, salt. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir, then microwave another 2 minutes, until boiling. Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave, and immediately stir in the baking soda until the caramel changes colour.
Quickly pour caramel unto the popped corn and coconut. I used a tea towel to support one side of the bowl, added a third of caramel at a time and stirred to popcorn to try to make it as evenly coated as possible.
Turn caramel corn onto the parchment lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for about 5-8 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir and let cool at room temperature for about an hour.
Store in air tight containers, and be sure to let cool completely before storing.