Apple Cinnamon Caramel Popcorn
Originally published November 19, 2013. Updated on 6/29/2021
Wow, has it really been 3 weeks since I last posted? Do I really still have Halloween stuff up as the featured content? I'll get right on that..
Yikes. My apologies!
It's been a wild month. Lemme tell you a bit about it, and punctuate it with a really easy, tasty recipe: apple cinnamon caramel popcorn!
First off, as that last blog entry was posted, I was away in Chicago at a convention.
It was WeeM, Chicago Mensa's Halloween gathering. A great time, on its own... but it's also the anniversary of my husband and I dating, AND I usually get hired to go and bake a bunch of delicious goodies for the event.
This year was a bit different.
Still great on it's own, but with the added benefit of being able to hang out with a couple of my Chicago based "prison buddies" from my reality show adventure - Duckie & Rim.
It was so great to be able to catch up with them - they're both wonderful people, and it had been a while since I'd seen anyone from that whole experience!
More Posts About MasterChef
Going on MasterChef was ... an adventure. Want to read more about it? Here are some more posts:
What The Hell Am I Doing Drinking in LA?
"Drinking in LA" Cocktail
My Training and Preparation for MasterChef
How to Watch a MasterChef Premiere
MasterChef Premieres Tonight
MasterChef Season 4, Episode 1 Recap
MasterChef Season 4, Episode 2 Recap
MasterChef Season 4, Episodes 3 & 4 Recap
MasterChef Season 4, Episodes 5 & 6 Recap
MasterChef Season 4, Episodes 7 & 8 Recap
The MasterChef Snafu
So You Want to Audition for MasterChef...
Bananas Foster Pavlova, Meeting Ben Starr
Matt Orsini's Spinach Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce
Savoury Tomato Shortcake
Catering the Party
Back on the subject of cooking for WeeM, after a one year hiatus on the baking front, they had me back...with a twist.
For the first time ever, they hired me to make SAVORIES! Yes!
The whole "just a baker" thing has always been a minor sore point for me, so I welcomed the chance to flex some additional culinary muscle.
I kept the menu fairly simple, aiming to appeal to a wide range of tastes. For the savory part of the spread, I included almost 300 of my famous Mushroom Turnovers, and a couple gallons of Jalapeno Artichoke "Backfire" Dip, both of which went over stunningly well.
Just for the event, I made "beet salad" tarts - buttery pastry mini tarts filled with a creamy goat cheese/ricotta mousse, topped with pickled beets, pears, walnuts, and ribbons of fresh basil... they were the first thing to go!
The most "controversial" item on my menu, funny enough... was a gorgeous veggie tray with my Ginger-Wasabi Dip.
A couple of well-meaning individuals raised an eyebrow at the suggestion, telling me that Mensans would NOT touch the veggies.
Well, I'm happy to say that my veggie tray was picked clean by the end of the night! Mission accomplished!
Iron Chef, Mensan Style
It was also the 4th year that I helped organize and judge our "Iron Chef: Hospitality Suite" competition, which is always a great time.
It was the first time participating since MasterChef. I promise, I was nice to all our competitors!
The Gluten-Free Cookbook
Throughout all of this, I've been working on administering and promoting our ongoing Kickstarter campaign, "Beyond Flour: A New Kind of Gluten-Free Cookbook".
It's been a wild experience! The book reached its first goal about halfway through the campaign, and we're working on stretch goals now! 402 backers, as I write this... amazing.
So grateful for all of the support from those of you who have backed, shared links, etc - thank you!
The Thranduil Costume
If all of THAT wasn't enough, I decided - about a week ago, with less than 1 month until the deadline - that I would be dressing my husband up for the premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
I've been feeling kinda overlooked / underrated in the local costuming "game", and decided that I would do a replica of the craziest elf costume in the movie - Thranduil. I KNOW!
The costume is coming along wonderfully, though - the coat has over 166 pieces of fabric in it, alone! - and I can't wait to show you photos of the finished garment.
In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at the jewelry I made for it:
So... yeah. It's been a very FULL few weeks. Add a crappy, miserable, STUBBORN cold on top of all that? That's my excuse for not blogging all this time. Forgive me? I have a recipe!
Apple Cinnamon Caramel Popcorn
Caramel corn is great on its own, but I love it even more when it's loaded with other goodies too - in this case, crisp dried apple slices, the warmth of cinnamon, and nuts!
We used walnut pieces, as that's what we had on hand.. but this recipe is also great with almonds, pecans, or cashews.
More Popcorn Recipes
We love coming up with fun new popcorn recipes, here are a few of our others!
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Well, the published nonsense, anyway!
Apple Cinnamon Caramel Popcorn
- 20-24 Cups Popped Popcorn ⅔-3/4 Cup unpopped kernels
- 3 Cups Freeze Dried Apple Slices Broken up
- 2 Cups Nuts - Pecans, Walnuts, or Cashews Optional
- 1 Cup Butter
- 2 Cups Brown Sugar Packed
- ½ Cup Corn Syrup
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2+ tsp Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- Preheat oven to 200F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Place the popcorn in a large stockpot – how we do it – or divide it between the two cookie sheets. Stir in the apple pieces and nuts, if using. (If using cookie sheets, divide the apples and nuts between the two before stirring well). Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt, whisking until well combined. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat.
- Stir in vanilla and cinnamon, whisking until well combined. (You don’t want clumps of cinnamon!). Add baking soda, stir well to combine – caramel will foam up a little.
- Pour caramel over popcorn mixture, CAREFULLY stir to coat evenly – Hot sugar is nasty to get burned with! If you mixed it in a pot, divide the caramel corn between the two cookie sheets.
- Bake for 1 hour, stirring well every 15 minutes. At the 30 minute mark, I like to switch pan positions in the oven – the one that was on the bottom goes on the top.
- Once the hour is up, remove from the oven, break up large chunks of popcorn, and allow to cool. Serve immediately, or transfer to airtight containers for storage.