This Apple Maple Caramel Corn has cozy written in every single kernel. With warm spices and walnuts – It’s the perfect cuddle weather fall/winter snack.
Song giving me life: Erykah Badu – Window Seat
I struggle with how best to project my voice in this space in 2017. It’s the main reason I step away for weeks at a time. I’m not sure if I can apologize enough for it, especially when I know I’ll step away again at some point as I navigate between this wonderful food world, and this new upside down hyper-partisan alternate reality.
Instead of waxing poetic on what’s happening in the world, I’m going to focus on this situation. Flow with me.
How does one make this caramel situation?
It’s no secret that I love me some caramel corn. When the temperature starts to dip and the leaves begin to turn color, I like to make batches and batches of Spiced Apple Butter. I usually just eat it with a spoon or dip apples into it creating a sort of apple inception situation. What I like the most is to make caramel corn. This caramel corn is simple to make. You will a few ingredients, of course.
Ingredients for making Apple Maple Caramel Corn
- Popcorn kernels
- Unsalted butter
- Light corn syrup
- Light brown sugar
- Apple juice or cider
- Kosher salt
- Baking soda
- Vanilla extract
- Apple butter
- Maple syrup
- Chopped walnuts
So how to I make this situation?
Glad you asked, homeslice! You pop corn kernels. I like to pop them in coconut oil in my Whirley Pop, which is one of the best popcorn makers in my opinion. Pick one up on Amazon. You won’t regret it.
Once the kernels are popped, you make a caramel with unsalted butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, apple cider (or juice), and salt. You get that caramel nice and bubbly, then off the stove you add baking soda, vanilla extract, apple butter, and maple syrup. I like to add both apple cider and apple butter for that punch in the face apple flavor.
This caramel mixture is then poured on corn kernels, you add walnuts, then baked for about 40 minutes. I like to toss them with tongs every 10 minutes or so to make sure the caramel is distributed evenly.
I don’t have to tell you how this situation tastes. OK, i’ll tell you. It tastes like fall and warmth. And you need to get on this. Pronto.
Apple Maple Caramel Corn
- 1 ¼ cup Popcorn kernels unpopped
- 1 cup Chopped walnuts
- 1 cup 2 sticks Unsalted butter -
- ½ cup Light corn syrup
- 2 cups Light brown sugar (packed)
- ½ cup Apple juice or apple cider
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ¼ cup Apple butter
- 2 tablespoons Maple syrup
- Pop the kernels using your preferred popping method. Place the popped popcorn in a very large bowl and add the walnuts. Note: There should be enough room in your bowl for tossing the popcorn.
- Preheat the oven to 250° F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make the caramel – Melt the butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the corn syrup, brown sugar, apple juice, and salt. Whisk until the mixture comes together, and then increase the heat to medium-high and bring it to a boil, whisking frequently.
- Once the mixture reaches a boil, allow it to continuously boil for about 7-8 minutes without stirring. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the baking soda, vanilla extract, apple butter, and maple syrup. The mixture will bubble up a bit and froth (stand back). Whisk until all the liquid is combined and smooth. Pour the apple/caramel sauce over the popcorn and toss to coat thoroughly with a silicone spatula. You can use salad tongs as well, but I find silicone spatulas work best for me.
- Spread the popcorn evenly onto your prepared baking sheets. If it’s clumpy, that’s fine – The caramel will melt and will eventually coat all the kernels evenly.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, tossing the popcorn with tongs every 10 minutes or so to incorporate the caramel evenly.
- After about 40 minutes, remove a couple of pieces of popcorn from the baking trays and allow them to come to room temperature. If they’re not completely crispy and still mushy when you bite into them, bake for 5-8 more minutes. Continue checking this way until the popcorn has a crisp bite to it.
- Remove the baking sheets to a wire rack and allow popcorn to cool completely before breaking apart for serving or packaging.