Have ripe bananas? Give this Banana Maple Caramel Corn a try! A buttery brown sugar caramel is blended with ripe bananas, banana liqueur, and maple syrup. Poured over freshly popped popcorn and baked over low heat, this sweet and crunchy treat is the perfect snack food!
I am passive aggressive at home. I am. I don’t like to stomp around nagging and yelling. Not only do these mofos ignore me, but it gives my voice a shrill nasal quality reminiscent of Lois Griffin on speed. I don’t like the sound of it.
And so, when I need it, I bring forth Passive Aggressive Bosslady.
I have two children – One now a teenager – And though he doesn’t give me real trouble, he tends to get a bit mouthy at times.
I’m Dominican – And back in the day mouthing off and idle hands earned you loose teeth. My mother use to issue the following threat with regularity; “You’re won’t make it to 16 with those front teeth – And we can’t afford dentures.”
Real talk – I didn’t want my name changed to “Bosslady No Teeth” and kept my mouthing off to a bare minimum. So minimum in fact, I still don’t mouth off to my mama for fear she may backhand my ass unexpectedly.
But teens nowadays, they want to mouth off at a drop of a hat.
I let that homie have his moment. Then I begin an all day baking project that leaves a mountain of dishes.
Or my latest…
Because of the caramel.
Which I purposely on purpose leave EVERYWHERE.
On the stove.
I just wave that whisk without a care of where that caramel lands. The pots – Oh man, the pots! Making caramel corn is a 1 pot and 1 bowl deal, yet I tend to use 3 bowls and 4 pots.
Then I allow the caramel to dry. I yell out his name as if its some sort of emergency – And when he says; “What’s up?”
With a smile and my sweetest voice I say;
Is that evil? I’m evil, right?
Yea… Don’t mess with me.
Caramel corn is addicting. Very addicting. Even the junk batches I made were inhaled and raved over. Oh, yea – I produced many, many junk batches before I was able to achieve the flavor banging around in my head, leaving me with the delusion that I am now a Caramel Corn Connoisseur.
That’s my new title, ya’ll.
This caramel corn starts with nice caramel base – Brown sugar, light corn syrup and butter. There’s 2 sticks of butter here; but don’t be scurred – I think the 2 cups of brown sugar balance it out. Once the caramel is ready it’s time to add baking soda and flavorings. For this batch of caramel corn a mix of banana liqueur, maple syrup and vanilla extract are added, along with a mashed banana.
You must be tired of my banana posts by now. I know, I’m on a banana kick – I’m sorry. Look at it this way: I’m giving you options, dude. Right now you have 2 ripe bananas on your counter. You can use 1.
Now you may be wondering – Why add the flavorings at the end? Wouldn’t it be better to cook them with the caramel?
I hear you; however, the answer is a big fat NO.
3 – OK- 4 failed batches later I discovered maple syrup or liqueurs added during the caramel stage screws with the structure of the brown sugar in the caramel, leaving you with gritty caramel corn.
I hope that was scientific enough for you.
Add whatever flavorings you’d like, as much as you like ONCE you reach boiling caramel stage.
So what does this taste like? Um… You know when it rains and you think you see a rainbow, but in fact you see 2? Yea, like that. It tastes better than Cracker Jacks with a nice subtle banana flavor which does not overpower the caramel or the maple.
Scrumptious synergy, I call it.
You have to try this, yo.
Deliciousness aside – Next time your kid tries to get all mouthy, or your husband leaves his dirty underwear on the bathroom floor – Make this caramel corn. Leave the caramel everywhere – Hell – Let the dog get all caramel-y. Once the caramel corn is ready, serve yourself a nice fat bowl, put your feet up, and with your sweeeeeeetest smile say;
Banana Maple Caramel Corn
- 1 cup Popcorn kernels unpopped
- 1 cup Peanuts optional
- 1 cup 2 sticks Unsalted butter
- ½ cup Light corn syrup
- 2 cups Packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
- 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 1 Medium ripe banana mashed
- 4 tbsp. Banana liqueur
- 2 tbsp. Maple syrup
- Pop the kernels using your preferred popping method. Place the popped popcorn in a very large bowl and add the peanuts, if using. 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 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 5 minutes without stirring. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the baking soda, vanilla extract, mashed banana, banana liqueur, and maple syrup. The mixture will bubble up a bit and froth (stand back). Whisk until all the liquid is combined, the mashed banana is incorporated, and the mixture is somewhat smooth. It’s OK if you see banana pieces in the caramel. Pour the 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 you 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… - Or eating right then and there.
- ‘Cause that’s how you roll.
- Source: Adapted from Annie's Eats