As the weather gets colder, we thought what better time to share this tasty autumnal treat from our sixth Junior League of Denver cookbook, Centennial Celebrations.
Slow-Burn Caramel Popcorn
- 1⁄2 cup butter
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 3⁄4 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
- 3⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 20 drops red food coloring (optional)
- 10 cups premium popped corn
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan with high sides over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, hot sauce, cayenne pepper and salt using a wooden spoon. Cook until smooth, stirring constantly. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the mixture reaches the hard ball stage (250 degrees at sea level; subtract 1 degree for every 500 feet of altitude) without stirring; large bubbles should form over the entire surface. Remove from the heat. Stir in the food coloring; mixture may spatter.
Place the popcorn in an extra-large bowl. Pour the brown sugar mixture carefully over the popcorn and fold in using a rubber spatula; do not overmix. Spread on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour or to hard-crack stage, stirring every 15 minutes. Let stand to cool completely. Break into chunks. Store, covered, in a dry place.
Learn more about Centennial Celebrations.