I’ve been testing recipes for America’s Test Kitchen for years. They have a cooking show on TV, do food and recipe demonstrations at local venues around the country, and create cookbooks with these recipes. I don’t remember how I hooked up with them originally, but it has been a fun experience and always interesting to try a new recipe for them, or see how they have put a spin on a tried and true recipe from the past.
This recipe is for the Cooks Illustrated division of America’s Test Kitchen. It’s not something I would normally make. It turned out good enough – what my hubby could not wrap his head around is the fact that this version of caramel popcorn was supposed to be spicy not as sweet. Here is their goal for this recipe :
“Our goal was lightly spiced, popcorn with rich caramel flavor.”
It accomplished that goal, and was easy enough to make – starting with popping the popcorn. In the review notes I send to America’s Test Kitchen after making the recipe it was hard for me to determine if the recipe yielded the listed amount. Fresh popcorn just popped was hard to resist. I made sure there was enough popcorn to make the recipe, but many popped kernels ended up in a snacking bowl that I devoured while completing the recipe.
If you are not a fan of the smoky flavor, skip the cayenne pepper and smoked nuts, replace with plain almonds or cashews instead.
This caramel popcorn would make a good gift (stored in a large mason jar with a decorative lid and bow) at holiday time , given to a teacher at the end of the school year, housewarming gift, etc. That is, if you part with the finished product to give it away.
Sugars are creating the caramel video.
This looks so dark in the photo, but it was actually a dark caramel color.
Coating the kernels was a bit tricky and sticky. You have to work quickly as the caramel sets up fast.
Lay out mixture on a pre-sprayed cooking sheet to set up.
It’s done! Let the taste testing begin!