Amaretto Salted Caramel Popcorn

Two pieces of advice – get your friends and family to sign a waiver because this Amaretto Salted Caramel Popcorn is addictive!!! And….you might as well double the recipe right out of the gate because it does.not.last. long!!

Store bought popcorn can be pretty good nowadays but the almonds and amaretto take this up a notch for sure! It took about 4 minutes for the popcorn once the oil in the bottom of the pot had heated up. I can do that…..

The salted caramel took about 10 minutes on the stove and another 5 minutes to measure out all the ingredients before hand.

You will want to get your ‘mise en place’ ready for the caramel. (That’s fancy talk for getting all your ingredients ready!) Once the caramel reaches the right stage you need to work fast so I had little dishes with the salt, baking soda, amaretto all ready to go.

Then it is a cinch.

The only thing here is that you have to bake the caramel corn in the oven low and slow for about an hour after you coat it. And it needs to be stirred every fifteen minutes. Not hard, but you have to be around.

You will want to use a non-stick pot for the caramel for sure. Without the non-stick cleanup may become a bit of a chore as the caramel cools and hardens. I used The Rock dutch oven and it cooked and cleaned up like a dream!

Likewise don’t skimp on the parchment paper to line your baking sheets. I can tell right now that I will need to get some good hot water ready because I left an inch of so at each end of the sheet uncovered. And- it is already coated with caramel from the stirring.

I have to give credit to the LCBO Food and Drink Holiday issue of 2018 for this amazing recipe! This is about the tenth recipe I have made from that edition this month! Too bad that movie idea where Julie makes all Julia Child’s recipes and blogs about it is already taken….HA!

As I am writing this my house smells like the most amazing theater with that popcorn warm in the oven! My husband just came in from outside and said the same thing!

Chef’s Tips

  • you can skip the amaretto if you want to keep it kid friendly or add a half teaspoon of almond extract. I find almond extract quite intense so err on the side of caution. I actually think you could skip the amaretto or almond extract and it will still be good.
  • the recipe calls for 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels. This gives pretty complete caramel coverage. You can increase the kernels to 1/2 cup (or somewhere in between) and you will still have ample coverage.
  • to double, prepare 2 large bowls and line 2 baking sheets.  Pop the popcorn in 2 batches and transfer to the bowls to cool with the almonds.  Make a double batch of the caramel.  When done pour half into each bowl of popcorn mixture and stir.  Work quickly so the caramel doesn’t harden before you get it mixed in.  When baking exchange the top sheet and the bottom sheet when stirring each 15 minutes.

The recipe says this will store for about a week. I had some that lasted about 10 days and it was still totally fine on day 10. Just be sure to keep it in a sealed bag and air tight container if possible. Mine was also in a cool place (in case that helped). But… chances are it won’t last a week so it may not be an issue!

This will make you want to curl up and watch a movie for sure!

Or… for your next gathering you may just be the hit of the party if you bring a big bowl of this along!

Close up shot of caramel corn in a clear bag

Amaretto Salted Caramel Popcorn

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Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 5 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 6 cups

Ingredients

Popcorn Mix

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/3 cup yellow popcorn kernels I used jumbo from Bulk Barn
  • 1 1/2 cups salted roasted almonds

Amaretto Salted Caramel

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsps corn syrup
  • 3/4 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 oz amaretto liqueur

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Heat oil in a large dutch oven, large enough to stir in the final popcorn volume and almonds. Add the popcorn. The oil should be hot enough for the kernels to sizzle when they hit the pan.
  • Cover and cook over medium heat, shaking the pan until the kernels stop popping, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer popcorn to a large bowl to cool. Remove unpopped kernels.
  • Wipe the pot clean with a paper towel. Return pot to the stove end melt the butter over medium high heat. Add sugar and corn syrup and stir to combine.
  • Allow mixture to cook, without stirring, until deep amber colour, about 5 minutes. (A candy thermometer should read 325 degrees).
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add the salt and baking soda. Stir and it will be quite foamy. Stir in the amaretto, carefully, since it may sputter.
  • Immediately add popcorn and almond and stir until evenly coated.
  • Pour the popcorn mix out onto the lined baking sheet. Smooth it out to the edges so it is a single layer. Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes to break up the clumps.
  • Cool completely on the baking sheet, then transfer to an airtight container. Can be stored up to a week.

Notes

Note:  To double, prepare 2 large bowls and line 2 baking sheets.  Pop the popcorn in 2 batches and transfer to the bowls to cool with the almonds.  Make a double batch of the caramel.  When done pour half into each bowl of popcorn mixture and stir.  Work quickly so the caramel doesn't harden before you get it mixed in.  When baking exchange the top sheet and the bottom sheet when stirring each 15 minutes.
Amaretto Salted Caramel Popcorn

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