Sriracha Caramel Corn

ImageI wasn’t going to post a recipe for the Super Bowl. Even though I get way too enthusiastic about college football (but still don’t really know much about it – how do people learn all the names and statistics and referee hand signals anyway?), professional football isn’t really my thing. But I have to admit, I did feel a little guilty not doing something Super Bowl-y when it’s the team from my hometown (go Broncos!) and the team most people root for where I live now. Which is the first reason I decided I should make something for the Super Bowl. Although I still haven’t decided if I’m actually going to watch it (sshhhhh, don’t tell!).

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The second reason I decided to make something that would be appropriate at the Super Bowl was this recipe from I Am a Food Blog. Popcorn is something I eat so often and in such large quantities that it’s basically its own food group. Add caramel to that? Even better. And SRIRACHA?! I’m sold. It’s pretty much a meetup of all my favorite things and it’s perfect. Perfectly crunchy, perfectly balanced between sweet and spicy. So, true to my procrastinating, do-everything-last-minute form, (just like my day-before-the-big-day Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes), I made a Super Bowl recipe the day before the Super Bowl.

This recipe starts of with popcorn, brown sugar, vanilla, butter, Sriracha, salt, and baking soda.

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The butter gets melted, and the sugar gets added in. Cook this for a little bit and it will turn into caramel. This part is a bit tricky – not gonna lie, I totally burned it the first time and had to start over.

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The finished caramel is poured over the popcorn. This is pre-baking.

ImagePost-bake close-up.

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Sriracha Caramel Corn

from i am a food blog via The Kitchn

5-6 cups of popped corn

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons Sriracha

Preheat the oven to 250 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat and set aside. Put the popcorn in a large heatproof bowl.

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar until it’s completely moistened. Increase the heat to medium high and boil the butter/sugar mixture for 3 minutes, while using a spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan. The second time I made the caramel, the time it didn’t burn, I cooked it for a total of 3 minutes after adding the sugar to the butter. So it probably boiled for a little less than 3 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat – put it on a different burner. In a small bowl, mix together the vanilla, salt, baking soda, and sriracha. Add the sriracha mixture to the butter mixture. It will bubble up pretty violently. Stir until the caramel is thick and shiny.

Slowly pour the caramel over the popcorn and stir until all the kernels are evenly coated.

Spread the popcorn on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for one hour, stirring and breaking up any clumps that form every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Eat immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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