12.21.2015

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If you are looking for a last minute homemade treat to wrap up for teachers, babysitters, neighbors, or friends this is it. I have made three batches of Cinnamon Caramel Popcorn this week (book club, birthday party, for us) and am continuously amazed at how quick and easy this recipe is. Essentially, you heat brown rice syrup, stir in some nut or seed butter and a few flavorings then pour it over plain popcorn. After just 6 minutes in the oven (getting all crunchy and sweet) you have this caramelized, slightly salty, dream of a snack. Here’s now to do it…

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Cinnamon Caramel Popcorn from At Home in the Whole Foods Kitchen

makes 1 tray that serves 4 to 6

6 cups freshly popped popcorn (see note below)

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

3 tablespoons raw cashew butter (or any nut/seed butter)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more to sprinkle

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Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place popcorn in a large mixing bowl; set aside. Add rice syrup to a small pot over medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and add cashew butter, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon; mix until smooth. Pour mixture over popcorn, and mix well with a rubber spatula to combine. Spread over lined baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes; rotate tray, and continue baking for 2 to 3 more minutes (watch closely as the caramel burns fast). Remove from oven, and sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Allow to cool completely (if you can resist it!) before breaking into pieces.

If you have any left over, it can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.

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Popcorn Note: For 6 cups popcorn, you need to cook about 1/4 cup popcorn kernels. Warm 2 teaspoons coconut oil in a large pot over high heat. Add popcorn and cover immediately; shake pot to coat corn with oil. Continue shaking pot until corn is popping rapidly, then lower heat slightly. Once popping slows to about 2 seconds between pops, remove from heat, shake again, and keep covered until all popping has stopped. Remove lid, measure out 6 cups, and use within an hour, as popcorn becomes stale quickly.