This Bourbon Caramel Popcorn was inspired by my love for my home state (in addition to my love for snacks) and is my recipe post for the month of May over at One Green Planet. Even if you don’t like popcorn and chocolate (what are you? a monster?) my post also includes a handy dandy list of vegan-friendly Kentucky bourbons.
This popcorn is as addictive as kitteh snuggles.
Don’t you just want to stick your face in the middle of all that floof and take a nice a long nap?
But instead, Moose and I are hopping a plane to the Bluegrass State tonight, where I’ll trade in my rain boots for flip flops and watch my cousin graduate high school. He was the first baby that I ever held on purpose, meaning that I opened my arms and eagerly embraced him rather than fleeing the moment someone shoved him in my general direction. And now he’s an adult. Oh man.
- 1/3 cup vegan refined sugar
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter substitute (I used Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 vanilla bean (or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste)
- 1/4 teaspoon plus 1 pinch of sea salt
- 6 cups of popped popcorn
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the refined sugar and cold water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a slow simmer. Allow the sugar to simmer for 12 minutes without stirring.
As the sugar simmers, split a vanilla bean in two and scrape out the seeds (skip this step if you choose to use vanilla paste or extract instead of beans).
Remove the sugar from the heat and stir in the vegan butter substitute, bourbon, vanilla beans (or paste or extract) and pinch of sea salt.
Allow the sugar mixture to cool for 2-3 minutes.
In the meantime, stir together the popcorn, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Add in the sugar mixture and stir until the popcorn is fully coated. Be careful, the sugar mixture will still be warm.
Spread the popcorn evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once. Keep an eye on the popcorn, you want it to be crisp but not burnt.
Remove the popcorn from the oven and melt the chocolate chips in the microwave.
Drizzle the chocolate over top of the popcorn.
Place the popcorn in the refrigerator until the chocolate sets.
Remove the popcorn from the fridge, break into pieces and enjoy!