Gourmet Popcorn — Homemade gift giving

Tis the season to be jolly–and to give until it hurts no more. Giving gifts is supposed to be fun, right? Well if you’re anything like me, waiting in long lines, and inching through crowds of people at a mall, all so that you can get something a loved one may or may not appreciate, just isn’t fun! So this year, I’m giving the gift of food. Everyone young and old appreciates it, and if done right your pocket book will too. One of my favorite gifts to receive when I was a kid was one of those huge tins of popcorn. The tin always contained caramel, plain, and cheese popcorn, all delicious in their own rite. You could go out right now and buy one of those tins, or you could make my version of gourmet popcorn and make a loved one very, very happy! My recipe for Caramel Popcorn with almond and coconut flakes is to die for. It’s so good in fact that my mom told me I should remove the recipe from my blog and sell it on the free market. After tasting it recently, I think she may be right…it is soooooo good! Addicting even! My recipe for coconut kettle corn is equally as good! Trust me if you make these two gourmet pop corns and give them as gifts, your friends and family will thank you and thank you some more!

Caramel Popcorn with Almonds and Coconut Flakes

1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of Organic non GMO popcorn
3 Tablespoons of Coconut oil
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of Almonds
1 cup of Organic Sugar
4 Tablespoons of grassfed butter
3 Tablespoons of Organic Corn Syrup
1 teaspoon of Sea salt
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of coconut flakes (optional)

Spray a large baking sheet with coconut oil. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Add popcorn kernels and 3 Tbsp. coconut oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, shaking frequently. You will start hearing the corn pop after a few minutes—keep cooking until there’s a gap of about 5 seconds or more between pops. Immediately remove the pan from heat and pour the popcorn onto the prepared baking sheet. Add the almonds.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, corn syrup, and water. Place over medium heat and cook, without stirring, until the mixture is a light caramel color, about 10 minutes. Add the salt and stir to combine. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and almonds.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook until the caramel becomes thin and shiny, about 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and with a rubber spatula, fold the popcorn and Almond to coat with the caramel. When the caramel hardens, you’ll know it because the popcorn mixture will be harder to move, return the baking sheet to the oven. Repeat this process as many times as necessary to completely coat the popcorn and Almonds with caramel and until the caramel has darkened to a dark amber color. I did this 5 times checking on the popcorn and tossing it, in 5-7 minute intervals. On my 4th turn and check I added the coconut flakes. I just sprinkled them in and gave good toss.

Once you remove the popcorn, let it cool for 2-3 minutes, then break up the popcorn into bite-size pieces. Let cool completely. It will last two weeks stored in an air-tight container. This makes enough caramel corn to fill 3 treat bags, or 2 good sized tins. If you need more then double or triple the recipe.

Coconut Kettle Corn
1/4 cup of organic corn kernels
3 tablespoons of  organic coconut oil
1.5 teaspoons of coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

Add all of the ingredients except for the sugar to a pan with a tight lid. Place on high heat until the corn starts popping. Once the popping is active, turn off the heat and allow the corn to pop on residual heat, shaking occasionally. Once the popping stops sprinkle with the coconut sugar, shake to coat and then transfer to a bowl and enjoy!

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