Salted Caramel Coconut Popcorn

Monday, July 18, 2016

I have been a longtime fan of white chocolate popcorn.  I distinctly remember going to a housewarming party of some family friends when I was 10 or 11, and tasting my first bite or two.  I was obsessed and would have eaten the whole bowl if we hadn't left shortly thereafter.

I am less interested in white chocolate popcorn than I used to be, thanks to ever changing tastebuds and a weakening sugar tolerance.  A few months ago, I was trying to think of what a good alternative to white chocolate would be.

Thus was born the salted caramel coconut popcorn post.  Honestly, it probably isn't that much better for you than white chocolate popcorn, but it is incredibly delicious and not too difficult.

Coconut butter is something you can make in a  food processor, or you can buy it.  I would make it at home, if I were you, because it is kind of expensive, and it isn't too tough to make.

Salted Caramel Coconut Popcorn:
serves 4- 6

1/2 cup popcorn kernels (8 cups popped popcorn)
1/2 cup coconut butter (see directions for how to make it below)
1/2 cup caramel sauce (recipe below)
1/2 tsp ground sea salt

Coconut Butter:

1 bag unsweetened, shredded coconut

Begin by making your coconut butter.  If you have purchased it, soften it into a liquid by warming slightly (in the microwave, keep it under 15 seconds to avoid burning it).  If you are making your own, take a bag of shredded unsweetened coconut and pour it in a food processor or blender.  Blend for 5-8 minutes until smooth (it will still have some graininess to it, but should be a liquid).  Set aside your 1/2 cup for the recipe, and store any remaining in a airtight container at room temperature for up to two months.

Caramel Sauce:
4 Tbs unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1 1/2 Tbs white flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/8 cup water

Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  A little at a time, add the flour, and mix it in, smoothing out any lumps with the a rubber spatula.  Add the sugars and the water, stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the temperature to a simmer and let it simmer about 5 minutes. While it is simmering, pop your popcorn.


Place your popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch sack.  Fold the top over twice, and place it in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Add 30 seconds if the kernels are still popping.  Once the kernels are popping with more than 2 seconds between them, remove the popcorn from the microwave.  Pour it into a large bowl and place a cooling rack one the top of it.  Tip the bowl upside down over the sink while holding the cooling rack and shake the bowl.  Unpopped kernels should fall out, and keep you from breaking a tooth.

Remove the cooling rack, and pour the popcorn on a greased piece of wax paper or a silicone mat (not greased).  Spread it out popcorn into an even layer, and drizzle the caramel, back and forth across it.  Next drizzle the coconut butter on top.  To finish, sprinkle with sea salt.


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