Our 7th Cookie in our 12 Day line up is chocolate drizzled, caramel coated nuts & popcorn aka crunch munch (yes, we’re coining the name). Wait, that’s not a cookie?! I guess we are fudging things a little. :) But, maybe after giving this a try, you’ll forgive us.
This popcorn would gift so, so well. Plus, placed in cupcake liners, it could definitely be on a platter. But such a dainty amount might cause a fight, so maybe stick with serving it in a copious heap.
1-3 tbs coconut oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1 1/2 to 2 cups nuts (I used 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup peanuts, 1/2 cup walnuts)
2 1/2 cup sugar
3 tbs butter
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cinnamon (for more of a noticeable, dominant flavor, up to 1/2 tsp)
2 cups chocolate (Honestly, I might decrease to 1 1/2 cup. After drizzling lots and lots of chocolate, I still had more and continued to drizzle but wondered if it was excessive. The pictures reflect the 2 cups, if that helps you gauge. If you should do go with the lesser amount, decrease the oil below to 3/4 tsp.)
1 tsp olive oil (or other neutral oil)
Prep: Grease a large bowl and two large cookie sheets. Set aside.
Pop the popcorn: If using your Whirley-Pop, add in the coconut oil and popcorn kernels close the top, and place over medium-high heat. Stir constantly at an easy tempo. Once popcorn begins popping, continue to stir until there is only an occasional pop or the handle becomes hard to turn (don't force the handle). At that point, remove from heat and dump popped kernels into large bowl. Remove any unpopped kernels and set aside in a deep, wide bowl or pot.
Toast and chop the nuts: Preheat oven to 350. Place nuts on baking sheet, put in oven, and bake for 8-10 minutes until fragrant and golden brown. Remove promptly (nuts can burn quickly!) and transfer to cutting board. Let cool completely, then chop to somewhere in between rough and fine. Add to popcorn.
Make the caramel: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, butter, salt, and water. Cook over medium-high stirring occasionally until butter melts. Then, let it alone and don’t stir it at all until it becomes an attractive caramel color. (This takes about 10-15 minutes.) Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and cinnamon (it will foam). Immediately dump onto popcorn & nuts and stir to coat evenly. (Move quickly! But don't fret that some will stick to the saucepan and bowl -- it's inevitable.) Dump coated popcorn onto cookie sheets.
Melt the chocolate: Put chocolate and oil in a double boiler or microwave proof bowl. Heat until fully melted and easy to drizzle. If using the microwave, stop every 30 seconds to stir to prevent from burning. Drizzle evenly over the popcorn. Then let it cool and set.
Eat or store the crunch munch: Once popcorn has cooled and the chocolate has set, break into pieces. Enjoy right away, trying to stop yourself from devouring all of it. Or, move to an airtight container where it will keep for up to two weeks. But good luck with that.
A riff on my recipe here.