Chocolate Caramel Popcorn

Chocolate Caramel Popcorn

Today is National Popcorn Day and who doesn’t like popcorn!  It’s actually one of my husband’s favorite snacks (first being pretzels).  Of course it’s a necessity to have while watching a movie.   Can you really watch a movie without popcorn?  Especially at the movie theater were they drench your popcorn in butter.   Anyway, in honor of National Popcorn Day I thought I would give you some fun facts about popcorn and a delicious recipe for Chocolate Carmel Popcorn. Yum!

Fun Facts about popcorn:

  • Americans consume some 16 billion quarts of this whole grain, good-for-you treat. That’s 51 quarts per man, woman, and child.
  • Compared to most snack foods, popcorn is low in calories. Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup. Oil-popped is only 55 per cup.
  • Popcorn is a type of maize (or corn), a member of the grass family, and is scientifically known as Zea mays everta.
  • Of the 6 types of maize/corn—pod, sweet, flour, dent, flint, and popcorn—only popcorn pops.
  • Most U.S. popcorn is grown in the Midwest, primarily in Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri.
  • The peak period for popcorn sales for home consumption is in the fall.
  • Most popcorn comes in two basic shapes when it’s popped: snowflake and mushroom. Snowflake is used in movie theaters and ballparks because it looks and pops bigger. Mushroom is used for candy confections because it doesn’t crumble.
  • Popping popcorn is one of the number one uses for microwave ovens. Most microwave ovens have a “popcorn” control button.
  • How high popcorn kernels can pop? Up to 3 feet in the air.
  • The world’s largest popcorn ball was created by volunteers in Sac City, Iowa in February, 2009.  It weighed 5,000 lbs., stood over 8 ft. tall, and measured 28.8 ft. in circumference.
  • If you made a trail of popcorn from New York City to Los Angeles, you would need more than 352,028,160 popped kernels!

Chocolate Caramel Popcorn Recipe:

Recipe from: Mom on Timeout

Ingredients: 

  • 10 cups popped popcorn
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped mixed nuts (optional)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate squares
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Karo® Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 225ºF. Spray a 15 x 10-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine popcorn and nuts in baking pan and place in oven to keep warm.
  3. Heat chocolate, brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat until boiling, stirring occasionally
  4. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from heat and immediately stir in baking soda.
  6. Pour chocolate-caramel mixture carefully over popcorn and nuts.
  7. Use cooking spray-coated tongs or a spatula to toss the popcorn and chocolate-caramel mixture.
  8. Bake popcorn for 60 minutes stirring popcorn about halfway through.
  9. Let popcorn cool completely on wire rack.
  10. Break popcorn into bite-sized pieces and store in an airtight container.

I hope you enjoy the popcorn as much as we did in our house!  Until next time…keep popping 🙂

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