Just the sound of it evokes thoughts of the holidays, all though this caramel corn recipe would be grand any time of the year. My version also features roasted almonds and coconut flakes. There are also a million variations you can make on this method, but what I love best (beside the honey and orange) is that it does not require corn syrup! You can also pop corn kernels in the microwave, eliminating the extra “ingredients” found in microwave popcorn and mess of popping on the stove with oil (not to mention the fat). Inspiration was drawn from one of my favorite Junior High Home Ec recipes and a November 2010 BHG recipe I had clipped to create this honey-fied version.
Honey Orange Cranberry Popcorn Recipe
Serve it in cupcake papers for individual servings, in wax paper bags as party favors or in a bowl for communal enjoyment
- Approx. 12 cups of popped corn (about 1/2 cup kernels)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup to 1 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
- ½ cup to 1 cup almonds, roasting them is a nice touch. Use less if sliced almonds-they will go further. Pecans or walnuts would be great as well!
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 – 2 tablespoon fresh squeeze orange juice
- 1 tablespoon at least! of orange peel zest
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup butter
- Pop the popcorn via your favorite method: microwave, airpopped or stove top. I used a brown paper sandwich bag based on this blog’s tutorial-super exciting! When popped, pull out the old maids (unpopped kernels).
- Combine the nuts, cranberries, coconut and orange zest with popped corn in a large clean brown paper bag (grocery sized).
- On the stove top, melt butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and orange juice in a sauce pan. Bring to a steady boil over medium heat and stirring constantly in a steady boil for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the ¼ teaspoon baking soda. It will foam up a bit, so don’t be surprised, just stir.
- Pour the hot liquid promptly into the paper bag, coating the popcorn. Fold down the top of the bag and shake shake shake for about 15-30 seconds! The goal is to start coating the ‘corn.
- Put the paper bag, still folded shut, into the microwave and heat for 30 seconds. Remove bag and shake shake shake, then microwave again for 30 seconds – shake and repeat. Keep doing this until the corn is coated to your satisfaction.
- While still hot pour the popcorn out onto foil on the counter to cool. If you think of it, spray some cooking spray or lightly grease the foil to decrease the change of it sticking to foil. You could sprinkle some sea salt on if you like
- Other tasty bits to think about trying – pretzels, salted roasted nuts from a can, dried blueberries, dried apricot bits, chocolate candies (M&M), chips (like chocolate or peanut butter), left over trail mix, sunflower seeds, or just go plain with honey, sugar and orange. See this as a chance to clean out your pantry!