This recipe for maple caramel corn with a shot of whiskey, plenty of pecans, and a sprinkling of salt is just what your movie night ordered.
Every morning over breakfast Magnus asks me if it’s a school day. His sweet voice calls to me from the kitchen table even as I move to pack lunch boxes.
“Mom, is there school today?” Magnus’s inquisitive voice calls to me from the kitchen table. Some days I wonder if he lacks the power of observation, as I stand across the counter from him with lunchboxes spread across the counter, packing thermoses and slicing produce.
“Yes, there’s school today, but it’s Friday.” Friday. Friday. Friday. I couldn’t be more excited to tell him that the weekend has arrived.
We aren’t a television-watching family. We have a handful of shows that we tune into (we meaning Ole and me more than the kids), but more and more often, our TV is just a pretty black box housed in a large wood cabinet during the week. Weekdays are reserved for reading together on the couch, for homework at the dining room table, for doing activities as a family. As Friday comes around, though, my kids are eagerly anticipating their Friday movie night selections to be enjoyed with a big bowl of stovetop popcorn and the adults are eagerly anticipating theirs’ as well.
I like to make my caramel corn with half sugar and half maple syrup for a deeper, more complex flavor. This particular batch had a bit of whiskey stirred in at the end, in addition to a generous helping of lightly toasted pecans. It’s sweet and salty with a bit of kick and plenty of crunch, the perfect prelude to the weekend.
Salted Maple Whiskey Caramel Corn
- 16 cups popped popcorn (1/2 cup popcorn kernels, popped)
- 1 cup lightly toasted pecans
- ¾ cup butter (1½ sticks)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon whiskey
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 250ºF. Place the popcorn and pecans in a large bowl, and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in the brown sugar and maple syrup and cook until the mixture starts to boil.
- Continue to boil, stirring frequently, for 12-14 minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken significantly. If using a candy thermometer, you want to reach 250ºF.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the whiskey and salt.
- Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn and pecans. Using a spatula, fold until evenly coated. Spread the popcorn and pecans onto the cookie sheet and bake, stirring twice, for 25-30 minutes.
- Allow the popcorn to cool slightly before serving.
This whiskey caramel corn is dedicated to one of my favorite Netflix shows, Peaky Blinders. Heading into its third season this fall, I’m really not sure what to tell you if you haven’t been hooked by this already. Stop wasting your time. Everyone agrees.
Peaky Blinders has a bit of a Boardwalk Empire feel to it, I suppose, with the crime family themes, following the Shelby family gang in Birmingham post WWI. Except it’s made better by the soundtrack, accents, crooked cops, the IRA, and Thomas Shelby asking every bartender in Birmingham for “Whiskey. Irish.”
p.s. The haircut grows on you.
Disclosure: I am a part of the Netflix Stream Team, which doesn’t mean a whole lot. They didn’t ask me to write this post, and my love for Peaky Blinders is genuine and real. I do get free Netflix, but I didn’t take advantage because I already paid for it. Cheers.