Fall hit our little town this weekend. Leaves started falling, there’s a chill in the air. Pumpkins are gracing front porches and the Halloween candy is already picked over. Seems like a good time to cuddle up on the couch with something hot to drink and a bowl full of popcorn, yeah?
I took my Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn recipe from last fall and added apple chips and cinnamon in place of the pumpkin pie spice and white chocolate.
I made my apple chips, but store-bought would work too. Adding them to the popcorn before you pour on the caramel allows them to become coated in the caramel, making me almost wish I only had a bowl of caramel covered apple chips to munch on!
1/2 cup, unpopped popcorn kernals (10 cups popped)
1/2 cup unsalted butter*
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups chopped apple chips
4 apples, thinly sliced
Cinnamon sugar (1 Tbs cinnamon mixed with 2 Tbs sugar)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pop popcorn into a very large bowl, remove any unpopped kernals. Add the chopped apple chips. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Bring mixture to a boil and allow to boil 4 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and add in vanilla and baking soda and stir mixture until it thick and glossy. Pour half of caramel sauce over popcorn and apples then toss several times, add remaining caramel sauce and toss popcorn until evenly coated. Spread popcorn onto a large rimmed cookie sheet and bake in pre-heated oven 1 hour, stirring popcorn every 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.
Apple Chips: Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Slice apples as thin as possible (about ⅛ inch). I prefer to use a mandolin. Remove any seeds, and spread apple slices out onto baking sheets in a single layer. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bake for 1 hour then flip apple slices over and bake for an additional hour to hour and a half, checking the apples every 30 minutes for doneness. Once apples are crispy and light golden brown, remove from oven and let cool completely.
*salted butter works fine too, just reduce the amount of salt to 1/4 tsp if using salted butter.