We have been making this version of oven-baked caramel popcorn for a while, which mimics the sugary clusters of its not-so-healthy counterpart. There have been some sticky burnt fingers, though — so be careful and let the popcorn cool down a bit after removing it from the oven. (It’ll be worth the wait!)
TOFFEE MACA POPCORN INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
½ cup Popcorn Kernels
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
1 tablespoon Almond Butter
1 tablespoon Cacao Powder
1 teaspoon Maca Powder
1 teaspoon Mesquite Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Pink Salt
½ teaspoon Ground Cardamom
½ teaspoon Vanilla Bean Powder
¼ cup Almonds or Walnuts, soaked
TOFFEE MACA POPCORN ASSEMBLY
1 | Preheat the oven to 320°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and set aside.
2 | Melt the coconut oil in a medium heavy-bottomed pot over high heat, adding in the popcorn kernels and covering with a lid. Give the pot a good shake every 10 seconds as it’s popping so the popcorn doesn’t burn. When you hear the popping stop, remove the pot from the heat and dump the popped corn into a large bowl.
3 | Meanwhile, combine the maple syrup, almond butter, cacao, maca, mesquite, cinnamon, salt, cardamom, and vanilla powder in a blender and blend on high speed until incorporated.
4 | Add in the almonds, blending the mixture and tossing to coat. Spread the coated popcorn and almonds over the prepared baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet and bake for another 2 to 3 more minutes, until crisp and golden.
5 | Remove from the oven and sprinkle with pink salt. Allow the caramel popcorn to cool slightly on the baking sheet, and enjoy! (If you have any left over, it can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.)
*Serves 4 to 6.
Photographs by Antonio Nascimento.