When I was little, every Halloween My mom would make hot apple cider and gingerbread for us to eat when we arrived from Trick-or-Treating. The neighbors would gather round the stoop with their mugs ready to enjoy some of the yummy warmth that kicked off the fall season. Now that I am grown, and I hand out the candy, instead of collecting it, I wanted to start a tradition for Jason and I with our neighbors. This past year I made several yummy treats and brought them out to our stoop to share. I did stick with my moms tradition and make some hot cider, but in addition I also made some delicious vegan pumpkin whoopie pies and this amazing maple apple cider caramel corn. I was very happy that the neighbors loved it all. This year I may keep the tradition or try something new, but either way I will be making something to share!
- Generous 1/4 cup popping corn
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tbsp Earth Balance margarine
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp apple cider
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
1. Pop popcorn and place in a large bowl.
2. Place sugar, corn syrup, margarine, maple syrup, and cider in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring until the margarine melts and the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to med-hi and bring to bubbling. Without stirring, bring mixture to 118 degrees Celsius, increasing heat as needed. Keep a careful eye on it (or nose, rather) making sure it does not burn.
3. Remove mixture from heat and stir in baking soda and salt (it will foam like crazy). Pour over corn and mix well.
4. Transfer and spread over prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 mins, mixing/turning after 4 mins to further spread caramel coating. Bake until coating looks glossy. Again, make sure it does not burn.
5. Remove from oven and let cool. Break into chunks and serve.
Chunks of caramel corn are great for a party because guests can get a handful without having to fiddle with individual pieces of popcorn. If you want individual pieces, place caramel corn back into the mixing bowl and keep tossing the caramel corn until the coating cools.
Recipe and photo courtesy of The Vegan Dad.