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Spicy Caramel Popcorn with Peanuts

A touch of spice makes this crunchy popcorn recipe extra nice; try making a big batch and packaging for friends.

  • Yield: Makes 10 cups
Spicy Caramel Popcorn with Peanuts

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, December 2011

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup salted peanuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line two baking sheets with nonstick baking mats. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil with 3 popcorn kernels in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. When kernels pop, add remaining 1/2 cup kernels. Cook, covered, shaking pan occasionally, until popping stops, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let stand, covered, 1 minute.

  3. Divide popcorn evenly between prepared baking sheets; set aside. In a medium saucepan heat sugar, butter, and corn syrup over medium heat until butter is melted, sugar is dissolved, and mixture is golden brown. Stir in salt and cayenne pepper; add peanuts and stir to coat. Pour mixture over popcorn. Spray a spatula with nonstick cooking spray and toss to combine.

  4. Transfer baking sheets to oven and bake, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

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