The laziest man I ever met put popcorn in his pancakes so they would turn over by themselves. – W. C. Fields
Spicy Caramel Popcorn is the Perfect Bar Snack
About a year ago, I stumbled upon a speakeasy called Back Bar somewhere in Somerville, Massachusetts. It is literally in the back alley of a German restaurant, and only had a door with a small sign called “Back Bar.”
Besides having a really cool decor and wonderful, I mean, “to-die-for” drinks, I will never forget their spicy caramel popcorn. They served it in this adorable Chinese take out box.
It is the perfect bar snack.
When you’re drinking, you don’t want something too sweet and you don’t want something too savory. It just has to be the perfect blend of the two to compliment whatever you are drinking.
This recipe accomplishes that by adding some spice to a traditionally sweet caramel popcorn.
Let’s Go Nuts!
In my own version of this recipe, I decided to use spicy roasted cashews to add another dimension to the snack. It adds that nice crunch as you keep munching on these snacks.
You can also substitute it for other types of nuts if you want!
Just roast the nuts in a pan with some salt, chili powder and hot sauce (optional) for about 3 minutes on medium heat.
Cool them and coarsely chop them.
Caramel from a Can
Caramel from a can is one of the most amazing things I have ever made. I can’t believe I have never done this before!
For some reason, I can never get the right caramel consistency that I want even if I keep mixing and mixing. However, with this simple caramel recipe, you don’t even need to mix anything. You just need two things
- a pot of boiling water
- a can of condensed milk
Submerge your can of condensed milk in a pot of boiling water for 2 to 2.5 hours. Just make sure to keep the water level above the can so it doesn’t explode!
Leave it to cool and open your very own can of caramel.
Honestly, at this point, I really felt like eating the entire can of caramel, but I stopped myself. I intentionally didn’t use the whole can in the recipe so I have some caramel for myself.
Oh and digging around for the last bits of caramel stuck at the bottom of the can is the best part!
You’re probably wondering, “Why cook popcorn on the stove when you can just buy microwaveable ones?”
I used to think that way too…that is until I found out how bad microwavable popcorn is for you.
I would gladly spend 3 minutes of my life popping popcorn on the stove than face health risks from toxic popcorn bag coating, fake butter flavoring and other “hidden” ingredients in microwaveable popcorn.
Just put 2 tablespoons of oil and 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels on a pan for 3 minutes on medium heat.
And your popcorn will pop. No hidden ingredients. Just corn and oil.
Mix and Bake
The last part of this recipe is extremely easy.
Just mix the popcorn with the cashews and add a cup of caramel on top.
Mix well until evenly distributed.
Place in a parchment lined baking tray and bake in 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes.
Then, munch munch munch on this Spicy Caramel Popcorn with Cashews!
Spicy Caramel Popcorn with Cashews Recipe
I really hope you enjoy this Spicy Caramel Popcorn with Cashews recipe as much as I did.
Happy licking caramel from a can/cooking popcorn on the stove/baking delicious spicy caramel popcorn! :)
- 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels
- 1 can of condensed milk (395 grams or 14 oz)
- 1 cup of cashews
- 1 tablespoon of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of hot sauce (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoons of olive oil
- Immerse can of condensed milk in a pot of water. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 2 to 2.5 hours. Remember to keep adding water so the can stays submerged, or else the can will explode! Leave the can in the pot for awhile until cool to touch. Open the lid and be amazed of how it turns into caramel!
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Place parchment paper on top of baking sheet.
- Set a pan on medium heat. Add olive oil and cashews and toss to coat. Add chili powder (and hot sauce) and keep tossing for about 3 minutes. Make sure to shake often so they don't get burnt. Turn off heat and transfer roasted cashews in a large bowl. When safe to touch, coarsely chop the roasted cashews.
- Put 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan with 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels. Set on medium heat and cover with lid. Wait until all popcorn pops then turn off heat. Put popped popcorn in a bowl with cashews. Mix until evenly distributed.
- Pour about 1 cup of caramel (add more if you want) on top of popcorn cashew mixture and stir until evenly distributed.
- Evenly place caramel popcorn cashew mixture onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes and stir every 15 minutes to lessen clumping.
- If not consuming right away, put popcorn in tightly sealed containers and store in room temperature.
- This popcorn is so yummy you're going to want to divide it up in little portions so you don't end up eating the whole thing in one sitting!