Gingerbread Caramel Corn
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup popping corn
- 3 cups pretzel sticks
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Put a large pot over a medium heat, and add the oil and popcorn. Put a lid on the pot, with a small gap so that steam can escape. Pop the corn until there are a few seconds between pops, and it sounds like they are mostly cooked.
Dump the popped corn into a large sheet pan and sprinkle with kosher salt. Toss with the pretzels.
In the same pot that you made the popcorn, melt the butter, sugar, corn syrup, mollasses and salt together. Let them boil, and continue to stir them for about 10 minutes, until the caramel is bubbling and dark amber colored.
In a tiny bowl, mix the baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla together so that the soda and spices are mostly dissolved.
Pull the pot off of the heat, and quickly stir in the vanilla and baking soda. The caramel should get very light and frothy. Then immediately pour the popcorn and pretzels into the caramel, and gently fold the caramel into the corn and pretzels to try to coat it.
Transfer the popcorn to sheet pans (I divided it between 2) Put the sheet pans in the preheated oven (250 degrees), and bake the popcorn for about 15 minutes. Gently stir the popcorn into the melting caramel until the popcorn is better coated. Repeat this again at the 15 minute mark, after which the popcorn should be quite evenly coated. Bake for another 15 minutes, and then remove from the oven. Give the corn one final stir to coat the popcorn.
When the popcorn is totally cool, it will have a nice, thin, crispy coating. Store in airtight containers.