Spicy Caramel Popcorn

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I have always enjoyed watching the Academy Awards. I love the speeches, the obvious tension between actors as they try not to kill each other to get to that award, and I love so much the wardrobe of the people who attend the event. Though I know that it takes an army to prepare each actor/actress for the Oscars, the elegance of the entire affair always brings a smile to my face. Yes, we normal people do understand that we cannot afford Oscar de la Renta and Armani and will probably never look as flawless as these people without personal stylists and awful diets. But look at it this way: we get to stuff our faces with mouthwatering caramel popcorn all while laughing at the suffering of the losing (and probably starving) actors. Suddenly, life seems a lot tastier!

As popcorn is an absolute must for this Hollywood event, we at Silver Spork have decided to take caramel popcorn to the next level and give it some spice. Old Bay Seasoning, more accurately. And lucky for you, this is a super simple recipe!

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Spicy Caramel Popcorn

Ingredients
2 (3.5-ounce) bags popped microwave popcorn
Vegetable cooking spray
3 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Wax paper
Candy thermometer

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Instructions

Pop your two bags of popcorn in the microwave, and then place them in a large bowl. Spray those puppies with cooking spray until they are lightly coated. I decided to lay out the popcorn on the wax paper and spray, to ensure that I covered each kernel.

Carefully dust your popcorn with the Old Bay Seasoning. There is nothing wrong with adding less seasoning – especially if you’re not familiar with the taste. There will still be a little kick, regardless of how much you decide to add

In a small pot, stir together your butter, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Do not stir the mixture after this point. Bring to a boil over medium heat for around 8-10 minutes. Your best bet, however, is to buy a candy thermometer and wait for the temperature to hit 300 degrees Fahrenheit (I think it took me around 12 minutes).

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Pour your mixture into the bowl with your popcorn and toss. Then, lay out the popcorn on wax paper, letting it cool for about 25 minutes. I started eating mine immediately and burned myself… don’t do that.

Once your popcorn has cooled, break it apart and stuff your face or store it and share it with others.

There you have it; gourmet popcorn for your fancy-schmancy event. So, while you are being thoroughly entertained by Neil Patrick Harris and his wonderful ways (I’m so excited) and waiting for the first actor to ever stab another with an Oscar, please remember to stuff your face – keeping in mind that most of the actors and actress are probably not even allowed to think about caramel, let alone taste it. I love the Oscars.

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Wine of the Week

I won’t give you too many details because you have popcorn to eat, but you MUST try Educated Guess’ Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a full-bodied wine with hints of chocolate and pairs wonderfully with salmon, burgers, and (you guessed it) popcorn. You’ll recognize it from the organic chemistry equations on the label. I love this wine!

Post and Photos by Grace Tweedy. Recipe from http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/sugar-spice-caramel-popcorn 

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