Oct 012012

There’s a specialty restaurant or shop in New York for just about everything.  Some of my favorites: Meatball Shop–a restaurant that makes only meatballs (the best ever), S’mac–serving only mac and cheese varieties, and Waffle and Dinges–a truck that only makes waffles with toppings and always has a line down the street.  So I wasn’t surprised that a specialty popcorn store opened right down the street from me.  What I was surprised by, was that one little bag of popcorn was about $10.  So I decided to make my own cool popcorn, for a whole lot cheaper and at least a little bit healthier.  This Maple-Rosemary version is totally addictive and tastes like fall.  

This recipe also inspired me to pop popcorn in a pan for the first time and I was excited about how easy it was.  Once I popped the corn, all I did was make a quick caramel sauce using maple syrup, (cough… butter), salt, baking soda, and rosemary. I poured it over the popcorn and some roughly chopped pecans and baked in the oven so it would get really crispy and dry.  It’s the perfect sweet and savory mix, evidenced by it’s rapid disappearance.  

Nutritional highlights:  This certainly has some butter and sugar (via the maple syrup) in it.  But still, popcorn is a healthy snack, packed with fiber and helps keep you full.  My version of caramel popcorn is way better for you than the average, since it has a light layer rather than a thick coating.  I’m not saying you should eat a bucket of this (which I probably could have), but a few handfuls won’t hurt and will certainly make you happy. 

rosemary caramel popcorn

adapted from the Healthy Green Kitchen who adapted it from December 2010 issue of Living magazine


*2 tablespoons olive oil
*1/2 cup organic popcorn kernels
*1/2 stick organic unsalted butter (the original recipe calls for a whole stick)
*1/2 cup maple syrup
*1 1/2 tablespoon rosemary leaves
*3/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt (I used a smoked sea salt; start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste)
*1/4 teaspoon baking soda


1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
2. Place corn kernels and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and cover. Once kernels begin to pop, shake pot frequently; when popping slows to about 3 seconds between pops, remove from heat; uncover. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Cook butter and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to turn amber (225 degrees F., if you have a candy thermometer).
4. Remove from heat. Stir in rosemary, salt and baking soda. Pour over popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Spread out onto baking sheet.
5. Bake about 45 minutes or until dried. Allow to cool and then break up into chunks before serving. This popcorn can be stored in an airtight container for about 3 days.

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