Holiday Hostess Gift: Maple Caramel Popcorn

I never like to show up empty handed during the holidays. If someone is willing to host me, then the least I can do is bring a little something sweet as a thank you. I know the holidays can be costly, which is why this hostess gift is completely budget friendly! This Maple Caramel popcorn is incredibly delicious, simple to make and with a few small touches it looks like a thoughtful hostess gift that I’m sure anyone would love to receive. Unless, they don’t like popcorn, caramel or maple syrup, which at that point I’m not sure why you are friends with them.

Maple Caramel Popcorn By Epicurious

(makes about 10 cups)
Total Time: 1 hour (includes cooling)

Ingredients:

About 8 cups plain popcorn

1 cup pecans (3 1/2 ounces), coarsely chopped and toasted — (optional)

3/4 stick unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

Equipment: 

Candy thermometer

Directions:

Toss popcorn and pecans in a large bowl.

Line bottom of a 17-by 11-inch 4-sided sheet pan with foil, then lightly oil foil.

Melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add maple syrup and salt and boil (still over medium heat), without stirring, until thermometer registers 300°F, 15 to 20 minutes.

Pour syrup over pecans and popcorn, stirring briskly with a lightly oiled spoon or silicone spatula to coat, then immediately spread popcorn in pan in 1 layer. Cool completely, then break into bite-size pieces.

*Maple pecan popcorn keeps in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 week.

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