If you're looking to test your willpower, make some of this sweet, salty caramel corn. But be prepared to hide it greedily from your closest friends and family, it's so good, it's best suited for a solo movie night. For the more generous-hearted, it makes an ideal hostess gift.
1/3 cup natural popcorn kernels (about 12 cups popped)
1 cup unsalted almonds
1 cup unsalted cashews
1 vanilla pod
1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
fleur de sel
Preheat oven to 250 F. Pop 1/3 cup natural popcorn kernels (about 12 cups popped). Set aside in a large bowl and stir in 1 cup unsalted almonds and 1 cup unsalted cashews.
Scrape the beans out of 1 vanilla pod and mix into 1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Set aside.
In a large heavy bottomed pot melt 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup, 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 1/2 tsp salt. Allow it to come to a boil over med-high heat and leave for 5 minutes without stirring. Pull off the heat and add 1 teaspoon baking soda and the vanilla mixture. (The mixture will be extremely hot so be careful.) Pour over the popcorn and stir quickly to coat everything. Divide onto 2 to 3 parchment line cookie sheets, sprinkle with fleur de sel and put in the oven for 1 hour. Stir occasionally to further coat the popcorn evenly with caramel. Remove, allow to cool and store in an airtight container.