Sriracha Caramel Corn.
And it’s everything that you want it to be. It’s so good, in fact, that I made it twice in one day. The second batch was under the guise of recipe testing and getting the heat level right, but really it was because this recipe was designated for the Leftovers Club and the first batch yielded no leftovers. Making it a very disappointing submission, thus another batch was in order. I couldn’t exactly ship Chung-Ah an empty box, so I made a second batch. And ate half of that, too.
It’s that good.
The first batch I used 2 teaspoons Sriracha, and while the heat level was deliciously high, so was that fermented garlic flavor we have all come to know and love in the savory dishes that use the Cock Sauce. On the second batch I lowered the amount to 1/2 teaspoon and added a pinch of cayenne for a kick of heat without the garlicly aftertaste that we don’t really need on our desert plates. This was perfect, the heat was there on the back-end but not overpowering, and the garlic was so subtle, it was hardly noticeable. If you want to Sriracha the hell out of it, be my guest, but I wouldn’t add more than 1 teaspoon.
If you want leftovers, or plan on sharing, make a double batch. Or maybe a triple.
- 1/3 cup corn kernels (7 cups popped)
- 1 brown paper lunch bag
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 4 tbs unsalted butter
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ to 1 tsp sriracha
- pinch cayenne
- Preheat oven to 250.
- Place the corn kernels in a brown paper bag. Fold the top over. Place in the microwave (long side down), microwave on high for 4 minutes. When the popping starts to slow to about one pop per one second, remove from microwave. Measure out 7 cups of popcorn (if there is less than 7 cups, pop additional kernels in the same manner, if there are more than 7 cups, reserve the remaining popped corn for another use)
- Spray a large baking pan with butter flavored cooking spray.
- Add the corn kernels to the baking sheet in an even layer, place in the oven until the caramel sauce is ready.
- Add the brown sugar, butter, light corn syrup and salt to a saucepan over high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, stop stirring. Allow to boil for 5 minutes, without stirring, or until a dark amber color is reached. Remove from heat, immediately stir in the sriracha and cayenne (use ½ tsp sriracha for a lower heat level and 1 tsp for a higher heat level).
- Spray a silicon spatula with cooking spray (except the handle).
- Gently pour the caramel sauce over the corn, stirring to coat.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 250, stir, and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and spread evenly onto a sheet of wax paper. Allow to cool, break apart, store in an air-tight container.
Adapted from Karo Syrup Classic Caramel Corn