So. Valentines Day…..
Well you know my feelings so there’s that. I’ll be potato launching myself off the nearest barn ASAP.
Or maybe you will be if someone decides to bestow you a giant heart shaped box filled with land mines. Seriously tho – I feel like whoever created the mysterious chocolate smorgasbord with surprise insides was probably as bitter as I am on Valentines day.
Like lets stuff maybe, three, three good hearts filled with peanut butter, coconut and milk chocolate ganache. Wonderful choices. But, but, misery loves company, so why not stick the other 957 hearts with filling that is comparable to toothpaste, cough syrup and poo flavored jam. Surprise. Your dinner was just officially ruined. Take you and your rose colored glasses and enjoy a date with the porcelain king. Bon appetite.
OR. OR you can be like me and suck it up and create a recipe to replace that swiss cheese of a chocolate box and instead make this: Dark Chocolate & Maple Caramel Corn w/ Pink Salt & Pepitas aka Popcorn Granola. SUPER easy, ten times less expensive, and you know what you’re getting into. The best kind of surprise, none.
None, because today, life’s a beech and this recipe is not.
- 10 cups plain popcorn (about ⅓ cup kernels + 2 tbsp olive oil heated & popped)
- 1 tsp pink himalayan salt (or any salt will do)
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chunks
- ¼ cup pepitas
- ¾ cup maple syrup caramel (recipe ingredients below)
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- 3 tbsp whole milk
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ tsp baking soda
- Pinch of Salt
- Preheat oven to 275, set rack to middle and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread popcorn out on top of baking sheet.
- Pour Maple Caramel (recipe to follow) all over top of popcorn and place into preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, tossing popcorn every 15 minutes until desired consistency is reached. 30 for semi chewy, 40 for more crunch.
- Remove popcorn from oven and add chocolate chunks and pepitas.
- Place sheet back into oven for 5 minutes. Remove and toss gently (optional, may leave as is)
- Sprinkle with salt and bring to room temperature. Place in a storage container and store at room temperature (or best in fridge for crisp freshness)
- In a small pot over medium high heat add your maple syrup. Allow syrup to come to a boil and continue to stir (more often than not) for about 15 minutes (syrup will start to caramelize like sugar, but NOT the exact same. Will start to bubble and stick to sides of pan)
- Lower heat and add butter and milk.
- Remove from heat, whisk together. Whisk in baking soda and salt.
- Allow to cool for a couple minutes and then pour over popcorn (follow recipe above).