Why have basic buttered popcorn when you can have popcorn with the caramelly sweet candy crunch of pralines? It’s a no-brainer. If you’ve had a pecan praline in the southern tradition, then you know just how delicious the combination is and when you add popcorn to the mix… well, then it’s almost too poppable to handle. This is an easy mix to make, but it’s irresistible too, and that makes it perfect for both parties and lazy movie nights on the couch.
At my house, when we sit down to a movie we’re all about air-popped popcorn with nothing but butter and some salt, but when I emerge from the kitchen with a bowl of this, there are literal cheers of joy. I’m not going to lie – it does take a little more time than a bowl of regular ol’ popcorn, but it’s certainly not time intensive. (And it’s well worth the effort.)
You start with about eight cups of your regular popped popcorn – if you’re using microwaved, try to find something light on butter and salt as to not interfere with the flavor – and you toss that together with some pecans. In a saucepan, you melt some butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup (that’s what gives it that nice candy crunch). You don’t need to worry too much about precise temperature, just bring it to a boil and then remove it from the heat and stir in some vanilla and baking soda. (That also helps with the candy crunch.)
Pour that molten mixture over the popcorn and pecans and spread it all out on a baking sheet so it can harden up in the oven. You only have to wait long enough for it to cool to dig into it once it’s done, but it keeps well so it’s definitely something you can make ahead too. You’ll probably want to do both – it’s pretty tempting… think caramel corn, but with that special southern flavor flair.
Yield 8 cups
15m prep time
30m cook time
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- In a large bowl, mix together the popcorn and pecans.
- To a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally.
- Once boiling, remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda.
- Pour over popcorn and pecans and toss to coat.
- Transfer mixture to a large rimmed sheet pan and spread out evenly. Bake 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Immediately spread out onto foil or parchment paper to cool. Once cool, break apart and serve. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Land o Lakes.