Gingerbread Caramel Corn

Gingerbread Caramel Corn

I don’t know if you’ve been following along, or are even aware of it, but my husband and I are currently doing our 2nd Annual Wine and Cheese Holiday Advent Calendar Countdown to Christmas over on Instagram. Each day we open up our wine and cheese advent calendar and talk about the pairings. It’s all sorts of crazy and fun and we enjoy doing it so much. I’ve saved all the days in my story highlights, in case you want to catch up. This year we added another advent calendar, a popcorn one. One of the popcorns we tried was a Gingerbread Caramel Corn and we both immediately fell in love with it. It was gingerbread spices caramel corn with a chocolate drizzle and pieces of gingerbread cookie pieces. It was absolutely delicious. I loved it so much that I decided to recreate the recipe for my blog and so present to you, your new holiday treat to make this year.

To make the gingerbread shortbread pieces, begin by creaming together the butter, powdered sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Mix in the molasses and vanilla. 

Add the flour and spices and stir until the dough comes together. I’m using classic gingerbread spices for this recipe. Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, all-spice, salt and black pepper.

**Tip: I know that black pepper might sound weird and it’s not enough to really point it out but honestly, it really helps bring out all of the flavors! Don’t skip it!**

Wrap the dough into a disk with plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. You can also do this overnight and just allow it to soften at room temperature ever so slightly before rolling out.

Transfer the chilled dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out to 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 1-inch or so squares and transfer to two baking sheets, lined with parchment paper.

Bake until golden brown and crisp around the edges, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, reduce temperature to 250°F and allow the cookie pieces to cool completely.

**Note: Remove the cooled cookies onto a plate or bowl and spray the parchment-lined baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.**

Meanwhile, let’s make the caramel corn. Place a very large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat with the oil. Once hot, add the kernels and spread out evenly and cover with a tight fitting lid.

Allow to cook, shaking the pan ever so often, until the kernels have popped, about 8 to 10 minutes.

**Tip: A quick tip is that you can totally make this by using a few of those microwave popcorn bags. Just pick one that is very lightly salted without much butter. You don’t want a strong salty flavor for this.**

Transfer the popped corn to the largest bowl you have. Wipe the pot clean and return to medium heat. Add brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, molasses, and spices and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Allow to cook, without stirring, for 4 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will bubble up, but keep stirring until thickened and smooth. Immediately pour over the popped corn and stir until evenly coated.

Divide the popcorn mixture between the two prepared baking sheets from earlier, spreading out into an even layer.

Bake for 1 hour at 250°F, tossing every 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely in the pans. Then break up any large clumps or clusters you find.

Drizzle the popcorn with melted dark chocolate and then sprinkle with the gingerbread cookie bits from earlier. Allow the chocolate to set…you can speed this up by placing in the fridge for a few minutes.

Then you’re ready to eat it! You can also store it in an airtight container (or large plastic food storage bags) at room temperature for up to 5 days. This makes great holiday edible gifts!

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try because I know that you’ll love it. It tastes just like gingerbread cookies (of course the gingerbread bits throughout help on that front) but the spices in the popcorn itself are great! Let me know what you think below, and as always, thank you so much for following along and reading!

Gingerbread Caramel Corn

Celebrate the holidays by making this Gingerbread Caramel Corn. Homemade gingerbread spiced caramel corn with pieces of gingerbread cookies.
Servings 12
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 55 mins

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowl
  • whisk
  • Saucepan
  • Baking Sheets
  • Spatula

Ingredients

Gingerbread Shortbread:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teapsoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Caramel Corn:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter cubed
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips melted

Instructions

  • To make the gingerbread shortbread pieces, begin by creaming together the butter, powdered sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Mix in the molasses and vanilla. Add the flour and spices and stir until the dough comes together. Wrap the dough into a disk with plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Transfer the chilled dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out to 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 1-inch squares and transfer to the baking sheets. Bake until golden brown and crisp around the edges, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, reduce temperature to 250°F and allow the cookie pieces to cool completely. Remove the cooked onto a plate or bowl and spray the parchment-lined baking sheets with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, let's make the caramel corn. Place a very large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat with the oil. Once hot, add the kernels and spread out evenly and cover with a tight fitting lid. Allow to cook, shaking the pan ever so often, until the kernels have popped, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the popped corn to the largest bowl you have. Wipe the pot clean and return to medium heat. Add brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, molasses, and spices and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Allow to cook, without stirring, for 4 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will bubble up, but keep stirring until thickened and smooth. Immediately pour over the popped corn and stir until evenly coated. Divide between the two prepared baking sheets, spreading out into an even layer.
  • Bake for 1 hour, tossing every 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely in the pans. Then break up any large bits. Drizzle with the melted chocolate and then top with the gingerbread cookie bits. Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 5 days. Enjoy!
Course: Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Desserts, Holiday, Popcorn, Snacks

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