This fun treat will put a little pep in your step. Caramel corn gets a jolt from coffee, making it a hit for the holiday season. Package the "pep-corn" in tubes covered with our free printable template for a one-of-a-kind homemade gift.Sam Henderson, Today's Nest
1 1/2 cups unpopped popcorn
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 sticks butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon warm water
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1. Cut tubes to 11 inches using scissors or a mitre box and saw.
2. Print labels onto label paper.
3. Cut labels on dotted lines and apply to tubes.
4. Cut parchment paper to 8x10". Roll and insert into tubes. Set aside till ready to fill with caramel corn.
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
2. Pop popcorn on the stove according to product directions. Place popped popcorn in two large bowls.
3. Spray two large baking sheets with cooking spray.
4. Add espresso powder to warm water in a small bowl and stir until dissolved. Set aside.
5. In a large pot, place the butter, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and corn syrup over medium-low heat (Images 1 and 2). Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture comes to a boil (Image 3). After mixture begins to boil, continue cooking for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
6. Remove from heat and add coffee mixture and baking soda. Stir until completely incorporated.
7. Distribute caramel evenly between the two bowls of popcorn. Stir to coat, but don't be alarmed if you don't cover all of the pieces.
8. Pour the popcorn onto the two baking sheets and place in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Remove pans every 15 minutes and stir popcorn.
9. Remove caramel corn from oven. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Allow to cool completely before handling.
10. After it is cooled, gently break apart any big clusters and place caramel corn in prepared tubes.