Popcorn Three Ways

If my little brother graduating college and having a fridge covered with save the dates wasn’t enough to make me feel old, I had my 5 year college reunion this past weekend.

I haven’t been to homecomings or UVA’s spring horse race Foxfield in years, so I was really looking forward to mingling with my former classmates. Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip back to Charlottesville without a pit stop at one of my favorite vineyards: Veritas!

I was tasked with snacks for my friends wine tasting trip so I knew I had to step up my game. Whatever I brought needed to be easy to share on-the-go and ideally would have a couple variations to keep us satisfied throughout the afternoon. Enter popcorn 3 ways!

Caramel and chocolate were perfect for those craving sweets while the gouda and thyme variation was amazingly savory. I couldn’t decide which I liked better so of course I kept nibbling on all of them.

The only vineyard goer who didn’t get any popcorn this weekend was Scout. Luckily she got enough cuddles to distract her so I don’t think she minded! Spending the day with a pup made me so excited for when I get my own in a few months. I should warn you all, if this weekend is any indication, I’ll be taking a lot more photos of dogs rather than food once I get a pup of my own.

Chocolate Popcorn Ingredients

  • 10 Cups popped plain popcorn
  • ¾ Cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ Cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ Cup light corn syrup
  • ⅛ Cup salt
  • ½ Cup butter
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Popcorn Recipe (adapted from an AllRecipes.com recipe)

  • Line a baking sheet with tin foil and set aside. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa powder, corn syrup, salt and butter and heat over medium heat until fully melted, swirl mixture around in the pan to help combine. Once melted, mix in vanilla.
  • Place popcorn in large metal bowl and pour chocolate over it, mixing to combine. Transfer popcorn and chocolate to baking sheet and lay flat, making sure that all of the popcorn has been covered. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.

Salted Caramel Popcorn Ingredients

  • 10 cups popped popcorn
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup corn syrup
  • ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • More salt for topping

Salted Caramel Popcorn Recipe (adapted from a recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction)

  • Cover two baking sheets with aluminum foil, top with the popped popcorn and set aside. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, sugars, corn syrup, cream of tartar and salt. Stir constantly until everything melts and caramel comes to a boil. Continue to stir while mixture boils for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and  mix in baking soda.
  • Pour caramel over popcorn and mix gently to coat. Cook in the oven for an hour, mixing the popcorn around every 15-20 minutes.

Let cool completely before serving.

Gouda Thyme Popcorn Ingredients

  • 6 Cups of popped popcorn
  • 2 Cups of shredded gouda cheese
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of thyme leaves

Gouda Thyme Popcorn Recipe

  • Set oven to broil.
  • Lay popcorn down flat on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Top with gouda cheese and thyme.
  • Bake for 3-5 minutes until cheese melts.