Popcorn

Apple Maple Caramel Corn

This Apple Maple Caramel Corn has cozy written in every single kernel. It’s the perfect cuddle weather fall/winter snack.

Song giving me life: Erykah Badu – Window Seat

I struggle with how best to project my voice in this space in 2017. It’s the main reason I step away for weeks at a time. I’m not sure if I can apologize enough for it, especially when I know I’ll step away again at some point as I navigate between this wonderful food world, and this new upside down hyper-partisan alternate reality.

Apple Butter {Mind Over Batter}

I consider myself highly opinionated. I clap back in a way which zeros in on your weakness. I do it with a combination of humor and aplomb and I have to say, I’m masterful at it; people don’t realize I’ve legit insulted them. It’s one thing to clap back when you disagree; it’s another thing to have your life threatened because your point of view does not match someone else’s.

I’m not saying my life has been threatened. What I’m saying is I have noticed a dangerous trend in social media. Those of us who believe in social justice, those of us who are bullhorn vocal – Are constantly attacked with baseless opinions and a rain of bullshit memes even in the face of facts. There’s a fear there; not for myself so much as for the people around me. And I shouldn’t have to walk around in fear.

This election exposed the rotten underbelly of humanity. How they hid that stench in smiles and conversation; how they managed to hide in well-meaning advice and pats on the back is astounding. One day in November 2016 their patina bubbled, melted, and exposed the rot underneath.
I hear many stories – Especially from people of color – Describing racist incidents, overt racist incidents. Its wild how you can work with someone, share space with someone for 10+ years and suddenly you discover they’re racist as fuck. They feel emboldened to say the things hidden in their hearts. They feel righteous in letting you know – you ain’t shit – now that their champions have removed their masks.

Yes, CHAMPIONS.
Plural.
This isn’t just a 45 thing. He’s just their golden calf; worshipped and defended as if he were the Messiah. They know this.
There’s a network of racism.
There’s money flowing into racism.
Churches are caping for racism, justifying racism.
There is a hierarchy to this racism.
They played the long game and we’re out here caught by surprise – Like when someone catches you adjusting your bra when that nipple is clearly out of the cup.
I’m torn between being super vocal and working in silent stealth mode.
Ninja mode.

I’m not sure how I’d react if my life or my children’s life were threatened over speaking my truth. Threatened over the continuous exposure of lies people choose to believe because it threatens their very existence. The threat is baseless. When people of color speak about acquiring power or equity it is never to oppress others.

We’re out here trying to abolish the phrase “you need to be twice as good to be considered half as much”.
We’re out here trying to make sure our men of color aren’t disenfranchised by a system designed to take away their inalienable rights.

We wish to continue creating better humans who aren’t considered three/fifths by every system.
We are not mediocre.
We are magic.

Black and Latino magic, living our lives lit as fuck in the bold face of adversity every single day with our melanin; beautiful melanin in varying hues of cinnamon, caramel, and deep dark chocolate.
We’re not taking from anyone.
We’re giving our presence and our rich culture.

We are giving in our boldness, in our bright colors, in our smiles, our body shaking laughter.
We are giving in our music, in our pulsating rhythms.
I am giving my food. In my sabor. I give with the smoothness of dulce de leche swishing on the tongue.

I am super giving in my unapologetic Latinaness. Is that a word? It’s a word.
I am magic. And fuck it. I will not be silenced.
Be ready for that clap-back.
I’ll be the one with the caramel corn, like… Fuck it. Come at me, bruh.

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup Popcorn kernels unpopped
  • 1 cup Chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup 2 sticks Unsalted butter -
  • ½ cup Light corn syrup
  • 2 cups packed Light brown sugar
  • ½ cup Apple juice or apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon Baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup Apple butter
  • 2 tablespoons Maple syrup

Instructions

  • Pop the kernels using your preferred popping method. Place the popped popcorn in a very large bowl and add the walnuts. Note: There should be enough room in your bowl for tossing the popcorn.
  • Preheat the oven to 250° F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Make the caramel – Melt the butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat.  Once the butter has melted, add the corn syrup, brown sugar, apple juice, and salt. Whisk until the mixture comes together, and then increase the heat to medium-high and bring it to a boil, whisking frequently.
  • Once the mixture reaches a boil, allow it to continuously boil for about 7-8 minutes without stirring.  Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the baking soda, vanilla extract, apple butter, and maple syrup.  The mixture will bubble up a bit and froth (stand back).  Whisk until all the liquid is combined and smooth. Pour the apple/caramel sauce over the popcorn and toss to coat thoroughly with a silicone spatula. You can use salad tongs as well, but I find silicone spatulas work best for me.
  • Spread the popcorn evenly onto your prepared baking sheets.  If it’s clumpy, that’s fine – The caramel will melt and will eventually coat all the kernels evenly.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes, tossing the popcorn with tongs every 10 minutes or so to incorporate the caramel evenly.
  • After about 40 minutes, remove a couple of pieces of popcorn from the baking trays and allow them to come to room temperature.  If they’re not completely crispy and still mushy when you bite into them, bake for 5-8 more minutes. Continue checking this way until the popcorn has a crisp bite to it.
  • Remove the baking sheets to a wire rack and allow popcorn to cool completely before breaking apart for serving or packaging.

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