SALTED BUTTERSCOTCH POPCORN
Some people only eat popcorn at the movies. I’m kind of the opposite. I love popcorn, but not the kind at you get at the theater. It’s overly salted, greasy, and tastes like fake butter. In fact, I usually cringe when I walk in because the smell is overwhelming.
I do love popcorn, though, but I usually make it myself. There are a lot of methods you can use, and I don’t have just one. For a quick, low-cal, mess-free version, I put some kernels in a paper bag, fold it over and microwave it. It pops just like those folded bags of microwave popcorn, but without whatever it is they put in those bags.
It’s also pretty easy to do on the stove too if you’re feeling a bit indulgent. Heat some oil, add popcorn kernels, cover, and let the magic happen.
This recipe is less about the popcorn, and more about the homemade butterscotch. In case you’re wondering, butterscotch is pretty much the same as caramel, except with brown sugar instead of white. In case you’re also wondering, I will choose brown sugar over white sugar almost all of the time. So butterscotch it is.
f you’ve never made caramel or butterscotch before, it can be tricky. I’ve done it dozens of times, and sometimes I still have to throw it out and start over. Usually it’s because I’m not paying attention, so if there’s any piece of advice I can offer it’s just that: Pay attention! It all happens so fast, and even if you think you have a second to grab something from the fridge or answer a text, you don’t.
Which brings me to the next piece of advice: Get everything ready to go before you start. Get it out, measure it, set it next to your stove. Have both a wooden spoon and a whisk handy. Trust me. If you follow the recipe below, you will likely succeed. If you stray at all, you might end up with extra burnt butterscotch, or an overflowing mess. Do not try to rush anything.
From there, you can just drizzle your sauce over your popcorn, and sprinkle liberally with Colima sea salt to get that perfect sweet and salty combo. The crunchy texture of the salt is everything in this recipe.
You can also skip making your own butterscotch and use a pre-made version, but I recommend a good artisan brand made with real butter and cream over those sauces you get in the freezer aisle of your grocery store.
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Popped popcorn (air popped, or popped with Ava Jane’s Kitchen extra-virgin avocado oil as instructed below)
Colima Sea Salt
To make the butterscotch sauce
- Put the butter in a heavy, stainless steel saucepan, at least 2 quarts. Don’t use anything smaller than 2 quarts.
- Melt the butter over medium low heat. As soon as the butter is melted, add the brown sugar. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until mixed well.
- Let the mixture cook for 4-5 minutes, until it starts bubbling. You’ll want to stir it a few times during this process, but not constantly. Maybe 2-3 times at most.
- When the mixture turns to liquid, grab your whisk, turn down the heat to low, and add the cream. It will likely bubble up considerably; this is why you must turn the heat down before adding the cream. Whisk until combined and smooth and turn the heat to medium.
- Now, you’re going to cook it for about 10 minutes. Whisk every couple minutes. It should look thick and glossy at this point. Turn the heat off, let cool for 5 minutes, and add the vanilla and salt. Transfer to a glass bowl or jar and let cool completely. You can store this in the fridge for several weeks.
- Drizzle the cooled butterscotch over your popped popcorn and sprinkle with the Colima Sea Salt. You can add peanuts, chocolate chips, or whatever else you want to add and enjoy!
- *To pop the popcorn on the stove with Ava Jane’s Kitchen extra-virgin avocado oil, heat a 4-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Add about 3 tablespoons oil and a few popcorn kernels. Wait for these to pop and add 1/4 cup popcorn. Cover and turn off heat for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, turn heat back on and shake the pan continuously until popping slows down to every few seconds. Turn off heat and remove lid.
Download this recipe in easy to print PDF format: Salted Butterscotch Popcorn