For the popcorn lovers in your life, this mix is a little like kettle corn with the volume turned up. Way up. The baking soda might seem unexpected, but it helps keep the corn from sticking in your teeth. Try it as an afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of unsweetened black tea. While there are many miso pastes available in most major supermarkets, we like to use white miso. It’s sweeter than red miso and it’s lighter in color so it won’t drown out the other ingredients in the mix. Look for it in the refrigerated section near the tofu and eggs.
2 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup white miso
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 cups popped popcorn
2 cups pretzel sticks
2 cups miniature vanilla wafers
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
How to Make It
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and coat with cooking spray.
Combine sugar, water, miso, and butter in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high; cook, whisking occasionally, until golden brown, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla and baking soda. (Be careful; mixture will become very foamy.)
Combine popcorn, pretzels, and vanilla wafers in a large heatproof bowl. Generously coat 2 rubber spatulas with cooking spray. Working quickly, pour caramel over popcorn mixture, and mix gently with rubber spatulas until thoroughly coated.
Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle evenly with salt. Cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Break into pieces.
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