In this addictive popcorn recipe, rich brown butter and maple syrup are cooked into a quick caramel, which is then used to both candy the pecans and coat freshly popped popcorn. A generous pinch of salt makes all those sweet-savory flavors pop.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 cups pecans, lightly crushed
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels, popped (about 8 cups popped)
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat, stirring and swirling, until foaming has subsided and milk solids have turned a chestnut-brown color, about 3 minutes.
Add maple syrup and stir to combine.
Add pecans and cook, stirring, until a caramel forms and thickens enough to briefly leave a trail when a spoon is scraped along the bottom of the saucepan, about 4 minutes. Season with salt.
Place popped popcorn in a large mixing bowl and drizzle caramel mixture and nuts all over, tossing as you go, until popcorn is evenly coated in caramel. Season with salt, if necessary. Refrigerate popcorn until caramel is set, about 10 minutes. Toss to break up any clumps and serve. Popcorn can be refrigerated in a zipper-lock bag overnight.