Cook the Book: Spicy Buttered Popcorn

Cook the Book: Spicy Buttered Popcorn

Later in the week we'll get to some of Fat's more complicated dishes, such as a classic Cassoulet and an elegant Duck Rillettes, but for now let's start off with a simple Spicy Buttered Popcorn. Author Jennifer McLagan laments the day when theaters "replaced the real butter with that odd-tasting 'butter-flavored' topping." She thinks that "popcorn really has no flavor, and it's only made edible with butter and salt, or, even better, with a flavored butter." Her version, spiced with puréed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce is perfect for casual movie nights or as an accompaniment to predinner drinks.

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  • Yield:8 cups


  • 8 cups popped plain popcorn
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons puréed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  1. 1.

    Preheat the oven to 250ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the popcorn on the paper. Set aside.

  2. 2.

    Combine the sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Stir until the butter and augar melt and the mixture comes to a boil. Stop stirring and boil until it reaches 250ºF on a kitchen thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chipotle peppers and the baking soda.

  3. 3.

    Pour the mixture over the popcorn, and stir with a spatula until the popcorn is evenly coated.

  4. 4.

    Bake the popcorn for 35 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times. Let cool and store in an airtight container.