Maple Almond Caramel Corn

Over the weekend I had a craving for caramel corn. I do not always cave to pregnancy cravings, but let’s be real, some times you just gotta have what baby is kicking for! 
I didn’t even bother checking my pantry for corn syrup because I knew I didn’t have any. I started thinking of something that would be a decent substitute (One time I tried making my own “corn syrup” and that was a nightmare.) Honey wasn’t the flavor I was going for, but I thought about all the wonderful things my hubby has made substituting with MAPLE! I have a jug of Organic Maple syrup from Costco at all times (Milkman’s family ruined me. We grew up with grocery store off-brand pancake syrup, but his family grew up with maple, it’s made for an expensive sub for pancake syrup but man there is nothing like it!)
ANYWHO! Started to make the caramel corn, and realized my bottle of vanilla extract had tipped over and leaked and I had no vanilla. TRAVESTY! So, I pulled out the almond extract and threw that in. The results were pretty danged good. When it was all done, we sat in the backyard with the kiddos and indulged!
So here it is, Maple Almond Caramel Corn! Enjoy
  
INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup of popcorn kernels already popped (I use Trader Joes Organic  Popping corn, and here’s how I make it: The Best Danged Popcorn )

1/3 Cup Butter

1 Cup brown sugar

1/2 Cup Maple Syrup

1 tsp salt

1 tsp Almond extract

1/2 tsp baking soda
METHOD:
1. Preheat oven to 250F and prepare two baking sheets with either parchment paper or silpat
2. Make sure your popped popcorn is in a really big bowl ready and waiting to e covered in deliciousness.
3. In a heavy pot, melt butter over medium-ish heat. Then add the brown sugar, maple, salt, and almond extract, whisk til smooth and bring to a boil.
4. LEAVE IT ALONE and let it boil for 5 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and add baking soda, stirring well and begin to pour over your popcorn immediately.
6. Mix your caramel and popcorn til all the popcorn is coated (BE CAREFUL! Caramel is satanically hot.)
7. Divide contents of bowl onto your two prepared baking sheets and shove in the oven for 30 mins.
8. Remove and stir it up on the pan to break apart and let cool.
9. Enjoy!

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